Discover the interview of Anna Popova:
How did you become designer?
My design path started a long time ago, in about 2002. Back then, it was more of a hobby, and I’ve never realized (till some point), I first got paid for a design job in 2005, which came as a surprise too me, back then I’ve never though my passion can bring any income. More than 10 years I’ve dreamt of creating beautiful animation. You know, the type that awakens deep feelings and leaves the audience with that “awwwws” & “wows”. I had chosen 2 universities that provided animation courses in my county. The first one told me I have no academical drawing (you know all those cubes and objects in space, spheres and the correct shadows / lights”. At this point,I honestly didn’t know what’s that. They told me my drawing are too “cute” and too “Japanese”.They said I should spend a year drawing academical technical drawings and come back. Well, I decided not to, and went to the 2nd institution for the Multimedia design course. I have passed all my exams with a high rating and was excepted to start my studies for free. I decided it’s the right move for me. After 2 years I chose visual communication as my secondary degree. After 3 year of studies, for my diploma, I did a fully animated hand-drawn (29 fps). It was a hard job with ups and downs, I even wanted to give up. In the end, during the presentation, I did get a lot of those “ahhs” and “awws”, and much more. I got offers. I received tons of compliments. and at that moment, I’ve decided to part my ways with my dream of animation. I ended up being a waitress, I was still designing posters and videos for the musical group. I even did some graphic design for the restaurant, but for a brief moment, I forgot about being a creative. So part some time after my graduation. Then I’ve accidentally found a website called “99design”, at first it seamed like it’s some kind of a trick, but I’ve decided to give it a try. I entered 3 competitions, and won 2 of them. Both of my winner projects instantely attracted attention to my design work. With one of the client, we remade 2 book covers because she said I portrayed the personages exactly as I envision them, she talked to her editor and they gave me a green light to update 2 books covers to match the style. My second client picked me as a winner without even gouging to the final round. They instantely offered me a contractor’s job, and at some point invited me to the State of California to work directly. It a complete re-branding or what they had, and it went extremely well. I continues working with them until it became an issue that I’m not in the USA. I still took on contest from time to time and my winning rate was about 70%. I did a bound of different stuff, and then found another client in wine industry which whom I worked for another year. Then another project came up, and I’m still working with that company for 10 years now. Together we opened 6 new brands, which I am extremely proud of. In 2017 I won another contest for a natural cosmetic line, we worked form distance at first, but in the end the owner invited me to Las Vegas to work directly, she even managed to get me a green card application confirmation, wince I was responsible for some many thing, not just Branding and packaging. Working as a Executive Creative Director, and Being the key nurturer of creative culture within and outside the brand, built and led a successful team of Sales Managers, Copywriter and PR manager which resulted in winning new b2b clients, such as Caesars, Burj All Arab, Mirage, Bellagio. There were a lot of achievement there. Today, I’m running my own design agency, and working as a VP Creative for Series A startup. It was an interesting road and my way of getting where I am now. Life led me to all this exciting stories and adventures.
How would you define your vision of design, your style?
My clients always come back to me for me style. I was told many times that it is easily notice that I put all my heart and soul in each of my projects, no matter how small it is. I’m working is a mix-multimedia-communication design, providing a lot of services that include, but not limited to branding strategy, brand & visual identity, positioning and communication, advertisement solutions, product development and packaging design, interactive and media design, naming, web experiences, social media promotion. My style is unique, have emotions and always get the best reactions. My “Beamer Candle Co” candles collection has more than 35 scents, each scent has a unique character design for this specific scent, but if you put them together, they still work as a collection. I’m proud of my style and it definitely stand out from the crowded market.
For the future, what are your professional projects?
Right now, I have recently joined a Series A startup. Since it’s SaaS related, I had to learn a lot of terminology I’ve never seen before. I had to conduct a big research, compare direct and indirect competition to make my decision on the correct Branding Strategy. I love the work, the leaning, and being in tech, but there’s still so much to learn. I’m also trying to spend enough time raising my own creative agency. With over a decade of experience, I am now proudly leading, mentoring and inspiring a team of beautifully weird, curious, and open-minded creative enthusiasts at Beau Creative to deliver insight-driven creative solutions for clients all over the globe. We translate client’s thoughts, ideas and messages into memorable design experiences that connect brands, products and audiences. It’s a little challenging, but I have good team, that I trust if I cannot answer or participate a lot, they deliver the perfect results. I’ve recently joined On Deck design, which give you unlimited access to all their support material, they have great classes, value my time, and build a schedule exactly for me based on what I want to achieve from On Deck Design. I always wanted to belong to a design community and things are looking great now.
What do you like the most in your job?
It’s always challenging, new, exciting. And when you hit a wall and think that it, they are always more project or efforts, that come appearing. I never knew I would end here, but I’m extremely grateful for every step I took to ended up where I am. I love every challenge thrown at me, and I hit it exactly where it hurts, ending up with extremely happy clients. Of course, I love more creative tasks, nut take any challenge in a professional, manner, and give my best (sometime too much), but hey, still learning!
P.S. I drink my milk with coffee. Is this relevant? No. But hey, it’s personal.