I have recently started my adventure on the STEM ambassador path (more information here). I was wondering what would be a good introduction, right before I’ll go around convincing young and old people on why a career in STEM is a good choice. Then eureka! I knew what I could do first. I could interview women I know that choose to go into STEM careers and are doing well in it.
Last week Julia was my guest.
Today – we have Weronika, the former Lead Designer for a company called Magic Memories. Hello Weronika!
(as with Gustaw, remember we Polish people do not have a V in our alphabet, thus we are using W as a V 😉 )
Hey Gustaw, thanks for having me. Good to be here!
What do you currently do?
Recently I became a housewife for the time being, but my occupation is Graphic and Spatial Design. I design space for touristic attractions with a main focus on guests’ experience.
Can you tell me a bit about your journey? How did you get where you are now?
I’ve started as a freelance graphic designer, trying to catch as many projects as possible. I have graduated from School of Fine Arts, so I had a good understanding of the importance of composition and aesthetics, but I was never afraid of new technology and digital art was something that interested me.
What drew you to the tech industry?
Traditional art and crafts are a great way to start the journey, to learn different techniques like drawing, typography, composition etc. They built your imagination, but they have limits. Available software can enhance those skills.
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
I had an opportunity to volunteer some of my time to work for a foundation for several years, and its Director became a very influential mentor to me. I was helping with organization of events, and this turned out to be very helpful in my later work. I also try to surround myself with creative people and above all I search for interesting projects around the globe, look into who creators were, try to know more about them and their work.
How do you keep yourself motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
I am a confirmed procrastinator, so to help myself stay focused I usually start each project with thorough research. Preparation is key. If I have all information on the table it’s easier for me to start creating. It’s always good to know your client, what’s the audience, what are the clients expectations and what can be achieved in regards to the budget, timeframe and laws of social behaviour.
What are your current goals? What are you currently working on?
Now I am focused on family and raising my children ☺️ I hope that together with my husband we will be able to influence them with things we believe give a solid base for future self-growth.
What are you the proudest of in your career so far?
I had to self-educate in digital design. At the beginning I have reached out to a friend, who at the time was working as a freelance web designer, to ask him for some basic lessons. But after that I’ve spent hours, days, weeks and years learning the software, searching online for any available tutorials. Design industry constantly evolves. If you want to achieve best results it’s best to do lots of research, training and experiments.
What is the favourite part of your job?
Coming out with a concept and then later seeing a ready project in situ.
What has been your greatest challenge from working in the tech industry?
Learning how new technology and space affects people. If we were to install interactive screen, where should it be placed and what should be the content to make people react in certain ways. And also how to make a seamless connection of physical and digital reality.
What’s the most important risk you took in your career and why?
I’ve joined the company not knowing anything about 3D software, promising to learn as fast as possible. And it turned out not to be that difficult.
How do you continue to grow and develop?
I am constantly interested in new ideas and creative projects in the design industry. Having newsletter subscriptions for different online design magazines is a must. Attending EXPOs is also beneficial to know new solutions and technologies. But the most important is to keep on creating and working on personal projects.
Do you have a memorable story or an anecdote from your experience you’d like to tell?
When I first came to the UK I did not have any working experience abroad. Thanks to the support of my husband I could take a risk of accepting a lower position at first, to gain some experience. I was hired on a part-time basis, but after only 6 months I received a new full-time contract and a raise. My manager also took a risk on me, but I managed to prove myself more than capable. That paid off and I fell in love with the company.
Finally, do you have any advice to aspiring engineers, designers and artworkers who want to grow in the tech industry?
Creativity has no gender. Hard work, sometimes talent and a bit of luck is what makes us successful. So keep an open mind and seize every possible opportunity.
Thank you very much for the interview Weronika! Please watch this space for more, as I keep on interviewing!