At the time, I have prepared for the media a series of interviews, “Secrets of the profession.” Below I have collected the most “delicious” fragments of the publications in which my interlocutors tell us where they take the ideas for their projects, and what is ratio of creativity and routine in their occupation. Help yourself!
Architect Oleg Vorobyov: “Architecture is “polygamous” profession”– Architecture, so to speak, is polygamous profession. When I designed the clinic and baby home, I needed to find a million little things: how the medical establishment works, how they bring patients, how they enter the ward, how a surgeon in the operating room washes his hands, etc. When I designed the building of the airport, it took to figure out how the guidance system of aircraft works, from which side they come in the land, how they deliver passengers on board, etc. It was especially interesting to work on the orders of a number of banks in Minsk. Still the founder of postmodernism Chance Jenks said that the bank building should be attractive to investors and inaccessible to thieves. Customers imposed on me the duty to ensure the comfort of visitors, convenience of banking process and security of zones closed to the public. This process of studying the topic, learning new for me is always one of the most exciting stages of design.
In my profession it is impossible to reach the heights without possessing artistic talents. Even when entering the faculty of architecture to overcome the high level of competition, it is required to demonstrate spatial thinking and good ability in drawing. Then, the real practice will require the application of these qualities every day, all the life. I know architects who have become great painters, sculptors, but were mediocre architects. Not casually it is said that the architecture is the alma mater of all the arts. Harmony of proportions dealt with by the architect – is in its purest form the same harmony which a poet, painter and composer seek in their own way. In this case, the architect must possess a number of related professions: except aesthetic merits it should be warm, comfortable and safe in any building. And for that the architect must have a good understanding of the building structures and building technology.
Never heard of an architect working “into the table”, and his ideas should be implemented by descendants. Maybe someone once offered to customers a draft out of change that 10-15 years had lain on the shelf but such act would be riding incompetence. After all, every year building materials, technology, architectural fashion, the very sense of time, which is clearly recorded in the architectural forms change rapidly.
My name is Vorobiev (sparrow), but at heart I am “lark”: I like to start the day at six or seven in the morning. Our workshop conducts five buildings at one and the same time, every day it is necessary to solve a lot of problems. Sometimes even when I watch movies I watch not the plot, but for the architectural landscape and I study design structures. Sometimes in my dreams I travel around the unusual, abstract city, which combine different styles, epochs. This is the result of memories of my visits in Paris, Vienna, New York, Stockholm, etc.
Where do the architectural ideas come from? There are architectural competitions for the best concept in developed countries. Ideas in a pure form are presented there. But in actual practice, any idea initially has a set of constraints. First, it is the external environment, an environment in which the building will be placed. Second, the specific needs of the client. Third, the requirements of regulations (sometimes they are changed). Fourth, especially materials. I traveled all over Europe, had been in the United States and realized that the Belarusian architects have no less ideas. But their implementation constrains the backlog of domestic construction industry. For example, our glazed buildings are solid kingdoms of crooked mirrors. Why? On the one hand, the Turkish or Greek materials are used that are not suitable for our climate, on the other – assembly technique of stained glass is broken. Any glass assembly in a horizontal position causes it to sag: the glass is concave or convex. Of course, the vertical assembly using quality materials is something very dear. If RB square meter glass facade costs $ 30–40, in the West it comes to cost $2,000. Such a price level is more than any Belarusian customer can afford. And Belarusian architects remain jealous of their Western counterparts.
When constrains are set, I lash out a few sketches. For example, ask myself the question, what happens when I build a round house? Or triangular? Or combining several classical forms? Finally, the original solution comes. Although you can never tell in advance whether this will happen in a day or a week.
Chef Paul Antonov: “To come up with a dish – I do not need to taste it”– Chef is a person of the restaurant. In Europe, the restaurant manager and chef are equivalent figures. Often the chef is playing a leading role. We have, unfortunately, the case when the situation is different: you can find a lot of restaurants with good interiors, but mediocre cuisine. Meanwhile the typical visitor only the first time comes for “the interior” all the rest time – “for the cuisine”.
The main function of the chef is creative one: defining trends in cuisine. Good dynamic restaurant should properly update it four seasons in a year, leaving the popular dishes, cleaning – unclaimed and offering instead of them new products that are at least a small step to raise the rating of the restaurant. At the same time, the chef every day is working to ensure the smooth production: introduces new technologies, trains personnel, monitors keeping the standards. After all, any restaurant is production. Cooking is put on stream in the calculation of the profit (of course, we must not forget the creativity). Among the local chefs are many good organizers, but, unfortunately, very few creative people.
