It all began with Cartoons
Back in the days of cable TV and no internet, I used to copy draw colourful monsters off my collectable trading cards onto paper. I guess It made me feel closer to my favourite childhood cartoons. I started doing so at the age of seven, and after nine years of practice and some serious parent defying episodes, I finally transferred to a Vocational High School in 2007.
“Plugor Sandor” in Saint George, Romania. It is here that I learned about composition, perspective, light and shadow, the rainbow spectrum of gray and Art History. I was also taught a variety of drawing techniques using tools such as: brushes, pencils, charcoal, chalk, pen and ink, creating my own printing plates using acid. I was fortunate to be in the presence of veteran artists with decades of specialization in their fields.
Two thousand and seven is also the year when I met my mentor for the remainder of my high school years, Ramon I. Grosos. The influence of his mentor-ship was a privilege which I cherish to this day. He managed to show me a world of music in colour and shape, rhythm in static images and how emotions can pour out of paint.
After three years of actively learning and refining my skills, I was of age to go get a Higher Education. Solent University is the reason I moved to the UK, but we had a quick and bitter break up. I dropped out and kept learning by myself. The work I show from that period was self-initiated.
In January of 2012 I rented out a cupboard in the basement of The Millennium Third Age Centre and opened DOV Studio. There I was driven by a desire to experiment with mixing different mediums in order to achieve new effects. The couple of shelves I could fit in were full of different coloured oils, acrylics, inks, powders and of course, pressurised air canisters of spray paint. While I preferred canvases and paper for most work, I developed an interest in painting on mirrors. I just really, really strongly disliked the glass specific paints. Therefore I found ways to paint in oils, acrylics most of the time, and the occasional watercolours.
At the Millennial Third Age Centre is also where I met my second mentor: Ali Beg. A multicultural charity radio manager, with a remarkable philanthropic background. As a passive interest, I hosted two different radio shows over the next three years. This is where I was taught some people skills, as well as how to manage artists and how to build a network of people with different specialisations. I also learned a lot about promoting, selling and a few managerial guidelines that helped me look at my studio with a broader lens of interest.
Over the next three years, with Ali’s cunning guiding, I organised 5 Exhibitions for myself and over 20 different artists. The biggest one had over 200 people attend it’s opening night, including the mayor of Southampton at the time, Mayor Linda Norris.
For my time volunteering at Awaaz FM I received two certificates, one awarded to me by the Mayor of Southampton, Ian White and one by the Mayor of Eastleigh,
It’s only in 2015 that the concept of Graphic Design came in knocking at my door. A previous employer of mine, Greg, decided to open his own restaurant: Greg’s Bistro. With Greg as my first client, I was free to explore the world of Graphic Design at my own leisure. I had the concepts, or so I thought, I just needed to adopt them to the new digital medium. This is where my third mentor showed himself: Craig Coull. We were close friends since 2010, but now seeing me about to “design a menu in Photoshop” he couldn’t keep quiet and started critiquing my work. Over the next six to twelve months he drilled in me the basics of Graphic Design, stocked me up with a comprehensive reading list, and scrutinized my work prior to declaring it finished. I learned the basics of Illustrator and some new pointers in Photoshop. The more I learned, the more clients I got, and the more clients I had, the more new things there were for me to learn. Eventually I started feeling my way around a DSLR camera, which helped deepen my understanding of Photoshop.
In Southampton I worked with a local printing company, Trojan Mail, and working with them has proven to be very educational as well. This was an environment where I could see the difference between CMYK printing and RGB. I could see what my bleeds and safe zones were needed for, and I could understand more about what errors in print relate to what errors in design. I also got a real good look at the pricing of print, and learned