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Interview | Peđa Kazazović

Contributed by: Rusmir Arnautovic
Date: Friday 08, January 2010
Interview | Peđa Kazazović

We asked. He answered. Read an interview with Peđa Kazazović. Art Director from Bosnia.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi there! My name is Pedja Kazazovic, and I consider myself to be a multimedia artist / designer / producer. I studied a product design course at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, and upon concluding my education, I started exploring new forms of expression. Since I also studied music for almost a decade - I combined the visual and the audible into multimedia art pieces. I am always about expressing ideas, concepts, thoughts, trying to reach out into the new and striving to tell stories to whoever would listen. I currently work as an art director for Communis, one of the leading advertising agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am also a President of The Organization for Multimedia Culture, called VIBE.

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2. How did you first get into graphic design?
Well, as product design is a broader area than graphic design, I started working on visual solutions during my course of study. We had to develop different presentations, graphic posters and other important items before any business pitch or presentation. As time went by, I got more and more proficient and my skills improved. The critical point, when I got really interested in graphic design, was when I discovered animation, film editing and other media, which incorporated the visual with sounds, music and other audible elements.

3. What do you enjoy most about your work?
The feeling when you transfer people into your fantasies, visions, when they feel instantly upon seeing your work what you felt during its creation - cannot be replaced by any other feeling. I had numerous people calling me up, crying or being really upset by something I did. The warmth and the amounts of positive energy I get from everyone else is the main fuel for wanting to go even further.

4. What do you like least about your job?
Having to work on unimportant stuff, like formatting newspaper ads and other things that take a lot of your energy, and which give you nothing spiritual in return. Also, working with ignorant people who have no decent understanding of the whole process, and who have no idea of how much energy and work it takes to create something new and unique. Also, I think that Bosnia and Herzegovina is still not ripe enough for any sort of creative leaps forward. People here are still afraid of new things and rely mostly on copying stuff from abroad.

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5. What is your worst enemy of creativity?
Tight deadlines and people with no basic education about design process. Having to work with these two is a sure road to mediocre solutions.

6. What do you do when you start a new project and you have NO ideas?
It takes time to ferment your ideas. First of all, whatever I do, I never go to my work place and start doing it all at once. I understand that it takes time for everything good to emerge, so I basically just rest, take time off and let my brain move freely. I go to various places with people, as they are my true inspiration for everything I do. I just sit, observe or even listen to some music that gives me the feeling that I want to convey through the design piece. Then, ideas start flowing and it is just a question of filtering them and finding the one that gets you 'electric'!

7. What inspires you the most?
It all comes basically down to several things: people, music, art and current trends. Art has always been the first step in everything I do - thinking about the past, great artists and their works, replicating what has gone before in today's terms, etc. People and their behavior have always been a great source of inspiration as the final outcome will definitely have to communicate something to them. Observing how they behave under certain circumstances can tell you a lot even about yourself. Music is the source of great inspiration and I have no restrictions as to the genre, artists and performers. As long as it makes butterflies in my stomach, it is good enough.

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8. Did you start out with traditional mediums or digital?
During my high school, which I attended in London, I was mostly classically trained. I painted a lot, did sculptures and even developed analog photographs. I think it is crucial to deal with the basics first in order to fully understand the capacity and possibilities of the digital era.

9. What programs do you favor when creating?
First of all, Photoshop is the program that is basic for everything I do. Illustrator is also useful, as sometimes vector art gives that something 'extra' to everything. I also use Premiere and After Effects, 3Ds Max, Soundbooth and Cubase.

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10. When you sit down to start a new piece, what is your thought process?
I always get nervous at the first instance. I always think 'Will I live up to my previous work?' I have that first period of creating various ideas that are just rough sketches of something that might work. This allows me to release thoughts and I always write down everything that comes up to my mind. Then, I put everything away to cool down a little after what I look at it and see clearly everything that was crossing my mind. This is the stage when I decide what solution is the best for the task.

11. Do you work in a studio or anywhere exclusive to your work?
Besides my normal work position as an Art Director, which gives me enough space for creative work, I also have a certain studio, set up at home that I use to work when I am chillin'. This can happen even at the midnight or early in the morning, depending on the outburst of inspiration.

12. Your blend of photographic and vector elements is quite unique. What process do you go through in pairing shapes with photographs?
Well, if you look at my work, the main and essential characteristic of it is the use of photography. Collage is the main media, which I use, as it can give you freedom to express everything that comes to your mind. It doesn't have to have any sense or any logic behind it. It all comes down to the one essential question: 'Does it feel right, or not?' If I sense that these two different elements fit together, they stay. Sometimes I remove elements after a couple of days of being convinced that they fit. But that is all the question of creativity - you never know what might happen next.

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13. Let's talk a little about color theory. How do you go about choosing the colours you use in your pieces?
Color is very important as it can open up the whole design and release the emotion you want to convey, or it can damp the whole feeling. You have to be very careful with choosing color. In my case I analyze the emotions of the piece and go back to basic symbolic use of colors. Studying art and various artists has given me insight into what other artists considered some colors to represent certain feelings. Nevertheless I rely on my inner gut and I trust myself, as well. Cold and warm, distant and close, smart or stupid are all opposite examples, which require opposite colors to represent them.

14. Have you ever been printed or published?
I have had opportunities to have my work printed and published. Also, as I am a multimedia designer, my short films have been published and promoted on different websites and I also had a substantial television promotion.

15. What artists do you look to for inspiration?
Besides the traditional artists, great artists of the past eras, I look for outrageous individuals that stir up the present art scenery. David La Chapelle is a great individual whose work I truly admire. Testino is the other individual who I would also like to mention. Mr. Brainwash is a designer whose work is also inspirational in every form. There are many other individuals in various segments that inspire me, whether it is music, design, fashion, style or any other form of expression.

16. There are quite a number of people trying to get into the abstract design style. Can you give any suggestions or pointers on how or where to start in this growingly popular style?
First of all, knowing basic techniques of composition and assembling graphic items might be helpful, but not necessary. I think more important is letting go of the expectations what the final outcome should be and just freely experimenting until you surprise even yourself. You can create so many shapes, styles, messages and other compositions when preconceptions and expected solutions are neglected. Let your brain do the work and allow it to work freely.

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17. What hobbies do you have? What do you do to unwind?
My wide spectrum of interest gives me also a various ways of unwinding. It can be traveling, listening to music, going to see a play or a film, talking to close people and lots of observing. I like sitting in shopping malls and just looking at different things, from the way people dress to the way they interact between one another. This gives me enough inspiration and also takes my mind off some things that might trouble me at that very moment.

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