Every morning, I discuss with the head of the production the purchase of products, instruct employees, after dinner – supervise the work of staff: I have 16 cooks in the kitchen, everyone has his own area of responsibility: specialization is not needed only in a kiosk that sells hot dogs… Cold shop cook deals only with appetizers and salads, hot shop cook – second dishes, pastry chef – the desserts and the like. And each of them has to do with semi products cooked by other specialists of the restaurant. “Vegetable Man” pre-washes and cleans vegetables, the butcher – slice the meat into portions, each of which must correspond to the weight and quality. Otherwise, no matter how conjure with this piece, you do not give birth to a normal meal.
Do you remember the movie “Cancan?” Its heroes-dancers were forced to wade through the sieve of a severe competitive selection. The most vibrant personalities have gone the competition – and the employer made them in the end, “march” orderly… I will never take to job a chef who can not and do not want to do anything other than hamburgers – even if for 20 years of his work he has learned how to sculpt cutlets automatically, grams per gram. I am interested to work with people who have a creative streak, respect to the product, colleagues and clients. Believe me, a good cook can be seen from afar. And even if today he is forced to do repetitive work, his creative power is accumulated and sooner or later “will shoot”: a person goes to a new job as a chef or go to earn his fame in professional competition.
Creativity is a spontaneous process: it can start in the night and continue in the week during the production meeting. There are composers who do not need a musical instrument when they compose music. When I come up with a new dish, I do not need to taste it, I know its taste in advance. Of course, in the end, I cook a dish invented – but I do it sooner, in order to determine its cost and, if necessary, to replace more expensive products with similar in taste merits, but cheaper.
Designer Alexander Kratovich: “My job is to reincarnate the space”– My morning starts with a test-check of the most unstable solutions in current projects. From 9.00 it is a time of massive calls from construction sites, then – under construction detour, the solution of current problems (author’s support). The second half of the day is for working on projects, meetings with partners – suppliers of materials, furniture, lighting, etc. After 18.00 – meeting with customers to discuss the project.
But sometimes I switch off all the phones to a day or two to focus on one object and make all the important decisions. The study of foreign sources helps to understand the spirit of the main areas of design (I especially like the high-tech and minimalism).
And ideas probably come from the air. For example, I was asked to re-construct the facade of Italian furniture showroom. Here I do not have any idea – but it appeared: the facade in the form of columns of the Roman Forum, the improvement of the neighborhood in the form of the Italian “boot.” But, first, even a good idea is not applicable to every object, and secondly – it is always important to bridge the gap between the idea and drawing. Any idea is easily to be “drown out”.
The most interesting thing in the work of the designer so as in the work of the actor is the possibility of “reincarnation” when an unique image “appears” gradually from an inert and faceless material. When the space is transformed according your will, and it becomes a pleasure to work and live in it.
Hair stylist Mary Tereshchenko: “We need to catch the image and not to invent it”– The most difficult thing in the hair stylist work is to understand what the client wants and what he really needs – sometimes these are not the same things. Until I find it I do not get down to work. Fortunately, it is given an hour to me for each client. I can deal with any hair within half an hour, so that the rest of the time I can spend on a consultation.
I ask every client a lot of questions. For example, how often do you change hair style in the past? Under what circumstances? What’s important in your life, and what’s a secondary: business, parties, sports, family life? If the customer is not at all to communicate, you can offer him tea, coffee, fashion magazines – and observe his behavior. Sometimes this is enough to capture the essence of human nature, to form his image and style. By the way, the tea is the right means to relieve tension and stress. You should not cut disgruntled customer. But, if you still have, you experience a double burden: it is necessary to save his image found and your own balance.
I often do records, sketches in pencil. And, come up with not only hair, but also costume blending in with it. A time passes. Seeing a new customer, suddenly I remind this image. Of course, it serves as a stimulus and is modified on the fly, acquires real items. After all, creating a style of person one must go from him, not from abstract idea.
Photo artist Andrey Shchukin: “Ideas come from a desire not to repeat others”– The photographer is different from a photojournalist about the same as the director of the fiction film from the documentary creator. The task of a photojournalist is to come to the events scene, to understand their nature and reflect them through photography. Photographer, by contrast, doesn’t starts from the situation, but creates it. He needs imagination, taste, sense of composition, ability to work with people as actors. These qualities are not bad for press photographers too, but the speed of reaction to them is in the first place.
