12 Questions: Meet Aleksandar Macanovic (Serbia)

In our 12 Questions blog series, we feature interviews with someone from the crowdSPRING community. For these interviews, we pick people who add value to our community – in the blog, in the forums, in the projects. Plainly – activities that make crowdSPRING a better community. Be professional, treat others with respect, help us build something very special, and we’ll take notice.

We’re very proud to feature Aleksandar Macanovic (crowdSPRING username: awerest) today. Aleksandar  lives and works in Novi Sad, Serbia.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

Hello, my name is Aleksandar Macanovic and this is my 12 questions interview. Got 25 years behind me, born in the city of Novi Sad and stayed there to live and work. My nickname pzwiz is an acronym from a popular cartoon Popeye the sailor, it is from the scene where Olive his girlfriend  says to Popeye to use his arm as a propeller and a word for a spinning strike here is “zviz” so its “propeller zviz” or simply pzwiz. I will try to make, this honor to present me and my work to this community, as interesting as it can be, as my country still has not reached full potential, just like me. My experience in design is short, in years I was interested more in music, I even finished music school. After that my wish was to accomplish my goals alone or with some friends. Music was the first big love, creative, next was design. Ten years ago I started working with music and organizing small events. A friend and I are running a small agency for that purpose.

2. How did you become interested in design?

Everything started not so long ago when my friend and I had an idea about ethno camp for tourists during our biggest musical festival ( EXIT festival ) in Novi Sad. To present the camp’s countryside and ranch better my job was to do marketing, promotions and get ideas for cultural program and some activity for campers. That was my first time with Illustrator and Photoshop, without much sleep I was clicking around for hours. Logo, poster, flyers, website header, flash banner, complete website in Joomla!, map of camp and a sea of pictures which had to be edited in, for me back then unknown formats ( remember your first time with the software? ). Then it was all new for me, today it takes me much less time,  but at that time it was a lot of work. That was the very beginning, the website is down now and camp is long forgotten. Person responsible for introduction of crowd sourcing was my girlfriend, it was again all new to me. She has been actively doing spec work for some time and invited me to join the community.

3. Which of your designs are your favorites and why?

Toughest question, always. Its hard to pull out some favorites out of bag full of, for me very nice designs, they are all mine and I like them all. Maybe I could say something about stiles used but it is all mixed up for now.

4. Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your design work?

In the begging it was my girlfriend, but we work separately now. Then there are couple of friends who are in some kind of design business, they influence on me with quality of their work. Sometimes it just takes that someone enters my room and comments on my work, to open the whole new world of ideas.

5. What is the design industry like in Serbia?

This is a very important question for me, to unveil my small but important country. I come from Serbia, land of strange mentality and lots of talented people. Just few years ago Serbia started to get in pace with the rest of the world. Lots of companies still don’t have corporate identity. Usually they just wait for foreign investor to change the situation. There were lots of turbulences here, people migrated and started business in strange places where they ended up, it took some time for them to get their companies on their feet. Ignorance for technology and new ways of promoting their work slowed them down. It’s mainly because of the fact that almost every company is run by people from the old times and younger people in management can’t push their ideas out. Many started doing freelance work and used their talent wisely.

6. Mac or PC?

It’s PC, I use my laptop too because I travel a lot. Design ideas come in at any moment, but the truth is we should all get some time out of this digital world. For transferring my ideas from paper to crowdSPRING I use Illustrator CS4 and sometimes Photoshop.

7. What is your dream design project?

It’s not just one design, it’s a whole new world of design projects to get every company in Serbia a corporate identity.

8. How do you promote your work?

At the moment trough the crowdsourcing, but my own website promoting my work is in progress. I need it not only to show my work but also all creative things that surround me. Besides there is my brothers business with his CNC Router, we work together on some designs that are cut on it. My current occupation is to master all skills needed for doing my own website. Of course I will try to improve it by publishing work in progress on social networks.

9. Please describe your typical work day.

When you are in events organizing business your day never starts at the same time. It mainly depends on events last night. Sometimes you must stay up until the end of event and they rarely end before midnight. Beyond that my day starts always with a cup of coffee, while the computer boots up. Then the mail check comes in, of course they have mainly well known subject ”project activity”. Sometimes in between opening al the tabs in browser I play my music. Now the vision is clear enough so I can have breakfast and other usual morning activities. I am back at the computer, say hello to couple of friends on msn/skype and start Illustrator. For me there are no time limits, I am usually interrupted with some meeting or invitation to coffee. I love nightlife, when you are 25 old this is what you are supposed to love doing, and sometimes even my job activities are during night. Most of the times my evenings are reserved for my girlfriend, it’s when there is no party to work on or design.

10. What are other ways you use your creativity?

As I mentioned before my first love was music. It won’t fade away during time, unfortunate event is that my piano had to be sold due to small space available.
About design I was always a perfectionist, so in life same principles apply. Symmetry is my obsession and sometimes I strive to it until perfection. Sometimes I play a role of fashion designer or architect and then I comment and criticize too much.
Sometimes people get offended with bad critics, but to me it is better to say my opinion as it makes me a better friend.
I already mentioned brothers and mine work on ideas for manufacturing on CNC machines, at the moment we are making some wooden toys and small scale models. Years ago I made a pair of wooden lamps, interesting creations, they all went as gifts to my friends.

11. If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?

20 years ago an astronaut
10 years ago a DJ
5 years ago run a club
Now I am an adventurer making infinite circles around the world

12. What do you do with your free time?

Movies, hike, cafe, girlfriend. I don’t watch TV and have not even one game on my computer. Every opportunity I get is used to visit my friends and relatives around Serbia and neighboring countries. I spend winter days in the mountains, and warm summer days with my backpack on the back in the bus or on the train, sometimes 10 days on some beach.
Maybe I have not said enough, but I love the people around here, our nature and mentality. Everything that matters to me is to spend my life in good company in a nice place.


Hvala, Aleksandar!