Virginia Racu – The Craftswoman in Love with Design
Whenever she’s not focusing on a project in front of the computer, she pours her creativity on a piece of paper. She manages to give life to a sheet by filtering someone’s life story through her own eyes. Virginia Racu is a User Experience/User Interface designer, but she doesn’t use her creativity exclusively at work. She has created Telier, a studio where she designs cards, illustrations and wedding invitations.
Crafted by hand and heart, her art is delicate, elegant and chic. Virginia’s workshop is her playground and the place where she customizes each piece of paper according to her clients’ preferences. She does a similar thing at work, where she needs to be both creative and analytical. We’ve asked her to reveal some of her design secrets and here’s what we found out.
Please tell us more about when and how you started this hobby.
I can’t really remember when I actually started drawing, I’ve been doing so since forever. I guess my first attempts of digitizing my drawings are going back to when I studied graphic design at the College of Fine Arts. Since I graduated, all my jobs were design-related, one of them being at an event management agency, where I had to design wedding stationery. Maybe that was the moment when I discovered a new niche for myself. Illustrations and graphic design are some of the things I’ll always enjoy doing, it’s like a symbiosis between having a hobby and a job.
How much time do you spend designing cards and invitations at home?
Sometimes it can take me up to two hours, sometimes it takes the whole day. Would it sound cliché if I’d say it’s all about inspiration, whether I have it or not? Because I don’t know what the reason could be. There are times when illustrations and designs come naturally. Other times, if I feel I’m forcing it, I should better leave it there for a while, focus on something else and then get back to it.
Do details obsess you?
The details are not the details, they make the design—it was said by Charles Eames and I fully agree. I think it’s merely important to pay attention to details, they are what makes the whole thing come together. Without over-exaggerating, I like to leave some space to breathe. Otherwise, how can one highlight something when it’s part of an abundance of details? Also, the devil is in the details, they say.
Working with wedding invitations and cards most probably allow you to see a lot of happy faces. How do they influence your spirit?
It definitely feels really rewarding to see positive reactions to my works. And spreading the word about them is the best advert I could ask for. It’s a great motivation, I take it as an encouragement to keep doing what I do.
Where do you get your inspiration from when designing cards and wedding invitations?
It mostly comes from places I’ve been and things I’ve seen. But because design stands between artistry, technology and commerce, ideas can blow in from many directions. Often, the designer is expected to simply come up with something beautiful. Or not so simple. Either way, originality and novelty remain the designer’s main note. The most impressive designs are the ones that seem naturally right and improbable.
You are a design master, both at work and at home. What is the difference between the two types of design you enjoy?
While illustrations and graphic design products come as consequences of creativity, UX design requires logical thinking and analytical skills. You must be able to diagnose what issues users have and find the right solution for a particular problem. You must give grounds for any design decision you’re making. In order to be able to do that, you need to do a lot of research—on users, on technical specifications, on business requirements. In addition to this amalgam, I would also include a bit of psychology knowledge. As for UX designers, any understanding of human cognitive abilities and mechanisms are highly helpful in creating user-friendly products.
I consider myself a rational person with a constant need of diving into imagination and creativity. I don’t think I will ever be able to give up on any type of design, whether graphic or user experience.
How has working at Yardi contributed to making you a better designer?
In a lot of ways. But most importantly, I was lucky to find myself within a team of developers, both front-end and back-end. I learned how the whole process of programming takes place, from writing the source code to deploy on production, what programming languages a specific functionality requires and how it works. My colleagues are always available to answer my questions, no matter how rudimentary they might sound. It’s a great contribution to my growth as a professional.
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