12 Questions: Meet Ana Grigoriu (Germany)

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 Ana Grigoriu (crowdSPRING username: AnaGrigoriu) today. Ana lives and works in Germany.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

Hi everybody, this is Ana Alexandra Grigoriu, aka AnaGrigoriu here in crowdSPRING’s lovely community, with attempt number 16 at answering the most simple question in this interview. It kind of reminds me of the days that I started designing, just as awkward but exceptionally rewarding.

I was born and raised in the ever expanding capital of Romania, the crowded, noisy but charming Bucharest. Since I’ve lived there for the first 23 years of my life I figured I should try something else, so in early 2010 I’ve decided to move to Germany. More than two years later I’ve managed to start my own freelance career in the country with the most delicious brezels in the world. (Speaking of “deliciuosness”, if you ever visit Germany, make sure you don’t miss the traditional German foods, you’ll love them!)

2. How did you become interested in design?

I loved drawing for as long as I can remember and it seems I enjoyed drawing hats as a little girl (I believe my mother still keeps my hat drawings collection somewhere safe :P). Pretty interesting when I think about it because I was rather a tomboy, than a fashionista. I first considered graphic design in my early teens when I discovered Paint Shop Pro 5 (*an astonishing upgrade from MS’s Paint*) and the wonders one could do with a mouse and a 640×480 pixels canvas.

Four years later I went on to university, got a degree in advertising, specialized in graphic design, worked as an art director in a couple of advertising agencies and then one day I just felt like doing everything on my own, so I turned freelance. (*that also coincides with the moment I started sleeping only 5 hours a night, I wonder why…*)

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

Well, that’s got to be the most difficult question to answer, since I’m very passionate about my work, let me ponder for a bit. Leslie Beckmann’s The Sum of All Evils is definitely one of my favorites. It was also the “stubborn” kind of graphic design, it took a lot of changing/adapting/starting all over again until it looked “just right”. Then there’s Allan Gallauresi’s Repetition, featuring a very interesting and simple design concept that I personally find very appealing. One of my latest projects also comes to mind, Pierre Marshesso’s Double Life book cover with it’s intriguing graphical twist.

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

crowdSPRING’s community is definitely one to mention! It’s amazing how much talent a lot of people have over here. I believe we constantly push each other to the limits (even if we don’t realize it) and this is very inspiring. I’m also trying to keep up to date with the latest book cover design trends so I’m always “scouting” for inspiration in bookstores or online. You wouldn’t believe what

going thorough a book shelf can do to your self-esteem as a designer. I always leave the bookshop feeling like a total noob.

5. What are other ways you use your creativity?

I’ve always been fascinated by photography and I’ve recently started learning more about it. It’s an art of its own and a very complicated one too. Just like graphic design, having the latest gadgets and tools is far from being enough to call oneself a “pro”.

6. You do a lot of book cover designs, are you a big reader?

I definitely enjoy reading, especially if it’s one of Agatha Christie’s mystery thrillers, but my passion for book design is actually inherited from my mother, a book cover designer herself.

7. What is your dream project?

My dream project: Work with a client that loves giving feedback without changing their minds every so often, one that doesn’t bargain for a lower price and that understands the need of buying photography instead of just “looking on Google for a fitting image”. I’d love to work on a project that would change the way graphic designers are seen – one that would make people understand that what we do is neither easy nor accessible to everyone; graphic design is not a DIY job and this is something a lot of people need to understand.

8. How do you promote your work?

Unfortunately I don’t really have the time to promote my work, so I just hope it’s going to promote itself ;).

I do have a website at www.anagrigoriu.de but it really isn’t the “google” of the search engines. In other words, people go there only if they’re told to do so :p

9. What is your biggest adventure?

Moving from my home country to Germany has definitely been the biggest adventure of my life so far. Now that this is done and over with I guess I’ll have to look into bungee jumping for the next big thrill.

10.What is the design industry like in Germany?
Two words come to mind: “traditional” and “classic”. Oh, wait, there’s another one: “precise”. The

graphic design industry in Germany knows what it’s doing and does it pretty well. It doesn’t take any chances, it’s conservative and effective. The upside is that it gives a sense of harmony, while the attention to detail makes every ad look very polished. The downside is that being so harmonious isn’t really attention-grabbing, so the whole thing can end up being rather boring.

11. If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be skating my heart out in ice skating championships around the world or become a

famous fashion critic… or both (*here goes my competitive spirit again*)

12. What do you do with your free time?

I’m afraid I don’t really have too much of that lately, but when I do, I either go ice skating or (given I have enough time) I’ll go traveling. Seeing that this year is close to its end and the traveling part is over, this winter all my free time will go into ice skating and reading… preferably not both at the same time.


Mulțumesc, Ana!