As a child, I was engaged in ship modeling, painting, and wood burning. It is also creativity. Even with a simple ax you can do much. Brush, pencil mastery for photographer are desirable (because it helps to develop a sense of color, composition), but not necessarily. Also, he should be in part director, operator, prop, makeup artist, stylist, illuminator, to put it in terms of the film industry. A kind of small “studio” in one person. Of course, he has assistants, but the last word is always with him.
The photographer should be able to deal with customers, set the task to professionals, and most importantly – to communicate with his hero. Just talking, we can reveal the image of a man – and that is the purpose of the image (unless, of course, this is not a still life or landscape).
To uncover an image, sometimes you have to work hard – especially if the person is not a professional model, works seldom with the camera, poses a little. It takes more than one hour to explore person, to understand his reaction, to catch the natural facial expression, posture. Because anyone changes under the “eye” of camera, studio lighting. It’s not the stiffness, shyness: many behave quite easy but they can not cope with his facial expressions. And you need either to leave the person in this new position or find a way to return him to its natural state.
During the year, half the time I spend on art projects, half – for the execution of advertising orders. However, during the month the time is distributed unevenly: sometimes a lot of orders, sometimes – not at all. Of course, exhibit activity brings some benefit, but to survive, doing only that, is impossible. Therefore, we earn a living, and to organize art projects, thanks to advertising orders. Any pause we use for the initiation, continuation or completion of creative projects. Sometimes art project and the advertising order can be carried out simultaneously. Advertising survey itself can take 15 minutes and 2–3 days, depending on the scope of work of which, respectively, follows the cost of the project: it is a normal business with its income, expenses and taxes.
Usually I’m in the studio from nine in the morning until six p.m. On the weekends I try not to work. But if it needs for the customer I can come to the studio early or stay a little longer. If there is a pause in work, I do artwork numerous accounting documents: I am registered as a sole proprietorship. Before shooting, sometimes I have to spend a day or two to prepare props: round for shops, showrooms, fellow artists. We buy something, take something out, something we make ourselves: I myself have often become a joiner, carpenter, mechanic, fitter. You see, the shelves in the studio are filled with props. Things that will not be useful more, I have to throw away. But the survey pays all expenses.
When the advertising market was immature, it was a lot of direct orders from businesses. And we were waited that we do not only get good pictures, but also develop the concept of an advertising company, come up with slogans, etc. I remember one day I was asked to come up with the name of the clothing collection. I jokingly suggested: “The whole clothes”… Today, all appreciated the advantages of specialization: the customer sets the task in front of an advertising agency, which calculates the market situation and determine what you need to do to increase sales. If this concept will require artistic pictures then appeal to us. And often we are given a slogan and statement of work: for example, to find the image of meat processing products, symbolizing the warmth, comfort in a rustic style. The customer looks ready picture and, if necessary, asks to redo it. Designers of advertising agency use selected photos at their own discretion. If necessary, they can crop a picture “for a living.” Of course, sometimes it is a shame, it seems that my plan is distorted. But I understand that the agency can best decide how to achieve the ultimate goal – to increase sales. Our destiny is a kind of high-quality photo service. Our creative is in the idea of a picture and its technical implementation. The ideas come from… the desire not to repeat what others have done.
I would advise novice photographers to work more, to see more how others work. To travel more. I never was encouraged with internet – there is hard to find standing pictures there, I am very tired from it. It is better to watch “live” photos and to communicate with “live” authors. It gives me a lot to travel to Moscow to advertising festivals, to Fotobienale – I always come back with a burning desire to do something.
Coach Oleg Silyavsky: “The knowledge that you need most, come from within”– Usually coaches take such fee for their services, as business consultants. But a business consultant can leave extra time for “homework”: information search, preparation or solutions. In coaching, most of the ideas and solutions arise impromptu, in dialogue with the client.
The difference between a business coach and the coach is similar to the difference between the knowledge coming from the outside, and the knowledge that come from within. In fact, what does a typical business coach or consultant do? He shows the well-known business models and says, do so and everything will be ok. It is good, if the client is trying to adapt this model to his business. But many people believe if the company “Stimorol” distribution system works, we will implement it for ourselves and become as cool as “Stimorol.” Oh, no! Every business has its own unique history and its corresponding model. It’s like in sports: basketballist of 2.5 meters large and with a weight of 150 kg will move and throw the ball very differently than its counterpart of 1.9 meters large and with a weight of 80 kilograms.
