Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.
An Interview with Nikolas Ilic.

Who and from where are you?

My name is Nikolas Ilic and I am character designer/ visual development artist living in sunny Los Angeles, California. I am originally from the cold wintery Toronto,Canada where I did all my art studies and spent my whole childhood growing up.I grew up in a small town outside of Toronto and studied animation at Sheridan College, upon graduating in 2011 I worked in Toronto for about a year before moving out to Los Angeles for work and yes- I do miss the snow.  

How you got into this?

Since I was a kid I have always enjoyed art.It runs in my family as my dad is a fine artist, mainly doing oil paintings. He grew up in Serbia and then studied fine arts in France when he was younger before moving to Canada. So besides some of the genetic reasons I would also have to say my brother is a huge reason I got into art. When we were younger we would always draw together and make our own comic book ideas and covers. Coming up with worlds and characters that we found interesting.I also remember drawing from characters and art books all the time and trying to draw them as they appeared.Cartoons such as Looney Tunes, Tasmanian Devil, Ren & Stimpy etc and disney animated classics also played a huge role into me getting into art. I remember the first movie I seen in theaters was Beauty and the beast and was taken back by the fact that all these things I was seeing on the screen were hand drawn and personally crafted. 

As I grew up I stuck with art throughout high school and still enjoyed it very much.My high school was definitely not a “Art” high school so it was hard at times to stay motivated and to keep at it. After graduating is when I  had to ask myself. Is there a realistic career doing art and illustration? I then had a friend attending Sheridan College studying animation. I initially was interested in applying for the Illustration bachelor's program, however when my friend showed me the animation wing and kind of work they were doing I instantly knew. This was what I needed to be doing. So I then applied and got in the program the following year.


What is your driving force? 

I would say my main driving force is to just want to keep improving and evolving as an artist. Being confident in your identity as an artist and knowing what is you. I definitely don't like doing repetitive things and I am always trying to push myself and learn new things with each new piece I do. It is easy to get caught in a certain aesthetic that works for you. It is great when you find that, but you have to keep pushing yourself to explore and experiment and see how you handle things outside of your comfort zone. I feel like you will always have your core aesthetic and identity as an artist and the only thing you can do is keep evolving.

What kind of work you do and why?

I mostly work digitally in photoshop but also work on paper with pencils, markers and paints as working traditionally is a nice break from looking at screens.I would say my heart belongs with character design and illustration for animation.Throughout my years at Sheridan College studying animation I enjoyed all areas of animation from animation, background design, story boarding to painting. It wasn't until my final year did I realize what my true passion was character design. Every time I picked up a pencil and started sketching I would always start doodling a character, it was always my instinct to do that so I just went with it. All the other areas I studied started to feel like work to me so to speak. I remember lots of people and teachers saying don't limit yourself and that character design is very competitive so you better have other options. Even though I was getting told that I just stuck with character design as that's where my true passion lied. I believe if you are deeply passionate about something you will become successful at it, it might not happen overnight but it's really all about dedication. Years later I have now done character design work for Sony Pictures Animation, Illumination Entertainment, JibJab Bros, Hornet, Sesame Street, ToonBox, and numerous other studios in the animation industry. 
Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.


Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.
Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.

Illustrations by Nikolas Ilic from California.
For more of Nikolas Ilic Check these links below:-


All Images are copyright by: Nikolas Ilic

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