Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
Our team consists of two people Ant Ekşiler and Aykut Yılmaz. We met in 2008 through Aykut’s Dribbble profile. Before that, I was designing and developing themes for ThemeForest under a different username while working full-time in a web agency. After I saw what Aykut was capable of through his profile, we got in contact and speaking for both of us, never thought about going back. Back then, Aykut was also a lead designer in Tribal DDB, and after couple of months together, we both left our full-time jobs and concentrated on ThemeForest. We both live in Istanbul, Turkey.
Tell us something about fuelthemes no-one else knows?
We criticize ourselves a lot. After each phase of a theme’s design and development, we spend hours talking about what we can improve UI, UX and coding-wise. Believe it or not, I had to upgrade my mobile plan because of this… We also pay attention to even minuscule details, such as font sizes, line heights or pixel spacing.
Is there anything unusual or noteworthy about your life experience?
I failed a lot of startups while working on ThemeForest themes! I always thought of ThemeForest as a hobby, but then I realized this is where my heart lies.
Why are you doing what you are doing and what do you love about it?
We definitely love creating unique themes. We always try to push the boundaries and try to bring firsts to the marketplace. We regularly submit our themes to sites like Awwwards.com if we feel that they are up to the task. We also have quite a few very famous companies using our themes – you can see some of these at our Fuel Themes Showcase.
What’s your most memorable client/customer story on Envato?
We had one client that wanted to talk over the phone about a customization of our theme, Notio. We don’t usually accept customization jobs, but while working on their site, I realized they were a 3D animation company working for Marvel Studios. Now I get excited whenever I see their name (Luma Pictures) after a Marvel movie.
What’s the most challenging thing about your work?
I think it’s mostly getting started on a theme. It’s extremely hard nowadays to inspire people with better UI and UX, but we strive to be the best at what we do.
Name a few people who inspire you and why?
To be honest, it’s hard to limit inspiration to a couple of people. We’re inspired by beauty in everything we look at, and we try to apply that to our themes such as the Black Mirror TV Series, which inspired us in many ways possible. We also travel around together to find ideas.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
Success on ThemeForest depends not on tens of same old themes, but unique themes that make clients impulse buy your products, and not regret their decisions afterwards.
What do you do in your spare time?
Both of us are heavily invested in healthy living. That’s why we both have personal trainers doing CrossFit, etc. and we even talk about what we eat when we are on the phone. It’s definitely worked wonders for both of us.
How do you feel about your achievement?
It was just a matter of time, because we love what we do. Now that we got here, it’s going to take shorter to reach the $2m level!