Her exceptional eye for detail, knowledge of visual effects, compositing and animation, were a few of the traits that recommended Deana, one year ago, as a Visual Designer in Endava. From her first days within the company, she embraced the challenge that leads her on a path of finding creative solutions and making new friends. Read the entire story to find out the complexity of a genuinely remarkable evolution of passion.
Describe your professional path so far.
During my whole professional career, I experimented with different visual tools. First, it was analogue photography and then, since the beginning of the year 2000, digital media. Endless possibilities of fast manipulation with visual material were at the tip of my fingers for the first time, and I was hooked for life!
I majored in Computer Arts, and I have a PhD in Digital Arts. As a freelance designer, I was often experimenting with animation, visual effects and projection mapping. That’s how I started to work as a VFX artist in one of the biggest postproduction studios in Belgrade. I was thrilled to work on high budget movies and commercials for 4 years. I learned a vast amount of technical stuff about visual effects, compositing and animation. Simultaneously with my PhD studies, I was teaching at the Academy of Arts as an assistant of Digital Arts, which was a great opportunity and a massive challenge for me. I felt both inspired and fulfilled to contribute to someone’s growth.
A few years later, I joined Endava and felt the same thing – the atmosphere was open for knowledge sharing, for learning and improving steadily, and that made the best and the biggest impression on me.
Since I started working as a Visual Designer in the Belgrade DU, I am busy with some exciting projects. Most of the time, I develop animations for an application. In interactive systems, animated material is essential. People love to see graphics moving or transforming naturally. It makes them feel less uncanny. Motion can be used to express a distinct style. It focuses attention on what's important, and it also makes UI easy to use, intuitive, discoverable and recognizable.
Tell us about what drives you at Endava.
Even if I had vast work experience before joining Endava, this job brought something new to my professional experience. I joined Endava 1 year ago, and my impressions about the company and working atmosphere are pretty fresh. After going through different phases of fear, euphoria and anxiety in the beginning, I finally relaxed and started enjoying my projects.
Despite the common prejudice people have about corporations - that it lacks creative freedom, I feel more than free; not just in proposing or changing something design-wise, but also in trying new things. Sometimes I’m diving into something completely new where I’m challenged to find a creative solution, and that’s very exciting for me. I have enough time to learn new things and do research on specific topics. I like the feeling that I’m contributing and growing constantly. I truly believe that a creative environment like this one is the place where great ideas are born. It’s a place where you are free to try new things and to experiment.
Few weeks after I started in Endava, my friend Ana, who is a UX/UI Designer, ask me to participate with her at the Innovation Lab - an internal competition, with an exciting project. I was thrilled as this was a great challenge for someone like me who was starting out in Endava. We worked hard with a great deal of enthusiasm, and soon the first results were there. Our small team achieved amazing results in the local, regional and final competition. I learned a lot in the process, and I made great friends on the way, which makes me particularly happy.
How would your colleagues describe you in one sentence?
Our design team in Belgrade is small, but we are growing every day. We understand and support each other a lot. In that kind of environment, it’s easy to share thoughts, opinions and even the wildest ideas. Other colleagues probably see me as a person with the biggest monitor in the office, who gets to do some super-cool, colourful stuff!
Name some books/tutorials/speeches that had an effect on your career path.
I am finding inspiration in a diversity of topics and approaches. For example: digging through digital archives is my favourite, reading about new media theory. The thing I love exploring any time of the day is Google maps! Here are a few links to the things that I often go back to:
- Design inspiration: UI Bucket on Instagram;
- Technical tutorials: videocopilot.net;
- And a pure inspiration for life: ubu.com, archive.org.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting work at Endava today?
I`d advise myself not to be shy and to tell things from my perspective and share ideas more freely. This environment is open and ready for new concepts, ideas, and suggestions.
Tell us more about yourself outside of work.
Recently, a massive part of my personal and academic growth ended since I finished my PhD studies in Digital Art, which was my main focus for the past 6 years. Working on it, I became occupied with immersive environments and perception of digital narratives in physical spaces.I did significant research that employed the video archive of the National Television of Serbia, where I found materials that I used in my artwork (installation) called: "Foundry of Poems". You can check out the website: www.foundryofpoems.com.
Besides my artistic affinity, I like to explore industrial spaces, manufactures, factories for one of many reasons: architecturally, historically and technically. I'm passionate about camping, flying kites and geography quizzes.
Last but not least, tell us how your passions have contributed to your day to day job.
In my professional and personal life, I always like trying new things and experimenting with what I already know. I love challenges that make me improve my skills. I think this is an essential part of who I am. I like trying out new tools that I can work with, and I am a fast learner. When I feel I’m making some improvement and I’m learning something new, that makes me strive for even more.