The creative and unique art of Filip Peraić
Filip Peraic is a brilliant designer and freelance illustrator who lives in the city of Zadar in Croatia. After his Masters at the Design School of Zagreb two years ago, he started as a freelancer to work between illustration and design. Passionate about basketball, he is best known for his illustrations of famous American basketball player James Harden…
You created the “James Harden Illustrated” project, which is an entire series of illustrations of the American basketball player James Harden. How did this project come to life?
I wanted the luxury of creating work without brief from the client. Since I’m spending hours doing personal work, why not do it systematically and organized? I created a small manifesto, bought a domain and started creating, with no plans of going viral or something. James Harden Illustrated is a weird experiment, like a training ground for my mind, place where I can do whatever I want. This project is about all about avoiding the enslavement of an expression to one style or concept. Funny thing is that this started as small personal project I do for my own pleasure and ended up grabbing immense attention, being featured on USA Today, Yahoo, Fast Company, NBC, and many more.
How did James Harden’s profile become a source of inspiration?
I was looking for a head interesting enough to draw it again and again. I’m a basketball fan, so I it just hit me — James Harden has awesome, unique human head! That sounds weird, but I look at that motif as a designer and illustrator, James Harden is a frame and medium through which I express myself.
You experimented with a lot of mediums and graphic techniques for this project. Did it help in sharpening your creativity?
It has benefited me tremendously, this project set me free. I feel no attachments to certain styles and it gives me option to play, which is vital for a creative mind, the reason why I created this project. Now I know I can approach subjects from totally different angles and still create good stuff. I encourage every designer to create a project which gets you out of your comfort zone, whether it’s a private sketchbook or public project like mine. Don’t get stuck doing what you don’t want to do.
Which version of James Harden is your favorite?
They’re all my children, but I still prefer two kids: one created out of pointillistic dots, and simple weirdness of a whale in a beard. That’s important to me, portray Harden in a way you, but neither did I expect.
You grew up in the town of Zadar, which is the birthplace of Croatian basketball. Can we assume then that you are a big fan of basketball?
That’s true, being from Zadar is the main reason I’m a huge basketball fan. Growing up over here was really special if you love basketball. Playing basketball and watching NBA are still my favorite hobbies.
There is a majority of portraits in your work. Why?
Portraits became my specialty, art directors seem to find intriguing my ability to create using diverse approaches. I’ve been drawing portraits for a long time, I love challenge of portraying a person, it’s incredibly important and tough motif — it’s hard to do a good portrait.
You collaborated with us on the AW15 collection. What did you enjoy most in this collaboration?
Collaboration was great, not only that I had creative freedom, Olow is an awesome brand and I’m happy to have my own two products. Oh, yeah, even you guys didn’t know this, but I drew myself. People will wear two self-portraits of mine with imaginary beard!
Is there a Croatian artist in particular that you would like to tell us about?
There are many of amazing artists, but I’ll mention one of the greats — Boris Bućan. He’s this crazy genius, painter and designer whose work is so smart and timeless. It makes me jealous.
What creative project are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on Daft Punk themed piece for an exhibition in San Francisco, portraits for IBM app, etc.
Thank you to Filip.
Find Filip Peraić on his official site.
– L.K –