Nikolas Ilic

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Nikolas Ilic and I am currently working at ToonBox Entertainment in Toronto as a Junior Designer.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing to to crazy at all, I worked as a cook at a pizza joint during and after highschool. It was alot of fun, especailly all the crazy customers and the late night drunks!
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well right now the projects I am working at ToonBox are quite exciting. It is a pretty young and ambitious studio. I am jumping from project to project which is always fun and refreshing. Right now I am designing model packs for their upcoming TV series in development and also working on their upcoming feature film! Other then that making my own short film was something I loved  to be able to do and hope to do one day again!
How did you become interested in animation?
I became interested in animation through childhood cartoons for sure. Some of the cartoons that inspired me were Tazmanian devil, Pink Panther, Inspector gadget,  X-men, Ninja Turtles, Pinky and the Brain,  and Samurai Jack the list goes on really.  Also I have to give credit to my brother who got me into drawing in the first place. I remember we did alot of fan art drawings  and alwyas wanted to make our own comic book one day. That aside I have always had a aniamted type persoanality  and always like to make things funny and over the top.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am born and raised in Canada, I first got into the animation business after studying Art Fundamentals at Sheridan College. I remember  in my Art fundamental year I was deciding between Illustration and or Animation and made the decision to go for Animation. I must say, Im glad I did as I found my place and couldn’t be happier!
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
My day usually starts with a hot beverage. After that its plug in the headphones and get to work. Usually there are weekly deadlines that have to be met with the occasional meeting during the week if something arises. All in all it makes for a pretty relaxed environment.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love the fact I work on different projects. It always feels fresh moving from one thing to another. I am the type of person that likes to move from piece to piece and not spend weeks on one thing. Another thing is the people! everyone is really friendly and willing to give you suggestions.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The thing I like least about my job  is sometimes being a small studio you get certain tasks that are not necessarily your main focus, that being said it definitely makes you more versatile and more understanding on how a studio works.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
 At work I use a cintiq to complete my tasks. At home I also picked up a cintiq so I am pretty fortunate that way. I must say working with a cintiq both benefits the artist and quality and time of designing. I would say its a must for artists these days.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I would have to say job security, its very hard to find a full time position in the animation industry from my experience thus far. It seems alot of it is moving from contract to contract. In a way its pretty exciting , new people, new cities, new setting.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
 Since I just graduated I havent had the chance to travel to much with my career. I however attended CTN last November and saw alot of amazing artisits and inspiratational workshops there.  I definitely recommend it! You meet so many people, I will be going again for sure!
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Well as an artist we can all recall questioning yourself whether you belong in animation or if you are a good enough artist to survive. Its just something you have to have to get over to get to the next step in your career. I remember going through this during my college days, it was never fun.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
In my spare time I generally like to sketch, and work on personal pieces. I like to take on freelance work as well to keep me busy.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Unusual talents?  Well let me see…. I can’t wink nor do the Vulcan salute. I think that’s some pretty unusual talent.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
My advice would be just keep on drawing and dont give up! The only way to get better at something is to keep on doing it!
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  1. Great interview Nikolas! Wish you the best!

  2. Noticed your name; must be Croatian, as I am. Good work,nice for as young man as you are.
    All the best!

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