The original plan was to stay over the summer in Sarajevo. However, after the whole family returned, so did she. In the meantime, she worked for several marketing agencies, ran away from UX/UI and media exposure, and was a co-worker at tershouse, where she works today as a graphic and UX/UI designer. Her name is Tijana Kolaković, and we in the team call her Tića or simply T.
It was interesting for me to conduct this interview because Tijana and I have become very good friends through tershouse and now we are sitting across from each other while I interview her, which is quite unusual for us.
My first question was immediately the most painful, because I asked her what it was like to return from Australia (which she never got over, she even tattooed a kangaroo on her arm) and how exactly it went. "I was pulled by my family, my younger sister. I had no plan to stay, I thought I would come on vacation for a period and come back...However, I got a job and that was it. I also wanted to try and to see if I could make it here. The truth is that I'm still in my head in Australia. I gained a lot here, so on the one hand, if I were to go back there, I would miss this here and vice versa." When we continued to talk about Australia and the comparison of her life here and there, she says that she has closed down a lot since being here, everything seems less natural to her and she sees Australia as home. "There, I am free, confident in myself, there is no 'second guessing'. The only place where I feel like myself and where I'm sure of myself is here in tershouse with this team I have. It's the first time I feel like that since I've been in Sarajevo." When we touched on the inspiration from everyday life that she uses in her work, she mentioned that she drew the most inspiration from the places and cities she visited during her time living in Australia, as well as their lifestyle, their cafes, print materials and daily meetings with people.
After talking about Australia, we moved on to her interest in design and the very beginnings of that story. "I think I've always been creative, it just took me time to figure out what I wanted to do. Originally it was hospitality, specifically event management, interior design and then only graphic design. I first got the opportunity to work on a campaign in 2010, and that's when I realized that this is what I want to do."
Tijana has been a member of the tershouse team since last year. She is very creative in her work, and I was also interested in how she sees herself and what she thinks makes her different from other graphic designers. "They say that there is something specific about my work that I find hard to recognize, and I don't know what it is; I know that I am good at multitasking and that I can easily work on multiple projects without losing quality." I then asked her what, in her opinion, distinguishes a good design from an average one, to which she answered without thinking that one must first know what it is about, without excess elements and information so that the message being conveyed is clear.
In graphic design, as in any other occupation that relies on creativity, it is difficult to objectively evaluate your work. I was interested in how Tijana, as a graphic designer, deals with this. "I think that self-criticism is very important in this business. If you overdo it with self-criticism, then it goes too far, so I often like to listen to the opinion of colleagues in the profession and seek a second and often a third opinion. If you work on a certain project for a long time, you lose the feeling, because what you see may not be clear to the clients later. Before, I used to go too deep into the analysis of my work, and now that I have gained confidence, 'I just go with the flow'."
I remember when Tijana was working for a marketing agency and when she was just a co-worker at tershouse, how much she ran away from UX/UI, which all her colleagues in the profession urged her to do (it is in high demand and even 'higher' paid), but Tijana was determined to stick strictly to graphic design only. But times have changed and Tijana is now well versed with UX/UI. "Since I've been running away from UX for years, last year Nermin gave me the opportunity to start working with him on different projects, now I'm enjoying it and I needed a break from graphic design."
Finally, I asked Tijana if she has any creative solutions when she gets caught by creative blocks (sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but she gave good advice). "I have only recently started to appreciate some self-help methods for that situation. I take a break. I leave the room or make myself a coffee, talk to my colleagues. I used to put pressure on myself that it all had to be done immediately, but breaks definitely help. And if the blockade lasts longer, then I move on to another project, that's the only way, at least for me."