Creating Abstract tees with Mirza Talovic

An observation trough abstract geometry.

Mirza Talovic has a background in computer graphics and motion design and is
currently working as a visual designer in Linkoping, Sweden. With a focus on simplicity and clarity he has been involved with local and international projects for the past 8 years.
His love for design in all shapes and forms has led him to explore multiple mediums and expressions. Most recently, starting a 100 posters in 100 days challenge, to expand his knowledge on printing techniques, typography and layout.

How do you start a project? Do you start with an idea in mind?

Usually I do have an idea in mind, but not always. I find myself being much more creative when I have well defined constrains before diving into the exploration phase. But there is a fine balance.

For this “100 poster-project” I wanted to strengthen my skills in typography, layout and composition as my main goals. That led me to set the constrains to work with a predefined canvas-size and not to use any color – which would “force” me to explore more possibilities and experiment further within the focus-areas instead.

Portrait photo. Courtesy of Mirza Talovic

I find myself being much more creative when I have well defined constrains before diving into the exploration phase.

What is your working process?
Once I have an idea in mind (a starting point) I usually start sketching using pen and paper. Trying different options, testing solutions and searching for an approach that resonates with me. Once I arrive at something that I feel has potential, I proceed and start creating it.

I do want to point out that my process is not this linear every time. Sometimes it is just a mess, some ideas get stuck in the sketching phase for days or weeks before I pick them up again. And even though an idea has been realised according to the sketch, I never stop exploring different options and alternative approaches until the very end.

Night or Day?

Im definitely a night person.

Where do you find your inspiration from?

Oh, everywhere! You never know where you can find something that resonates with you. For me it almost always happens when i consume or observe: architecture, nature, music, movies, old graphic design, corporate identities. Those are my top of mind sources of inspiration.

How do you do if you don’t feel inspired? How do you overcome with it?

Every time I have a creative spark (no matter how big or small) I make a small note on my phone. And I put them all in the same place, so that list eventually turns into a big pile of “potential ideas”. That becomes my go-to place every time I feel uninspired. Hopefully by the time I glance back at it, I have learned something new (a technique or new method) that can help me spark my inspiration for one of these ideas.

"One Poster Everyday" project overview. Courtesy of Mirza Talovic

Your worst experience as a designer?  How did you manage?

I have a background as a motion designer, and a few year back I worked in-house at an animation studio that did all kinds of projects. Occasionally we did a few commercials, and this was one of those projects. The client was a nightmare, not really listening to us, demanding high quality work without wanting to pay for it, ridiculous timeframe and yeah you get it, the list goes on.

Because of the tight timeframe we had to jumpstart everything, making vital mistakes with the communication that later would came back to bite us. Anyway, after completing the whole pre-production phase we had numerous handoffs to the client and we were ready to take it into production. That’s when the client tells us that they need to run it through even more managers, to get their permission to proceed… which to us came as a shock. This did not feel good at all.

A big part of our team wanted us to cancel the whole project, but long story short: we did’t. We ended up accepting the clients endless nitpicking, unmotivated feedback and strange requests. This project was no fun at all. In retrospect we should’ve trusted our gut feeling and cancelled the project, because we ended up making a video we weren’t proud of, at all.

T-shirt designs created by Uakal Studio.

The social pressure of knowing that my followers expect me to make a poster everyday, helps me to not give up and quit. 

What motivated you to start your One poster everyday project?

I needed a personal creative outlet, to make something in absence of clients and commissions. And I have been thinking of doing a challenge like this for a long time, but I guess I thought that I lacked the discipline to actually pull it off.

This whole quarantine-situation became the perfect opportunity to try it. So my first goal became to make one poster everyday for 30 days. Once I proved to myself I could do that, I upped the challenge to 100 days and then evenutally one year.

The social pressure of knowing that my followers expect me to make a poster everyday, helps me to not give up and quit. So far so good, but I still have roughly 100 more to make.

And: do you have any particular goals with this project?

For me personally, its all about getting better. Not just for learning new techniques, but to train myself to think more creatively. This project is my “gym” and its there for me to exercise and strengthen my creative muscles. Hopefully I will learn a few tricks along the way that could help me out of the inevitable moments when the creative block strikes.

Do you have any other projects in mind after One Poster everyday?

Not anything super concrete yet, I have thought of making a series of animated posters. That would be a fun challenge. Would love to do some collaborations with musicians to merge the animations with music.

And finally, what’s your own definition of “concept”?

Concept is capturing an idea or a feeling and finding a way to represent it.

Concept is born when the message and the design tie together, when a connection between the content and the viewer emerges. The concept is like a mechanism for the viewer, to help making the material more understandable. A concept is not just a bunch of ideas, ideas are just seeds. Alone, they can be seen as abstract sparks of creativity that lack relevance. But when ideas are expressed into a medium, they become activated with the potential to grow into a concept.

Shop Mirza Talovic collection of T-shirts here.