Welcome to Digital Abstracts, Omid. First, please tell us, how did you start and what inspired you?Hi there Andre, I guess you mean how I started with graphic design, and that whole story? That sure is a long story, but everyone in my family has always been interested in art, and that's where I probably got my first inspirations from. My mom used to make Persian typographical pieces of art, a technique that she learnt from my grandfather. This got me very curious and I tried a variety of different stuff. Time went on and I tried to do work on computers. All the possibilities amazed me and it didn't take long until I was hooked!I remember when i couldn't run Photoshop 2 on my computer at home, so I sneaked in to the public library (In Borlänge, Sweden) and ran it in there.Of course I didn't know much, and it was a big mess of effects and filters.I actually have a print out of my very first piece that I did in Photoshop, its hanging at my moms place in Sweden!
Hey, you do a lot of flash stuff, why did u choose that instead of print for example?Well, at MediaCatalyst (the place where I work) we do quite a lot of work in Flash. I'm a designer, and we have Flash developers that do the hardcore programming, but of course some of the more motion related Flash work comes to us designers.The fact that I chose to work with interactive media instead of static ones is that I like the way you can play with several senses, and you can have dynamic content, not only a static image. To me, this is way more appealing. But of course, this doesn't take away the fact that I like to design a product that I can feel, and have in my hand. Like everything else in life, they both have positive and negative sides.
What is web design for you? Are you planning to do it more for many years?I'm not really just specialized in web design. I work with all digital media, this also includes mobile etc. I’m in this industry, because of my passion for what I do. I wouldn’t do this if I wouldn’t like it this much.I’m not really planning several years ahead. I’m more enjoying where I am today and looking back makes me comfortable that I already developed a lot!
Tell Us about your workplace. Where do you work, and what do you do?I'm a designer working at MediaCatalyst, a digital marketing agency that has offices in Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles and Stockholm. We specialize in digital media like web and mobile. I work at the Amsterdam office together with 50 other (great!) people. It's a multicultural place and we have people from all over the world working here!Our client list consists of companies like Sony, Vodafone, SonyEricsson, Canon, World Press Photo, Ericsson etc.
A little biography about your offline life please. Any other hobbies? How do you rest?I have many different hobbies, these are all big factors in my life. These are music, sports, photography, art and design (in many different forms and shapes). I have played the saxophone since I was 7 and this is something that im still doing (and loving!). Sports have also always been in my life, but I am mostly interested in team sports. Football is the sport that I appreciate the most, but I've also played basketball, taekwondo, table tennis, swimming, ice hockey and so on. Something that seems to take a lot of my spare time nowadays is photography – I've been dealing with photography in various formats for many years. But a semipro dSLR of course makes life way easier, no more developing the film etc. This is also a reason why I started to shoot more frequently.
Do you think designer must be educated? Why?Of course you must be educated, this applies to everything out there. But then of course there are many different ways to get educated. You can teach yourself, you can go to a university, get taught by someone and so on. I'm not really sure which way that is the best, that depends on what kind of person you are. But of course if you study at a place where the graduation shows your level of work, that makes the life easier for people hiring you.
What are your goals for the future?My goals are to develop in all different ways. To become a better person (warning for cliché), travel a lot, meet and talk to a lot of people and get the most out of life. I know this sounds cheesy, but it's true!
What kind of project you are doing now?I can't really talk about what projects I'm working on, and not even for which clients. As everywhere else we had to sign NDA's. But I can tell that they are all for global companies and that we are also working on a rebranding for ourselves (MediaCatalyst).We are also always pitching on new exciting projects, and we have won the most this year!
Do you like to travel? Do you think nature is a good inspiration for a designer?Like to travel? I would rather use the term love! I try to travel as much as possible, and I always seem to go somewhere spontaneously. That makes everything way more fun!One of my plans this year was to fly as far East as possible in Russia and then buy a car and drive back. But these plans died because one of the guys that I was going with got busy. Too bad!I can't really say that nature is a good inspiration source for everyone.These sources are personal and different for everyone. Somebody might get extremely inspired by playing with Lego, where somebody else gets the same amount of inspiration by maybe listening to music. It really depends!But i think that the change of environment is a really big booster for inspiration and creativity, so in that sense it sure is a good thing.
How about photography. You do a lot of stuff. What inspired you to do that?I really don't know what was my first inspiration to start photography. I started pretty long time ago, the first time I started shooting was back in school. I was around 13-14 years old and got my hands on a SLR. My there time current art teacher told me everything that I needed to know for the basic shots and I got amazed. The story goes on after that.
Who are your friends-designers? How did you meet them?When I still was at school I got to know heaps of people through different online projects, forums, communities and so on. I'm still in contact with many of these, and they are now good friends of mine!I studied at Hyper Island (in Karlskrona, Sweden) and made many friends there. Besides that of course, there are all the people here at MediaCatalyst and other Amsterdam agencies!
What are your thoughts about people, who copy each other, I mean designers.There is nothing to say about that. If someone does that on purpose; Idiot!
Last comments, Omid. Was nice to talk to you!Nice to talk to you to Andre!My last words are that I wish to say hi to all my friends and everyone at MediaCatalyst of course!