Artist Interview: Ahmet Özcan on "Blob Faces" and "Monstrum"

"The Wise Old Blob" from "Blob Faces"

"The Wise Old Blob" from "Blob Faces"

Ahmet Özcan is the creator of NeonMob's newest series, "Blob Faces," as well as "Monstrum," a very special limited-edition series that you can only get by referring friends to sign up on NeonMob. (Speaking of special, because you're reading this blog post, here's a link to a promo code to receive two packs from " Blob Faces" – that's two packs separate from your everyday four freebies!)

Özcan is a 29-year-old freelance illustrator who lives in Mersin, Turkey, a small city by the Mediterranean. He creates in a variety of media, including ink, paints, markers, and digital tools. Whatever his medium of choice, his style is colorful, abstract, yet graphic and very playful.

I contacted Özcan to ask him more about himself and more specifically, his love for monsters.

Where did you go to art school?

I graduated from the Graphic Design Department of Mersin University in 2014. Now I’m getting a master's degree at the same university.

Looking at all your work, it seems like you draw a lot of creatures/monsters. What is it about monsters that you love drawing so much?

I love monsters and other creatures because they have an eternity of possibility – so there's an eternity of possibility for design. Trying new things is the best production path. Also I’m always looking for information about human nature – I think monsters are the best way to understand that. 

What's your favorite medium to work in and why?

Ink and watercolor these days, but I love acrylic paint, markers, and digital paintings too.

"Captain Harvey" from "Blob Faces"

"Captain Harvey" from "Blob Faces"

For your NeonMob collections, you decided to combine your illustrated monsters with photographs. It seems like a new approach for you. 

Yes it is. I have never used photographs for so much of my work. When I started to create new characters, I tried combining them with photos and loved it.  

"Arena Monstrum" from "Monstrum"

"Arena Monstrum" from "Monstrum"

Where did the photographs come from and how did you choose them? Did the monsters come first or did you find a photo and think "I'm going to make a monster for this."?

It was so hard for me, but I found from some online free stock images. There are resources to open their archives, thanks to people :) Sometimes monsters come first, sometimes photos. Either way it was so funny.

"Joey Miller" from "Blob Faces"

"Joey Miller" from "Blob Faces"

What type of freelance work do you mostly do? Are most of your clients in Turkey or elsewhere? How easy is it to get work as a freelance illustrator or graphic designer where you live?

I’m usually working on illustration, although, I often use my illustrations and drawings in graphic design works too. Most of my clients are from elsewhere: Georgia, Denmark, Norway, Japan, etc. Being a freelance designer is very difficult in my country, specially for illustrators. 

What's next for you?

I’m planing for an academic career. This is a long way – master’s degree, doctor’s degree, dissertations, and research subjects. Working on demons and monsters. I want to go to Europe and Japan. And I'm looking for a gallery for my next exhibition!