Member Spotlight: David Istvan on never settling for the comfort zone

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A cursory glance at the work of David Istvan and you might be forgiven for thinking he’s something of a loud and effervescent personality. He is, however, a decidedly humble, socially-conscious and provocative illustrator that has spent the last 12 years building an enviable body of work that honestly defies easy categorisation.

We caught up with David to discuss his inspiration and creativity, and to showcase just a selection of his fabulous works, more of which can be found on his Creativepool profile.


How did you get started in the industry?

I am from Romania - Cluj-Napoca city from the region of Transylvania. I started out in the industry at a cult newspaper from Ljubljana, Slovenia for which I created the illustrations for 3 years. The newspaper went on to win 5 different awards for visual content at different visual communication Biennials.

Where are you based and how has that impacted your work?

Right now I am based in Vienna and I’m working for the online magazine Ostro doing illustrations regularly. I am also collaborating with Umer Artist Agency from Ljubljana for illustrations on various projects.


Explain your creative style and process

My creative style is realistic, conceptual and very graphic. My work process is all about finding the right idea and execution for the given brief. I give a lot of attention to the concept and the execution has to feel right in order to support the idea.

Please tell us about your work on Creativepool

My spotlighted work is an illustration I made for Red Pepper Magazine from London. It’s for an article that’s talking about the women in Shakespeare’s work. The idea was that these female characters from his work are very strong and fragile at the same time, so they can change from deer into tigers.


How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?

Technology affected my work in the sense that it makes things easier most of the time. You can try different things very fast and change something relatively easy. A good illustration is all about concept and execution so in this regard, I don’t think that technology will help you.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?

I would definitely raise the awareness to understand what is the difference between good quality illustration and a mediocre one.


What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives in the industry?

You should always do what you think is right and stick to your vision. Don’t settle for the comfort zone and always try to push your creativity into new territories. Don’t be afraid to try new things for your pleasure and enjoy what you are doing. The rest should follow.


David's featured work on Creativepool for Red Pepper Magazine


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