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 Bojan Bundalo (crowdSPRING username: BigBaldBeardo) today. Bojan lives and works in Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1. Please tell us about yourself.
Hello all! It’s nice to have this opportunity to present my work to crowdSPRING design community.
My name is Bojan Bundalo (33), cS “code name” BigBaldBeardo. Started using this username as a joke, but it kinda stuck with me,…you can say I’ve accidentally made a brand out of my head, but down side to this, is that shaving beard, or growing hair would be considered complete re-branding.
I’m based with my creative studio in City of Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, small country located in western Balkans. You all probably know about Bosnia from the war that took place here 20 years ago, but there’s another side of this beautiful piece of land, that should be more in the focus this time. Inspiring nature and its position on the roads between Austria and Italy in north-west, and Greece and Turkey in south-east (German, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman culture), made this area rich in various influences, specially in fields of art and design. I’m no exception to this rule, as you’ll see from the works presented here.
After this short initial introduction and “global positioning”, that needed to be done, I can continue with shameless self promotion! 🙂
So, I didn’t start as graphic designer, but painting and architectural design were my first picks. After learning some basics in these fields, I’ve decided to take short brake, that extended into two years working as a sailor on Pacific coast of United States and Mexico. American tour made even more influence on the work I do today. After returning home, I’ve opened small art workshop, with selling gallery, specialized in creating classic and wood-intarsed orthodox icons. Few years after that, I’ve taken interest in 3D modeling and animation, so I did some exploration in those fields as well, as significant parts of architectural and product design visualization. Illustration led me to discover all the positive aspects of graphic design, specially logo design/visual identities/branding.
All these explorations in the past resulted in creating one place, rounding up my entire creative activity today – BigBaldBeardos_design and modeling studio (www.bigbaldbeardos.com).
2. How did you become interested in design?
When you say “design”, my first thought is architectural, product, and in the end – graphic design. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not underestimating graphic design,…on contrary.
As most of the creatives here, I’ve started doodling as a kid. Playing with shapes, forms and colors led me to drawing and painting, after that to more sculptural/3D forms of art, like product and architectural design. When you’re long enough in these fields, you’re bound to encounter something called “total design”. This involves taking care of details on some product, interior, or exterior space, and this is where graphic design in modern world of competitive markets, kicks in,…you just can’t ignore logo that is suppose to cover 1/3 of the product you need to design, or store front, that has logo covering 1/4 of its entire surface. Colors and shapes of previously formed visual identities/brands, more than often, have great impact on final creation in areas of architectural and product design, and I guess this is the point of my initially serious contact with graphic design.
3. Which of your designs are your favorites and why?
_One simple design that I like how it turned out, comes to mind at the moment. Logo design suggestion I did for “OxfordEnglish.ch”, English marketing content and copy writing agency, based in Zurich. I like how simple action of just adding silhouette of lifted gentleman’s cylinder on top of the capital “O”, gave instantly a touch of “British” to the logo, without using national colors, or some usual Brit-based symbols,…not to mention, that when you look at the logo, you can feel respect from it! 🙂
_Second design that turned out conceptually interesting, was logo for “Razor Runners”, small company that delivers shaving razors to door steps. I like the simplicity of this “flat” design, and how incorporating of razor, delivery bag and running delivery guy, turned out, making it very descriptive and recognizable, even as stand alone mark.
_Third one would be “Dagesse” family crest refreshing. Some illustration skills were needed here, and we were all quite pleased how it turned out in the end.
_If we’re talking about realistic looking logo designs, “COMPASS retirement solutions” logo, comes to mind. I thought that incorporating ship’s compass, as a symbol of sailing through rough seas of life, and reaching peaceful waters safely, would be good idea for this visual identity.
_Another illustrative logo that I’m pretty satisfied with would be logo for “A Chikadee Sings”, music school for kids.
_Use of negative space for “Black Ink” logo, also feels good.
_”Desert Star K9″ logo also is conceptually and aesthetically successful solution.
_”Cheap Horns” logo as well.
There are many more designs, but here I’ve chosen some different style designs, to present variety of demands from the clients on the open market.
Lately I do have one favorite design that is not mine, but from it you might get better idea about my personal preferences. I consider new “American Airlines” logo to be very successful re-branding solution… simple, clean, recognizable, through symbolism, shapes and colors, well describes the company behind it. Definitely something that left very good impression on me.
4. Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your design work?
My inspiration for graphic design, comes mainly from 3D world,…from German, Spanish, Japanese and American architecture, Italian and British car design, Russian aircraft design, Skandinavian furniture design,…but also from other media such as painting, illustration, comics, etc. Love the works of old painters, Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt,…also Monet, Klimt, Modigliani, Dali. Love Jack Vettriano’s work,…my countrymen, painter Mersad Berber, also has inspiring style. Also admire some talented young people that’ll require some Google-ing :),…painter Menton 3 (also known as fantastic composer and violinist, called Salltilo), Martin Stranka, photographer from Prague, Gabriella Barouch, illustrator from Tel Aviv, Marchelo Schultz, illustrator from Brazil, Pat Perry, illustrator from Michigen, Dobroslav Bob Zivkovic, illustrator from Serbia,…and many more inspiring creatives. Basically, all the things I see during the day have great impact on the work I do.
5. How do you come up with ideas for concepts after you read a creative brief?
The creative brief is the base. If you read this carefully, and what is more important, if you understand from it, what client wants for his company’s new visual identity, you’re half way there. This understanding dictates type of logo, font type, colors, style, graphic representation. Sometimes, after reading the brief, idea comes up instantly, and it is implemented in short period of time. On the other hand, if the brief is more demanding, or illustrative logo is requested, some sketching development is required, before running it through Illustrator. Every brief is the story for itself, and there’s really no rule. Maybe this is the moment where logo design is closest to an art form, because inspiration plays significant part in this stage of design development.
6. What software and tools do you use?
Adobe Illustrator is the weapon of choice, but Photoshop occasionally comes handy as well,…for some fine tuning when applicable. Apart from that, for 3D design and modeling, animation, sound and video editing, etc., I use wide range of much “heavier” software.
7. What is your dream design project?
If we’re talking about graphic design, any project that pays good, should do the trick. 🙂
Generally, my dream job would be to design for aircraft, or ship building industry.
8. How do you promote your work?
I’m not very active in promotions at the moment,…there’s simply not too much time left for it! I did set up portfolio website I’ve mentioned earlier, as well as Facebook page, and linked all this to couple of my web stores. This brings occasional clients, and as time goes by it looks more promising. I guess there’s still plenty room for active promotions.
9. Please describe your typical work day.
As a partial freelancer, I work with clients in few time zones, as well as domestic clients, so there’s actually no typical day. Every day is different, but what is certain, is that I do spend approximately 12 hours per day in my studio. This often includes “digging” deep into the night shift! I spend this time in creating new design concepts, making modifications on existing ones in cooperation with clients, endless emailing, and sending those “sweet” payment invoices!
Also, as you’ve seen, I’m involved in many areas of creativity, and that makes line between work and free time very vague for me. When I get tired from graphic design, I rest with painting, illustration or drawing,…when I get tired of that, doing some architectural project relaxes me,…when tired of this, making 3D model of an aircraft for some online game, wakes me up,…after that, I’m usually ready for some graphic design again. Having all this in mind, freelancing, as a working concept suits me very well,…you get to choose, what, when, and with whom you want to work. It may sound this requires a lot of energy, and it really does, of course,…but if you’re resting, while you’re working, like I do, it makes it easier on so many levels.
Basically, my point here would be: “Branch out your activities to few things you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life!”
10. What is the design industry like where you live?
After the war and during transition from socialism to capitalism, industry that was once very strong in Bosnia, as central part of former Yugoslavia, was basically devastated. When we have in mind that design is based on industry and production, you can imagine the situation in that sector is not very good. But it is also not all bad,…there are excellent designers, very creative young people, that currently develop their skills working with foreign clients,…and I’m sure, when this financial crisis passes by, design industry will be recovering fast,…potential surely exists.
11. If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a chef in my own restaurant, making and serving continental and Mediterranean dishes, combining them with fine domestic wines. Love cooking and consider it form of art!
12. What do you do with your free time?
I don’t understand,…what’s a free time!? My name is Bojan, and I’m a workaholic,…didn’t you get that!?? 🙂
Of course, there has to be some free time for recharging batteries, and it is reserved for persons close to me, visits to family,…didn’t get a chance for summer vacation this year, so there will probably be one, or two weeks soon put a side only for travel,…maybe Istanbul… or Prague!
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