19.5 web designer answers
Our studio has a reason to eat sweets without remorse. Our designer Alexei is celebrating his birthday today, so according to a recent tradition, we interviewed him.
1. How did you get into design?
Yes, this is the most difficult question for a designer. I started drawing in kindergarten and dreamed of becoming an artist since childhood, so I studied at an art school from the age of seven, and then moved to the Donetsk Art College. There was no turning point in my life when I suddenly realized that I wanted to become a designer. This dream has always been with me. I never even thought that I could work in another field.
2. Why web design?
When I got into WebShark, I had little practice on the web, but everything can be learned. The main thing is a well-formed artistic taste. I don't differentiate between web design, graphic design or anything else. I do everything, any design, even fashion design is not averse to doing.
3. Do you teach at the school-studio "Nachala"? Is it difficult to be a teacher?
No, it's not difficult. Well, "teacher" is a strong word. It is too early for me to call myself a teacher, it is a very big responsibility. A conscious understanding of what I'm talking about will come to me at best by the age of eighty, and now I'm just sharing the knowledge that I managed to pick up up to this point.
4. Tell us more about the school. Where does this name come from?
The school was founded on December 5, 2010 by my friend Oleg Pochtar. The name comes from the work of Euclid's "Principles of Geometry" in 11 volumes, that is, these are the fundamental principles, where it all begins, the origins. The main idea of the school is development, for us, first of all, it is important not to lose knowledge and skills. As for systematization, there is no rigid structure, but I can say that in our case it is more than in other "companies".
5. Do you consider having a recognizable style an important attribute for a designer?
No, it doesn't matter. Style come up with art critics. A professional art historian is a nanny for someone else's child, he loves to poke around and systematize all this, but this is not important for a designer. I don't care about style at all. Van Gogh, for example, didn’t sit and think: “Shouldn’t I become a post-impressionist?” Someone defines my style as fauvism, but this is not so, because my other work may be closer to conceptualism. I believe that the purpose determines the form and content. Style is form. Simply put: the goal determines the style. Even great artists first imitate the classics and generally accepted norms, and only then they begin to portray themselves in their work, and this is where their original style begins.
6. What or who influenced your development as a professional? Are there gurus and authorities for you?
The only person who influenced me in this sense, my teacher from an art school, is Petrykin Valery Ivanovich. It was he who laid in me, so to speak, a rational grain. As for cult personalities and design titans, I cannot say that they somehow influence me. For example, I like Massimo Vignelli, he works in all areas of design - web, graphics, industrial and architectural design.
7. How do you fight laziness? Who wins?
Laziness? I can't say it's good. I force myself. Unfortunately, I do not know of such pills from which laziness would lose its vigilance.
8. Is it true that creative people are disorganized and work on a whim?
50 to 50. It's hard for me to say, I can be organized and unorganized: I can act with German pragmatism or vice versa with Italian laxity.
9. How do you improve your skills?
Reading literature is the main thing. I also believe that in order to learn, one must teach others. Yes, and we created our school “Nachala” on the basis of the same thoughts, we saw a lack of knowledge and decided to correct the situation. And when you teach, you naturally broaden your horizons.
10. Did you participate in competitions?
Yes, I did. At the Moscow International Biennial of Graphic Design "Golden Bee 8" I presented my poster in the category "New Cyrillic 300" and became a laureate. He also participated in local competitions, for example, in the competition dedicated to "Euro 2012" he received the Grand Prix, and so, on trifles, he took part in local competitions. Now I don’t participate in competitions, because once I was present at the selection of posters by the commission. This is a rather strange and subjective phenomenon. Why run a competition and dig through hundreds of entries when you can pay someone who will definitely submit a quality entry in a commercial competition. The situation is different with social topics, here, if you have something to say, then say it, but if not, it is better to remain silent.
11. Do you have any work that you are proud of? Are these the prize posters?
I have works that I am proud of, but they are strange and, most likely, will not say anything to others. Yes, that work of mine was accepted in Moscow. So what? For me it is much more important how much effort I spent, but I will not say: "Look how hard I worked." Although fame, of course, is the most subtle of pleasures.
12. Do you follow design trends? What are the trends in the development of modern web design in your opinion?
I watch, but I don't think about them. Trends don't make as much sense as they are trying to make. Again, back to the question of style. The goal is what really matters. Trends change, but meaning remains.
13. What inspires you?
I like Pablo Picasso's saying about this: "When inspiration comes to me, it finds me at work." It seems to me that a person, if he does his job, he is always inspired.
14. Tell us about your hobbies? Are you into kung fu?
Kung Fu is not a hobby. Collecting aphorisms is a hobby. Kung Fu is a way of life, it's not something you can do for a year and quit, it's a serious thing. In my spare time, I ride a bike, for example, when I go to work for kung fu, that's all my free time. On Sunday I give lectures at school, but, of course, I go to shows of short films at Bommer, to concerts of local bards, of course, exhibitions, I watch Futurama. Although in everything that does not concern design, I understand little.
15. What do you think of the freelance perspective? Are you a team player yourself?
Freelancing is good up to a certain point, before you need to embody everything on the web, because you can’t be an expert in everything. Moreover, one person will not be able to cope with a truly complex and worthy goal.
16. Are you planning to go to Munich in the summer? What do you expect from the trip?
Yes, I plan to, if we get a visa. This is a cultural exchange, we will look at German universities from the perspective of studying in them. We're just going to hang out, and I also want to see Durer.
17. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see a designer. It will not be possible to finish with the design, it is already too late.
18. Anyone can become a designer? What can you wish for budding designers?
It certainly doesn't require the stars to line up in a certain way. I think that anyone, in any case, everyone has the prerequisites. It all depends on how much a person needs. I want to warn beginners: in design, if you step in with one foot, then you will completely get into trouble and you won’t be able to go back.
19. An example of a site with a reference design in your opinion.
http://cyan.de/ - site of a design team from Germany. I like how the structure is solved there, this is an example of a harmonious combination of purpose, form and content.
20. Treat your co-workers a birthday treat?
How to say…
Congratulations to Alexey on his birthday! We wish you new interesting projects, a successful trip to Munich and that the means always justify the end.