Interviewed on 27.02.2018
5 minute read

Nanda Mentesheva 🇧🇬

Graphic Designer

Short intro

Being hyperactive most of the time I try to bring creative solutions and joyful atmosphere to my teams.

What do you do for a living?

I am a graphic designer based in Sofia. Started with digital (UI/UX) and switched to print (Branding and Packaging). Alongside my job, I am also studying Illustration, Book and Printed Graphics at the National Academy of Arts.

When did you find your passion for Graphic Design?

Being a child of mountain guides, I’ve had my share of travel adventures that have had great impact on my creativity. I would often see a landscape and paint the colours of the feeling that place gave me with whichever tool was at hand. I remember experimenting with materials and techniques, surrounded by all my colour pencils on unfamiliar floors. Those weren’t your typical child drawings, though. I had the tendency to stylise my impressions, which I still do now.

I still keep my colourful notebooks that i was bringing everywhere. This one I think is from 2009.

How long have you been doing Graphic Design?

I have been working in the industry for three and a half years, alongside studying.

Describe the beginning of your day

I find it very difficult to wake up in the morning and need at least two coffees to get me going. My first job in the morning, as soon as I sit at the computer, is researching a selection of my favourite websites and blogs for articles, examples of excellent work and simply inspiration. Once The coffees take effect, I dive into the deep end.

What’s your workspace?

I do not particularly like working from home. When I have a freelance task, I walk around with my laptop and sit at places I like and find inspiring. At my office, I like to keep my desk tidy but sometimes miserably fail at it. My flawless companion is my yellow camper van and it always sits at my desk to remind me about the days outside the office.

Another photo from the office.

When it is not digital.

What’s your source for inspiration?

I love seeing successful works and submerge into the concept behind them. How they transform excessive amounts of information into accessible and enjoyable visual communication. My everyday scrolls are, Brand new, Thedieline. The past few months I discovered that making collections in Instagram can be really inspiring and useful, especially when most of the people you follow are creatives. It is crucial for a designer to learn to adapt to a broad spectre of environments. My greatest source of inspiration is the differences between the aesthetic norms of different cultures, which is why I travel as much and as often as I can.

What works are you most proud of?

The most difficult task I have is to feel completely proud of any given work. A few of them have come close, but I always feel I could have done that little bit more to make it that little bit better. One day, I might create my best work, but I like to think this day is ahead of me and I have not yet peaked, because I still have much to learn.

“Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking. Traveller, the path is your tracks And nothing more. Traveller, there is no path The path is made by walking. By walking you make a path And turning, you look back At a way you will never tread again” Antonio Machado.

Dermico dermatological company extreme sports photographer / redesign

NM personal logo

I’ve always had difficulties with realistic drawing, therefore these two were a great challenge.

What are the tools you use in your day to day life?

I spend most of my day using a pencil, keyboard, a mouse and a tablet, and in the coming months I will be using electric ink a great deal for a project I have undertaken. But I do believe that anything can be a tool, as long as you have the creative mind and the imminent inner need to express yourself in art.

Do you follow any set of principles for your work?

I'm not sure if they are principles per se, but I have some things.

What’s your favourite movie?

Anything by Wes Anderson – I adore his compositions and colours and the fact that the tiniest detail is always perfect with him! I also love the screenplays of Cristopher Nolan, mainly for the deep thought put into them and required for fully comprehending them.

What's your favourite book?

Recently I am really fascinated by Alexander Sekulov. My all time favourite is Ray Bradbury (“Fahrenheit 451”, “Dandelion wine”). The book that I love since I was child is “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende. It is magic how different a book can be when you go through it over the years. You can learn a lot from children’s books, free your imagination and they have these beautiful illustrations.

What advice would you give to people that start out with Graphic Design?

Just observe everything around you and invest thought into it. The goal is to achieve maximum meaning with minimum means and it is all about organising information. You need to be great at the art of observation: living in a bubble and not being able to get detached from it is lethal to a designer. And always keep looking at successful projects, seek them out actively and learn from them .

Have you ever thought on empowering your creative community in any way, shape or form?

Workshops and networking events are crucial for creatives to meet and exchange knowledge. I am a very communicative person and capitalise on my connections by introducing compatible pairs or groups of people who can be of use to one another. I am really happy because I can see the growing interest in both creating and attending these events within the past year. A perfect example of an event during which you can learn about the process or new techniques and meet inspiring creatives is Fill& Stroke.

Thank you, Nanda, for being such a positive creative being. It feels great that you're a part of our design community.