Its own unique strategy of the thinking is inherent in any business. Awareness of its strengths and weaknesses in specific market situations is knowledge that comes from within. They are always more valuable than the knowledge coming from the outside. Mentor in any profession says, do as I do! Coach says do as you can, by the best way for yourself.
Coaching helps to adjust the business model in the ideal for this businessman manner. Client with the help of a coach comes to a clear recognition of what he’s doing. He finds the most effective solutions for his business. Without any new investments (not including the coach fee), without purchasing new equipment, with the same staff the new and completely unique company is born that creates a new unique product. And changes have occurred in the head of a single top manager: he was a professional, focused on the barriers and limitations, and became another one that pays attention to the open spaces and opportunities.
Any manager is deeply lonely man who knows that none of his subordinates will help him make the right decision. Or by virtue of the fact that no one will dare to tell the truth, either because of internal competition that is inherent in any business structure. A coach does not depend on the client and can speak the truth. Actually, they pay him the money for this. Coach is business partner, who, unlike your colleagues are not interested in your failure. In general, the client depends on the coach much less than on a business consultant, expert. Consultant wittingly or unwittingly ties to himself his client because only an expert knows how to finish the project started. Coach, on the contrary, teaches the client to find his own knowledge and to take effective independent decisions. And this skill increases with each session. Besides coaching does not require psychological “exposure” or the disclosure of “trade secrets”. The share of openness, which customers currently allow is usually always good enough for the coach.
A few years ago, businessmen often wondered how to make more money, how to survive in the market, how to optimize the business. Today, interest has shifted to the spiritual needs: where is my place in the business? where is the place of my business in this world? what does it all mean to me?
Of course, businessmen and entrepreneurs still want to make money, but want to do it intelligently. Life has convinced them that the financial well-being and spiritual balance are closely related. And they are pleased to every opening, as it would be an additional percentage of profit: I see, it turns out, I chose this business because for me an economic freedom has always been important. Or a problem of leadership. Or close contact with people. Everyone has his own values and motives. When a businessman is set to his wave, he creates solutions that can not be duplicated, as it is not possible to create a second “Microsoft” or “Walt Disney”.
Copywriter Julia Lyashkevich: “Any idea can be thought out”– In the Western sense copywriter is the author of the advertising text. Domestic copywriter often uses as a tool not only the word, but also visual, musical image that he “dictates” to the operator, composer. Some copywriters know how to come up with “advertising in general”, for example, writing about cars in general. And for me to get started, I need a specific order, a real customer with its unique demands.
To make a good advertisement, you have to love the product. When you can truly say, “Oh, this is the best washing machine in the world!” – only then the good idea will go. The customer always knows his product, whether it is barley or cars, better than you. And I always try to have a talk with him a little longer to extract that winning unknown to mere mortals detail from which it is possible to push off.
The ideas come in many ways. Someone is spitting at the ceiling. Someone wanders through the park. As to me, I’m drawing squiggles. And even if nothing just come to mind, then, later, I can take a piece where I was trying to portray a man in the Turkish barber shop with foam on his bald head – and “carve” the idea from it.
Sometimes customers say: “We needed an idea… yesterday.” A good idea has to mature. Even to come up with a simple informational video, which reports about discounts, requires at least a week. Good movie is created a month or two, and a good strategy to enter the market with a new product is developed during a year – and this is the normal time. Good publicity is always possible to do better, if you give a little more time to think for copywriter. In my very first TV commercial video – it was shot by order of the newspaper “Imya” (The Name) – I used the ball, which was pierced with the needle. But seven years later I met the advertising of another edition, where the ball was pierced… with a pencil. Here it is – that wonderful finishing touch that makes advertising a complete: pencil, as an instrument of journalistic work, is much more appropriate that needle…
But at other times, when I was working on a project commissioned by the feminist movement, I had one “extra day” to think. I worked for a long time. There were a lot of good ideas, but they had not been spared from the opposition of men and women. And then I came up with “strange” phrase “Human has invented the wheel.” It marked the beginning of a series of posters, for which I received a lot of awards… So now I try to think about the idea to the last, no matter how customers “have beaten on the head”.
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