After my first interview with Anna Shlyapnikova, this time I had the opportunity to have an interview with not one……….but two designers! They are Milos Mirkovic and Marija Gidanovic, friends (or should I say lovers ) in daily life and both blessed with great talent for design. Both received a Daily Deviation (Milos even 6!!) at deviantART. Time to fill your cup of coffee and take time for reading this interview with some interesting statements!
Welcome to Iconpaper Milos and Marija! Please, introduce yourself, tell us something about yourself and where are you from ?
Milos: Hello Gert Jan, I’m Milos Mirkovic, I’m senior at graduate school for business, I come from Svrljig, small town in Serbia. I like design, especially icons and interfaces.
Marija: Hi Gert Jan, thanks for the invite. My name is Marija Gidanovic, I come from Bor, Serbia. I’m 20 years old graduate student, sophomore year. I enjoy designing icons, and I work as a freelancer.
I and I think most of our readers are very interested in how you two got together? Can you tell us something about that?
That’s quite a long story, that involves pancakes and bottle oppener fiasco. The night was a total disaster, but it was a beginning of something really great…
To become a good designer and to reach a certain level of designing isn’t an easy way. So how have you reached your current level, did you attend a design school or are you self-taught?
Milos: I’m self-taught, after discovering Photoshop I started downloading tutorials and practicing. The only “design school” for me was deviantArt, where I’ve met a lot of people who were willing to share their experience with me.
Marija: I’m actually still attending “Milos Mirkovic academy of arts”. I’m pretty new at this; I’ve designed my first work only couple of months ago. I’m still learning, but having tons of fun doing it.
I (almost) have every day a drive to create things. What drives you to create for instance icons or other designs?
Milos: The ugliness of previous Windows interfaces was the first thing that got me into creating icons. The main drive is desire to beautify desktop, and make it more comfortable working environment.
Marija: Lot of free time. Although that was my first drive, what drives me now are people who like and use my work.
Most designers get inspired by whatsoever. Where do you go for inspiration?
Marija: Everyday life. Books I read, movies I watch, coffee I drink (that I can’t live without), romantic evening, basically anything and everything can become inspiration.
Milos: What she said. Every situation, place, object, person, can be an inspiration. Also, other designers and their work can be a great source of inspiration.
What tools do you use for designing?
Marija: Photoshop and a mouse (I suck at hand drawing).
Milos: Photoshop and Illustrator, and also just mouse, no tablet. I want to learn 3D modeling as well, but I can’t get myself to start that.
What is the first step you take after you get an idea for a design and how does your process looks like afterwards?
Milos: I know most people first do a rough sketch on piece of paper before they start, but I usually just get right to work, and try to create the image I have in my head. I start with determining the perspective, after that I create basic shapes, apply styles on them, add new shapes, and so on. My main problem is that if I don’t make good progress in first 15 minutes, I usually procrastinate, so now I have bunch of unfinished projects on my hard drive.
Marija: First I find some reference images. I’m still working on my issues with perspective, so those images can be really helpful. After that process is a lot of experimenting, a lot of coffee, and a lot of consulting with Milos.
There are designers, whose works are recognizable by their style. Do you think your works have their own style?
Marija: Building recognizable style takes a lot of time and work. I’m still learning and experimenting with different styles and hopefully in time I will find my own.
Milos: I can’t say I have really recognizable style, I like to experiment a lot, but I always try to make my icons clean, symbolic, and easily recognizable.
I really like good food and drink. Therefore I’m very interested in what your favorite food and drink is?
Marija: I’m not a “one type of food” person. I like trying new things. As for drink – coffee, coffee, and some more coffee.
Milos: Pasta! I could eat pasta 24/7, and pasta and sauces are meals I can cook best. Coffee is my favorite drink as well, I can’t live without it, Marija and me dream about opening a coffee shop one day.
I’ve looked at your gallery on deviantART and I can tell you, you have some great works over there and I like it a lot. What do you think is your best work (so far) and why?
Milos: Definitely Senary. I’ve always wanted to create icon theme for entire system, and Senary is just that. I’ve spent a lot of time creating all the icons, and also, they were inspired by one of my favorite shows: Battlestar Galactica.
Marija: I think my best work is yet to come. So far, my favorite is Diwali.
I have a favorite designer and I think most of our readers have. Can you tell us who your favorite designer is and please tell us what’s so special about him/her?
Milos: For me it’s a tie between Carles Carbonell (carlitus) and Jojo Mendoza (deleket). Carlitus’ Noia icons are the first icons I’ve downloaded, and they inspired me to start creating my own, his style is fun and unique. Deleket is a machine, he made so many icons, and I really like his cartoonish style.
Marija: deviantArt gave me the opportunity to meet some great designers and to see their work, but my favorite designer is actually Milos. Maybe I’m a bit biased, but knowing the whole story behind each and every of his designs makes me respect his work even more.
Besides designing stuff, I like to listen to music, watch movies and play videogames. So please tell us what’s the last song you’ve listened to, the last movie you’ve watched and last videogame you’ve played or we should listen, watch or play?
Marija: Last game I’ve played was Plants vs. Zombies, but beware if you want to play it, it’s extremely addictive. The last movie I saw was Up, and song is Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol.
Milos: Lately I’ve been listening to Czech band called Khoiba, I’d recommend it to anyone, and if I have to choose one song it would be Taste It. Last movie I’ve seen was Up (watched it with Marija), and last (good) game I’ve played was Mini Ninjas, which was a lot of fun.
Have you done any commercial work already? If so, how was the experience? If not, would you (like to) do commercial work?
Milos: Yes, ranging from logos to icons for websites to textures for video games. Apart from one or two unpleasant experiences, mostly I’ve worked for clients who were understanding and professional. The worst type of clients are “I’ll know it when I see it”, who don’t really know what they want, or don’t know how to explain it, working with them can be long and tiresome.
Marija: So far I’ve had 2 clients, and I was rather lucky, they saw my work on deviantArt and offered me a job, and they were both pleasant experiences. I like doing commercial work, besides the money that we students always lack, it’s an opportunity to see your work on someone’s website or product, and to create something different than things you usually create.
Thanks again for providing Iconpaper with the opportunity to interview you. Any message for newbies in (icon) design and/or final thoughts or advice for our readers?
Milos: Thank you for this great opportunity. I have two advices for new designers: 1. Recycle – in a new project, you’ll always do something you’ve done before, so you can re-use parts of your old work and incorporate it in new, which saves a lot of time. 2. Be persistent – things will look hard, but if you work hard enough and practice, you’ll get the job done.
Marija: Thank you for thinking of my work as attention worthy. This was my first interview, and I had fun, which is my message to all new designers – try new things, and most of all have fun!