Interviewing Idols: Peter Tarka
Polish Graphic Designer, Peter Tarka, produces incredibly immersive 3D illustrations using basic shapes and forms using a wide array of materials and colours to create various compositions which have gained him enormous popularity among the digital design world. I have followed his journey since January 2018 but he’s been going much longer than that!
Even if you don’t know the name, you’ve almost certainly seen his work. Peter’s worked with some of the biggest names in the game. Apple, Nike, LG, Google, Cadbury, Mastercard and Honda to name a few. Not only has he worked for the biggest brands, but also the biggest agencies. Saatchi & Saatchi, Man Vs Machine, Doyle Dane Bernbach, Leo Burnett… the list just goes on and on. With 126k followers on Instagram, his work has been seen all over the world, and has cemented his place in the digital design world for many years to come. The truly amazing thing, is that has he achieved all this at just 27 years of age.
Why does he inspire me?
There’s always people’s work you see and say ‘I wish I could do that’. For me, Peter is one of them.
I can’t quite remember the first time I saw Peter’s designs, but ever since it’s changed my perspective on 3D design. Art and Set direction are no longer just for the contemporary photographers. 3D modelling has changed the game, and Peter’s ability to combine realistic textures and lighting allows him to create these ultra realistic environments that make you say, ‘That’s not real??’.
Peter manages to pump out these incredible design so consistently it’s hard say he isn’t passionate about design. It’s hard to even scroll on his Instagram page, as you find your nose getting closer and closer to the screen as you try and spot the details on the objects. I’ve found myself (on more than one occasion) lost browsing through his collections of work. I’m not sure if it’s some sort of subliminal messaging, but seeing his work makes me want to fire up my computer and make something!
Every day I look at all the amazing projects on Behance, and I keep going back to looking at Peter’s work. I absolutely love his style. The way he uses shapes, colour, lighting and how the creates these endlessly experiments with compositions is something I strive to learn. For me, it’s hard to say he isn’t one of the best designers in the business right now.
The Interview part
I was lucky enough to be able to ask Peter some questions about himself and his career. Hopefully this’ll give you a little bit of an insight into Peter’s life, personal and commercial. It’s not everyday you get to interview an idol!
1. How did you start your journey into the world of design?
I started pretty early with Photoshop CS2, which I got from my father’s friend (I’m almost sure this was a pirate copy)😂. I always liked drawing, so I started creating really simple stuff with brushes etc..
Adobe Illustrator came next and I fell in love with vector graphics probably between 2008–2010. In 2011, I started thinking about giving more depth to my illustrations, so I used simple 3D tools from illustrator and then retouched them in Photoshop to give them more natural feel.
After this I moved onto Cinema 4D, which has turned into my main program along with Photoshop. I’m fully self taught, studied economics and dropped out of school after obtaining my bachelor degree. I didn’t even think about doing a masters degree 😂.
2. What made you want to pursue 3D Modelling and Design?
I’ve been in love with architecture since I can remember so moving to 3D was a natural move for me. The super realistic and sci fi designs that were dominating the 3D scene back then didn’t appeal to me, so I decided to move to a bit more of an illustrative approach.
3. After creating over 450 posts on Instagram, what project (past or present) are you most proud of?
I don’t have one! When I finish the project I instantly start hating it the very next day so I really couldn’t pick a favourite.
4. Could you give some insight into your creative process?
My workflow is nothing special to be honest! I’m a really horrible drawer so I always start the with 3D. Colours and textures are usually the last step for me and there’s a lot of mixing in that stage. I’ve got a selection of my 30–35 favourite kind of materials and I try to mix them with colours and textures to get the right results.
5. What other activities do you enjoy besides Digital Design?
I’m really into music and djing so if I’m not designing I’ll probably look for new music or spin few records on my console. I don’t really have a favourite band though, as I like all sorts of music. It mostly depends on the day! Sometimes I’m listening to old school rap like ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ or Pete Rock, but other-times I like really dark genre’s like Industrial Techno. I’m not a fan of pop music, and basically anything on the radio. So to sum it up, I don’t like commercial music 😂.
6. I know you’ve collaborated with a huge amount of companies through the years. Which ones did you enjoy the most to work with?
I really enjoyed working for the Yoox in 2018. We did 2 projects together and I had loads of creative freedom, which was a great opportunity for me. We won 2 Lion Awards in Cannes. One for the ‘Most Exclusive Campaign’ where we reached over 100k views on Behance, and the other, a Make a Wish Campaign, had 10k likes on Behance. This shows how important it is to not limit creative people! Unfortunately this is still a uncommon thing in our industry.
7. What piece of advice would you give to anyone wanting to improve their work and grow in the digital design world?
Work hard and get enough time of sleep (repeat until the end of your life).
8. Do you have any big designs in the works or anything that excites you about the future of your career?
I got few projects going on and signed off at the moment, but sadly due to NDA’s I can’t talk about them. You’ll probably see them soon on my Instagram or Behance page in the future though!
9. Thank you for taking part In this for me Peter. As I said I’ve been following you for over 2 years now, and have been in awe of your work ever since. What are your links to social medias / websites for people to follow?
You can check out my work over on my Instagram page @PeterTarka or have a look at my website or Behance for higher quality images. https://www.behance.net/trk/
Peter Tarka | Art Director and Illustrator
Peter Tarka is an Art Director and Illustrator based in London, UK. Discover his unique artwork.
Just wanted to say thank you to Peter for doing this. With a person of his calibre doing this interview for myself was fantastic. If you haven’t seen his work before, I urge you to go check it out! He was one of the people who inspired me to pursue 3D design, has he inspired you to check it out?
After weeks of attempting some Tarka style scenes, here’s a few of my own!
Cheers for reading! Here’s my social links if you wanna check out my work!