12 Questions: Meet Svetlana (Sofia, Bulgaria)

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 Svetlana (crowdSPRING username: Allmond) today. Svetlana  lives and work in Sofia Bulgaria.

1. Please tell us about yourself.
To be honest I don’t have the slightest idea (how I happened to be in the spotlight) why I am in the spotlight. It’s nice to meet you. My name (translates into) means “light”. There are scattered letters in my left hand, and northern wind in my hairs. I imagine the light, I spend my time playing the space clockwise and back, searching for the meanings, reaching for horizons, wondering why do we alibi only for what we’ve done, and not for what we never dare to do.
I live in Sofia | Bulgaria | (Southeastern) Europe.

2. How did you become interested in design?
Do you remember the magic of the dark room, the way the images appear on the white paper…?
I was in love with photography since I was13. As I graduated MA in Fine Art Photography, I was flying for a private air company, and working as a TV presenter for a photography edition. A teacher of mine used to say that living on a peninsula we’re (torned) torn between the water and the land. My heart was torn in few directions and neither of them was enough for itself. I think that the design gives the best opportunity to (see in your mind’s eye) envision in the most creative way ideas, visions and traveling … of brain mind, a perfect (symbiosis among) connection between water, land and air.

3. Which of your designs are your favorites and why?
First of all I have 2 favourite design projects – my daughter Ema (8) and my son Dimiter (almost 6). They never stop inspiring me, teaching me, (ushering me into the land of creativity) showing me how to be more creative. It’s amazing how we can discover the world through the eyes of the children. About my graphic design projects – certainly I try to give my best for every single design, and I feel happy  and satisfied when my works are appreciated. I always say to my clients that they have to be 100% happy and comfortable with the result, so this is what matters to me – when a good idea finds the right way to show off. Not everything I like is what the client likes, so what is important is that we meet in between.


4. Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your design work?
In my background I was lucky to work for and respectively draw on the experience of some of the top agencies like Ogilvy ,  Saatchi and some others, but what really impressed me is a movie of Neil French – The Difference Between The Good And The Great – amazing and inspiring work. I would also give my respect to U2, Barcelona, Gaudi, David Ogilvy, Gustav Klimt, Peter Greenaway, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Art Lebedev, Lois Greenfield, Anna-Lou Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton. More or less  they have influence over my creative mind, but Anne Michaels seems like she’s gathered it all for me in few words: “Find a way to make beauty necessary; find a way to make necessity beautiful.” (Bravo, Svetle, that’s top-notch)

5. Please tell us about your creative process.
There are no wrong or right solutions in the creative process. Generally I try to create through 3 different approaches – one for the client (following strictly the brief to meet client’s need), one for the brand ( If I feel that there’s something that needs to be distinguished) and one for me (unexpected and alien to the brief). What I certainly do is trying to find out the unique solution, tailored to my specific needs, target audience and style. The process of discovering – it takes heart and mind 24/7 so I live and breathe with the project, until every detail is perfect.

6. Mac or PC?
I’m in love with Macs, but I’m a PC user. As a freelancer most of my clients provide PC compatible logos, fonts texts etc. It’s important that the designer does not give an extra thought and time for the execution details, but concentrating on creative ideas. So for me the Adobe creative suite works well. Although I admire and respect the corporate identity projects, I dedicate my time mostly to print designs. I’m just not good at logos. No one’s perfect.

7.  It’s not about almonds… what IS it about?
ALLMOND CREATIVE is not about almonds. It’s about the passion that distinguishes the creative ideas – the ones that don’t follow the trends, but invent them, don’t explore the media, but challenge them, that provoke, excite, impress, inspire communication.
Allmond is mixture of several words in few languages – I wanted it to sound like “nuts” , but  to feel like all’mond. I am not sure whether it makes sense but here it is www.allmond.eu

8. What other ways do you use your creativity?
Creativity is a state of mind, I believe, based on flexibility. You must be creative to meet the tight deadlines, to drive safe and fast in the rush hours, to play with the kids, to manage the budgets – you have to be really creative for all.

9. Please describe your typical work day.
As a freelancer I don’t have a typical working day. I make my schedule according to the projects – meetings, or printing houses, photography sessions, it’s all up to the situations. Sometimes I can take a day off and go to the seaside in the middle of the week, but sometimes I have to work during the weekend. However, I guess I like it more than having a regular 9 to 5 job.

10. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a graphic designer?
No matter what the project is – corporate identity, print, package, web solution – the design is a communication tool, so it’s of crucial importance to use the “right words”, to be integral to the brand, and respectful to the consumer. Every project is an opportunity to learn something new, that’s really exciting as we’re constantly improving and moving ahead. In a word, the way to go 🙂

11. What advice would you offer to someone considering graphics design as a career?
I’ll get back to Neil French here, as I found his words useful during all my creative work. “A great work has to be impactful, relevant, original, believable, memorable. If you’re going to make a commercial make it the best it can be, because you’re not going to have a second chance. Never stop improving your work.”

12. What do you do with your free time?
“Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.”
Time is a blind guide 🙂 The free time – is it the time I want to stay away from the computer… but the project is tickling my brain, while I play tennis, travel, attend a concert or else. I enjoy spending time with my children and friends. Just like you!
Thank you so much Svetlana!