Freelance Product Designer


OguzYagizKara (Freelance Product Designer)

Oguz Yagiz Kara is a Turkish designer who blends creativity, storytelling, and function to create products and websites. He has helped many startups establish their fundamental elements and continues to do so.

Ooz • Ankara, Turkey • June 4, 2024

What led you into design?

Ever since I was young, I had a keen interest in drawing. I remember vividly that during my elementary school days, the first thing I used to do when I got home was to switch on the TV and hit the "Pause" button on the remote control. It was a magical time for me because it would freeze-frame the screen, allowing me to study the image and try to draw whatever was shown. My favorite cartoon was "Transformers," as it provided a real challenge for me, and I enjoyed it the most. I spent countless hours trying to perfect my drawings, and I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment each time I was able to capture the essence of a character. Drawing has been a passion of mine ever since, and I continue to enjoy it to this day.

During my middle school years, I discovered my talent for drawing, and it all started with a simple recognition from my art teacher. I won several local drawing competitions, and my passion for art only grew stronger. However, I was also heavily invested in online gaming, especially MMORPGs, which offered a fascinating visual world filled with futuristic designs.

One day, I needed a logo for my clan, but no one had the knowledge to create it. So, I took it upon myself to figure it out. I started with sketches based on examples, and then I researched on YouTube because I needed to work digitally. There, I stumbled upon a version of Photoshop called CS5 White Rabbit, downloaded it, and started drawing with the pen tool. The first time I used that tool made me incredibly happy; even now, I still remember the feeling.

After that success, I kept working in that style. Eventually, someone asked if I could design a poster and offered to pay me. I was surprised to learn that you could make money from this type of design work. I took the opportunity to design a poster for a local DJ's concert, but my computer with 2GB RAM struggled with the process because that was all it could handle.

At the tender age of 16, I was already hustling and taking up freelance jobs to save up for a new computer. It was a time when most teenagers my age were preoccupied with school and socializing, but I had my eyes set on a bigger goal. By the time I reached my junior year in high school, I was convinced that I wanted to pursue design full time. However, my parents were not too keen on the idea of me dropping out of school.

Undeterred, I kept working hard and continued to take up freelance jobs whenever I could. Eventually, I landed a role as a Trainee Designer at a local marketing agency when I turned 17. It was an opportunity that I grabbed with both hands, eager to learn and grow in the industry. During my internship there, I learned firsthand about the business world, attending meetings and delving into the intricacies of marketing. It was an eye-opening experience that taught me valuable lessons about the industry and myself. I continued to work at the same company for another year, honing my skills and gaining valuable experience that would shape my career in the years to come.

What does a typical day look like?

As a young, single designer, my mornings are not fixed. Typically, I wake up around 9-10 in the morning and make a nice cup of coffee. Coffee has been my biggest addiction for the last 4-5 years; I'm not much of a breakfast person. While sipping coffee, I review new projects, meetings, work notes, and emails. It's my way of preparing for the day ahead and getting into the right mindset for creativity and productivity.

Afterwards, I begin a deep focus process. I put my phone into airplane mode and take off. Distractions are unwelcome when I'm in the zone, and as a designer, I don't enjoy being bogged down by too many meetings. I find that excessive meetings during the day stifle my creativity and make it difficult to maintain focus. Instead, I prefer to learn what I need to know and work my own magic, which has proven successful over the years.

Next, during my lunch break, I enjoy watching new design tutorials on After Effects, Cinema 4D, and other programs. Alternatively, I might watch camping videos on YouTube. This is one of my greatest hobbies and it helps me relax.

Afterwards, I take some time to refocus and finish any remaining work for the day. Occasionally, due to time-zone differences, I find myself in meetings during the evenings, which suits me just fine. Furthermore, I'm someone who loves working at night. If a project excites me (and I usually only accept projects that do), I can work through the night. I've noticed that the work I create at night is always more creative and unique.

What's your workstation setup?

Where do you go to get inspired?

Finding inspiration for design can be a complex task, as it varies from designer to designer. Personally, I get inspired by even the smallest things I see, focusing on their perceived quality and how much they attract me. My approach is unique in this sense.

There can be considerable gaps between some of my inspirations. Sometimes, I find myself entranced by the designs of analogue devices of yesteryear, while other times, I am enamoured with the sleekness of new-age 3D graphics.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

Physical: Being a coffee enthusiast, one of the biggest problems I face is that my coffee often goes cold when I'm busy working. However, thanks to the Ember Mug, this is no longer an issue. The mug's simple yet stylish design and superior functionality make it one of the best recent additions to my life.

Digital: In the past, I struggled with keeping my inspirations organized. However, Eagle has tremendously alleviated this issue. Its simple design and drag-and-drop functionality make it the perfect tool to collect all your inspirations in one place!

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

As a designer, I am constantly evolving. Each project I take on is a chance to grow and develop my creative skills.

Looking back, I realize that some of the designs I was once proud of may not meet today's standards. However, I don't dwell on the past. Instead, I focus on the freedom I have been given in my recent projects. The fact that no one interferes with my crazy progress has opened up an incredible door of endless creativity.

So, what have I been up to lately? Here are a few things that have been keeping me busy.


Reflect Hero
Reflect Hero


Wiza Extension


What design challenges do you face at your company?

One of the biggest challenges of working as a freelancer is communication with people.

Slow client processes can be one of the most frustrating aspects of a project. This is particularly prevalent in established brands that have many internal stakeholders and clunky internal processes that slow things down unnecessarily, leading to elongated projects.

In contrast, startup products or agencies are often more agile, as they can either adopt new ways of working or are already utilizing the latest methods of working.

What music do you listen to while designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Anything you want to promote or plug?

I have nothing to promote, but feel free to follow me on Twitter. I'm always open to connecting with other designers and creatives!