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Interview | Goran Lizdek

Contributed by: Rusmir Arnautovic
Date: Wednesday 06, January 2010
Interview | Goran Lizdek

We asked. He answered. Read an interview with Goran Lizdek. Art Director from Bosnia.

1. Hello and thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
Hey, you're welcome. Don't worry about my time, I'm a graphic designer, so we always have plenty of free time in our daily schedule... I also use that time to crack ironic jokes, apparently.

2. Can you tell us a little about yourself to help people who aren't familiar with you, get to know you a little better?
Well, I'm 27, I was born in Sarajevo and I graduated advertising design at the Secondary School for Applied Arts. After that, I continued my education by studying graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts and still have that annoying "diploma pending" status. Currently I work in Communis advertising agency. I can also say that I'm a passionate photographer, so photography itself, plays an important role in my work.

3. What first got you into art and design?
That would probably be the very first drawing that I made, during an art class, in first year of elementary school. My teacher seemed to be quite impressed, which, at the time, was instant fuel for self confidence and for the desire to keep delivering better results. Although I always knew, for as long as I can remember, that I'm going to end up in Art school, by the time I got there I started realizing that drawing (or any kind of fine art) isn't going to put bread on the table, so the only place where I could commercialize my art, was with graphic design.

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4. What does your "toolset" consist of?
Let me see... There's this software that everybody seems to be using now, I think it's called Photoshop or something. Besides that, I can't really imagine doing anything visually striking without the help of a good photo, so my Canon gear is my second best friend... And an iMac with a really big display will make things run real smooth.

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5. What do you enjoy most about your work?
The art of visual communication - the ability to say so much only with images. That gives you work that is so simple and yet so complex at the same time. I just love the feeling you get when you see a great idea, where no other form of communication but the visual exists in that moment, yet everything is crystal clear, and you have an impression as if you've just read a 500 page literal masterpiece. But that's also why I have a major problem with what is known as contemporary art today, especially the meaning of "conceptual" art, because of the lack of communication; there's no more open dialog between the artist and the observer. I think it's rather selfish and egocentric asking others to get fully involved and informed in everything you do just so they could comprehend your message... if there is any.

6. What do you like least about your job?
Soulless commercialization, and the sole fact that our work is mainly still based on built-to-order system. It's like making your babies to some other parents' specifications. And yet, they expect us to put all of our love into the process.

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7. What is your worst enemy of creativity?
Deadlines

8. Designers are always going through ups and downs - creative blocks, can't find enough work and then become overloaded with work, dealing with the stresses, how do you handle it?
I don't really think that there are downs in what we do, everything you do and however you do it, just eventually leads you forward. Now, creative block can be tricky indeed. You just can't train nor educate any graphic designer to come up with a mind blowing idea in the right moment that suits you. It just doesn't work that way, and It's the same problem as with any creative related business. I personally hate those situations, and sometimes I think I would rather do a thousand page text layout, than try to come up with one great idea. As for the stress, well, I had my share of serious stress outside of work, so actually my piece of mind is immune to stress and anxiety caused by work. And I'm really grateful for that. There are simply things to be done, and things that require a bit of your sweat. Sure you're sometimes going to wish that your client is struck by lightning, or a meteorite hits your agency, while you're having a day off of course, but as long as it's healthy anger, and as long as you don't go to bed in the evening with a ten ton burden on your chest, you're going to be fine.

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9. Many, if not all artists admit music has a major influence on them when creating a new piece of artwork. What kind of music do you consider to be the best "fuel"?
Actually you might get surprised that I avoid listening to music during work at all costs. I only listen to music if I'm doing something that doesn't require concentration, but when I'm into the mental part of the work, I just can't handle it. I just feel distracted by the fact that only one half of my brain is working on the realization of the idea, while the other half is occupied with listening to the lyrics and beats.

10. Is there someone in particular that's been a major influence to your style/technique?
In that artistic approach, I think Dave McKean has the most credit. He just thinks in so many different ways, finds symbolism in most unusual places and creates really amazing works full of thought provoking elements. Then of course, there are ex Designer's Republic - those guys just turned the design world upside down with their chaotic visual language and yet they retained everything we always liked about design esthetics. I don't actually know any graphic designer that is not even partially influenced by their work, even if, somehow, they don't know about them at all.

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11. With a wide range in style, where do you look for inspiration?
Well, trust me, if I knew where to look for it, I would probably make the answer to the eighth question a lot shorter. I don't know, it's never the same, I just go with my own pace and see where it takes me.

12. Are you currently working in a graphic related field? And if so, what advice would you give to aspiring designers trying to break into the field?
Yes, I work as an art director in Communis. As for the advice, well, as long as you have the ambition, the will, the persistence and love for what you do, everything will fit into place eventually and you will find yourself right where you wanted to be.

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13. What do you like/dislike about the digital art community?
Likes: Easy connectivity with the rest of the community and the instant ability to expose and share your work with a very wide audience.
Dislikes: None that I can think of.

14. What does the future hold for you and your work?
Don't know. Haven't talked to an Oracle lately...

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