Vera Cotuna Showcase & Interview
If you are a fan of beautifully crafted, corporate designs, Vera Cotuna is someone you are able to become very interested in. Based in Romania, this graphic designer’s portfolio showcases elegent logos, excellent photography and aethetically dynamic interface design which is sure to impress. In this exclusive interview Designers Best Friend talks creative careers and dynamic design with Vera.
Are you able to describe who you are and what you do?
My name is Vera and I am a freelance graphic designer from Romania with a BA in Design. I specialize in Visual Identity, but I also do User Interface Design, Editorial Design and I’m diving into eBook design for mobile devices. I love Photography, but It’s only a hobby.
How would you describe your portfolio?
I’m not sure if there’s one word to describe my work. If it’s designs I do for myself, or when I get to decide everything and have my own way, it’s minimalism. I love simple, clean, minimal designs. But that doesn’t work every time. With client work sometimes you have to build on something that already exists, and it’s also important to listen to what the client wants and needs. Most of the time you don’t get to take all the decisions. But I always try to put a little bit of my personality into everything I design.
When did you first decide you wanted to pursue a creative career?
I’ve always been very artsy, especially as a child, but it must have been in high-school when I started thinking seriously about taking this path. Although it was never a very realistic dream, having no background or any previous studies in art or design, but with a lot of support from my loved ones I decided to study design in college. This gave me a lot of confidence to go on to start a career in design.
What is your favourite medium to work in?
I prefer familiar environments, places I know well, that’s where I feel comfortable. I like being at my desk in my own home knowing that I can focus on my work without being disturbed or distracted. I’ve always admired people who could just grab their laptops and work in a coffee shop, but It’s not something I could do. I would be too distracted by all the new objects and people around me. I like to be in my own bubble when I work, without anyone poking it constantly Although, when you have a deadline and have to work around the clock it doesn’t really matter where you are as long as you have your tools.
How did you get to where you are today?
Around the age of 15 I discovered Photoshop, doing amateurish retouches on some of my photos. Then I found tutorials online and started doing all kind of silly little designs, buttons for websites and so on, until I found out what real designers do and I wanted to do the same. A few years later, still in high-school I started learning Illustrator and then in college I learned InDesign. The software I learned by myself but the theory and the fundamentals of graphic design have been taught to me in college. Design blogs and websites I’ve been reading religiously were of great help and I’ve always invested in design books.
Getting my work online, on as many design communities as possible, has also been immensely helpful. Not only did I receive helpful feedback and critique on my work, but it has also brought me clients.[divider_top]
What is the biggest challenge you have found, being in the creative industry?
I think in general the biggest challenge for young creatives is to find their own voice and to have a unique style. We’re constantly told that everything has been done before and it’s almost impossible to be innovative and original these days.
And there is the fear of failure, so we tend follow the design trends and do what’s popular because it’s a familiar path and it has worked for others before, instead of risking and trying to approach the problem in our own way.[divider_top]
What inspires you?
I draw my inspiration from other forms of art, such as films. I love Tim Burton! And Tarantino and Guy Ritchie! Such fun and inspiring creatives! They always put their fingerprint on their works! Great actors also inspire me. The way they become anyone and anything through their work. Gary Oldman in particular, for the past few years. He never ceases to amaze me!
I also love music. Finnish metal band Nightwish is my favorite, their lyrics give me goosebumps every time, but I listen to all genres. I really enjoy classical music, and all things that seem to be from a world past, classic literature, opera, ballet – it’s my escapism.[divider_top]
Do you have an all time favourite piece of work you have created?
I don’t think I have have an all-time favorite design of mine. It’s the experience and the process of a design that I love most. So my favorite work is always the one I’m currently working on or the last piece, because the memory of it, of getting something done and being pleased with it is still fresh. I like all my designs, obviously, because I don’t finish and deliver them unless I’m 100% satisfied with the result, but it’s the journey that I enjoy most of all.
Do you have a favourite colour or set of colours to work in?
As a personal preference, it’s turquoise, it has always been my favorite color. But when it comes to a design i’m working on, it’s always what works best for that particular piece regardless of my personal preferences. I always choose the palette carefully and do research, also bearing in mind the psychology of colors.
Colors should be paid as much attention to as the design itself.
If you could give some advice to aspiring creative minds, what would it be?
Never stop learning. No matter if you are self-taught or a college graduate, never think that you know enough and there’s nothing else for you to learn. Design is about constant learning, it’s multidisciplinary, it evolves continuously and you will have to keep up with it.
Practice. You learn a lot by practicing. If you don’t have ideas redo famous works, add your own twist to them, but never forget to give credit!
Do research. No matter what you design and how confident and comfortable you are with the subject.
Have an online presence. Join design communities. It’s a great way to get your work noticed and receive valuable feedback.
Don’t take criticism personally. Praises may stroke your ego, but criticism is what you learn from and makes you tough! Take risks and don’t be afraid of failure!
And finally, love what you do and be optimistic about it! No matter what it is. The quality of your work and life will improve significantly.
style=”text-align: center;”>[divider_top] [heading_2 type=”divider”]Portfolio[/heading_2]