Artist Spotlight w/ Felix Soletic
Sep 12, 2023
First, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a freelance designer, concept artist and creative director primarily working in the world of title sequence design. Originally from Croatia, my creative pursuits led me to Los Angeles where I spent a decade working full-time in studios and roles of all shapes and sizes. A few months ago I decided to re-plant my flag once again to New York City, and officially start my freelance career.
When I'm not obsessing over client work, I spend the majority of my time developing my own stories and worlds, scriptwriting, and generally creating work where I'm my own client - it's where I'm at my happiest. I also try to get away from screens; exploring the city, eating good pasta, and listening to loud music late at night.
I would say the most important thing is to be kind - pixels are important, but not that important.
Can you tell us about your experience and the role you are primarily filling?
I first started out as a graphic designer and typographer - it's the foundation of my skillset as a creative. Concept art and CG driven work came after; I'm endlessly fascinated by film and storytelling and wanted to somehow be a part of that world. There's nothing more fun than to visualize worlds, places and emotions that only exist in your (or your clients) mind - whether that's a great title sequence, or a main-on-end, or an actual chunk of the film / TV episode / video game. I like the precision graphic design gave me, which translates to filmmaking in really interesting (and sometimes very nitpicky) ways.
After many years of working with awesome directors and learning how to construct visuals and pitch ideas, I got an opportunity to step into more of a creative lead / directing role - working with Elastic, The Mill and Method Studios to make some really fun projects with amazingly talented people.
Fresh to the freelancing game, I'm still figuring out my role - I feel useful across many different disciplines, which has sometimes been hard to communicate. From concept development, look development, to leading a team through production - I feel comfortable and enjoy all of it, regardless if it's a title sequence or a perfume commercial or a museum space. I equally enjoy obsessing over properly justifying a paragraph as I do with tweaking 3D shaders or writing a concept blurb in a pitch deck.
If you could speak directly to the resourcing gods and powers that be, what would be your ideal project?
I love to be involved early on where the ideas are malleable, and the scale of them scare you a bit (but not too much). I love starting off with a blank page and seeing how a story develops, with a mood, sense of place, and a fresh point of view. I love working with people that make me feel like I suck and that I should try harder. I love being in the trenches with the team and making it work when it's late and we're tired, as long as it's worthwhile. The subject matter or format matters less to me if those ingredients are in place.
Do you have any dream clients?
This is a tough one! I was incredibly fortunate in crossing many of my 'white whales' off the list over the years, which has given me some peace in not having to chase the next big thing. These days I prioritize a talented team of kind people, sane deadlines, and reasonable producers that are on your side. If I had to pick a name, I would love to do something with Hideo Kojima - no matter what it is. I'd also love to do more fashion-driven work, or something totally off the wall like a 3D installation or exhibit.
Lastly, do you have any memorable stories, life lessons, or tall tales you can share from your adventures as a freelancer?
As a freelancer unfortunately not too many! I'm still fresh to the game and 100% of it has so far been working from home. From my years as an artist full-time, I would say the most important thing is to be kind - pixels are important, but not that important.
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