Razvan, can you tell us how it all began? How did you became a designer and why?
Razvan: I was always into art as far back as I can remember, from drawing as a kid to playing around with different software my big brother had laying around, like the older versions of Photoshop and 3DS Max. But I guess it really took off somewhere back in 2005 when I grabbed the opportunity and started designing party flyers for local clubbing nights in my hometown. The websites and forums that were featuring these events at the time were a huge help in showing off my skills to a larger audience, making a name for myself and slowly creating a small portfolio. I gradually reached a national level where I was working with promoters from around the country. There was no path at the beginning, one thing led to another and just somehow I orientated myself to the stuff I enjoyed doing. At the time I was studying architecture in high school and started combining graphic design with my technical projects, the results captivated me in such away that I almost lost interest for my field of study and decided that design is what I want to do in the future.
When it comes to branding, a lot of your work is based on and around the music industry – musicians, DJs, festivals, events, etc. Can you tell us more about this?
Razvan: Music and design always went hand in hand for me. I have this intrinsic need to give music an image, a visual identity, so this area suits me very well. I love the fact that I can combine the two and give it what I think is the right feel. Plus, I get to meet and work with a lot of great people. I think that, in order to make a brand stand out and reach it’s goal, online presence is key alongside a bold image, at the same time mentaining that offline relationship with clients and targeted costumers. Constantly improving and assuring yourself that things go in a forward moving direction by brining quality services or products to the table.
By keeping a good image both online and offline, good public relations, you are making sure that it’s living up to the promise of the brand you created.
What is your secret behind these impressive posters? Do you use some stock images and stock vectors or everything is manually drawn?
Razvan: It’s a combination of both stock images and custom created elements. I use a lot of 3D objects and shapes wich I make in Cinema 4D, render them, then bring them all together in Photoshop for color correction and arrangement. It all gets built from there. I don’t use vector art that often, but sometimes comes in handy when working with huge things like hand drawn typography or 3D work every once in a while.
Probably one of the most common asked questions when it comes to designers: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Razvan: I guess I just get excited about a project I’m making and it’s that initial idea that comes to my mind and triggers my creative buttons getting me all hyped up. Also seeing other people’s great work gets me in the mood and inspires me to do the same. Being in a good mood and having a positive state of mind always gets me going. It’s very important that I listen to music everytime I’m working on something, it creates this soundtrack that helps me focus.
Do you have any artists or designers that you admire?
Razvan: There are a lot of hugely talented designers out there that I admire. Scott Hansen (ISO50/Tycho) is the first one who comes to mind because he really influenced my earlier work, he was and still is an inspiration for a lot of people; not only is he a great designer, but he also makes really good music accompanied by his own visually enchanting artwork. Peter Jaworowski, Dennis Sibeijn, Nick Ainley, Sorin Bechira, Alex Trochut, Kim Høltermand, just to name a few.
What are your plans for the future? Do you plan on going freelance for a while, or you are already hunting for a job in the graphic design domain?
Razvan: I will probably be doing both, if time allows it. I’m planing on getting into the industry, but meanwhile I’ll continue doing freelance work. I also have to take time on finishing up my MA in advertising & book graphics, so maybe school will come first for a while. Keep on learning as much as I can. I’m getting more and more into animation and motion graphics and would like to focus on that in the near future.
Any advice for future designers?
Razvan: First of all, you need to like what you do, so you can have fun with it. Have patience and keep doing it. Get better and make great stuff by constantly experimenting and aiming for more. The tools and technology available today allow you to do some pretty amazing stuff, so there basicly is no limit on what you can create, the only thing is to separate yourself from the rest. Don’t forget to promote yourself by joining a community or having an online portfolio where people can see your work. Also learn as much as you can from other people and ask for their feedback. Critique is very important when starting out. Not only will you get loads of ideas but it will also get you exposure, so ask for opinions and get around the people that matter.. The more people you meet that are into the same stuff you’re into will help alot in making connections with possible clients or even employers.
One final question: How do you like Branding Magazine?
Razvan: I think it’s a great online magazine! Really well put together and organized, which makes it easy to browse through. I really enjoy going through the great written articles, looking at awesome ideas from this whole branding spectrum and It’s an honour to be among the creative individuals featured here.