What led you into design?
When I was two, I drew an adorable five-legged horse—my mom instantly identified it as a piece of art and sent me to an art school. Throughout my school years, I’ve been creating wall newspapers for all possible events, backdrops for theatrical performances, and annual portraits of my mom as a present for her birthday. Then, I enrolled in a university for a design course. Design turned to be much simpler in terms of applied efforts, but much more sophisticated in terms of meanings—since then, I’m solving this riddle and just can’t stop doing this.
What does a typical day look like?
I desperately love order, schedules, and getting things done according to a plan. Every morning, I make coffee, water my flowers, cook breakfast, and draw up a to-do list. Then I open my laptop and remain in the world of pixels till evening. Over the years, I learned how to design with the same ease almost everywhere: in a train, at home, in a cafe, at the sea coast or in a taxi—so, sometimes I organize an improvised office on-the go for myself. I like to get a chance to find myself in an unfamiliar environment where new factors insert unexpected changes and force me to reorganize. This refreshes me, turns upside-down and prevents from petrifying.
What’s your workstation setup?
Where do you go to get inspired?
Outside) Unexpected findings work best for me. An incredibly laid out herbarium in a library book, accidentally discovered faded posters, a funny drawing on a beach pebble, picturesquely chipped paint on a facade, an accidentally overheard conversation. It’s so cool when you get a chance to find something natural, raw, something not treated by anybody else—yet, I also like looking at beautiful images created by other people. For such, I go to are.na, there I can always find something new. These are my picks of the day:
Also, I love magazines. I explore the bold layouts in Fräulein and read Mousse Magazine when I want to feel very smart. Sometimes I get a chance to catch De Witte Raaf newspaper—the text in Dutch is a riddle for me, but I like the layouts and advertisements so much. Last year, I started collecting issues of The Happy Reader—a simple and beautiful magazine about words and texts. It's nice to read it and to simply hold it in my hands.
And of course I love books! I keep an eye on the new issues of Lugemik—a bookshop and publishing house operating on the premises of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia. I like their simple approach. Their book Don’t Wind It Up, Turn It On is one of my favorites, I keep it on my desk for visual inspiration. I get books for reading in AdMarginem publishing. Most often, that’s something by Olivia Laing and Susan Sontag. The book I’ve read most times is Five Lectures on Curatorship by Viktor Misiano.
What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?
I love when great design doesn’t limit itself to just an image and goes further embracing the processes and the approach. I love Endel—almost an art project, but open for use in everyday life. That’s an unusual thing that is equally pleasant to interact with visually, tactilely, and from the viewpoint of sound and logic. Also, I keep an eye on Brickit—it was launched recently, but seems it will soon turn into a very cool project. At first, it captivates you with assembled visuals and then with its promising idea.
What pieces of work are you most proud of?
All the stuff I’ve made for Readymag! From the first images laid out strictly by the grid to web pages. I’ve never thought I could start laying out web projects so boldly—two years ago I was afraid of it. I started out creating several issues from the Readymag Stories series, then I found out that I can act like this. I’m very proud of the first iteration of my online portfolio made with Readymag—since then, I haven’t created something equally simple and sophisticated at the same time!
What design challenges do you face at your company?
Not trying to chase the impossible and stop in time. I always think that I can do better—as soon as a project gets published, I feel the desire to change something in it—reimagine, improve, or make some corrections. To cope with this feeling, I write down all my ideas and use them in the next rounds, it helps!
What music do you listen to whilst designing?
Any advice for ambitious designers?
Don’t be afraid to try and approach everything as a game. I try to recover my childhood experience—how responsibly and thoroughly I’ve been building homes for toy kittens, how attentive to details I was, and how much I believed in the idea. Full immersion, maximum passion, and interest for the process. Building worlds from pixels and populating them with letters turns to be just as interesting <3