We’re continuing the series dedicated to our beloved creative alumni that we’ve managed to meet along our school’s journey and develop in a feisty creative family, with ideas and jokes flying around our heads. A place where we often brainstorm is in our #Above106 group, our place for future prospects and projects, a way of working on paying it forward to the younger creatives paving their way into the industry.
Today we’ve got the funny and bubbly Irina Serbulea for you! You’ll love her. You might know her from Jinkies, the team that managed to get second place in our Cannes Young Lions Local Design competition, alongside her colleague, Bogdan Petean. You can check out their extraordinary work, here. But this was not her first Alternative School experience, as she managed to get second place in the Eurobest semester from last year, alongside Andreea Calarasu. Such a motivated chick, huh? You can currently find her coming up with crazy ideas at her jobplace, Heist Industries, where she works as a copywriter. Let’s dive into what she has to say!
- What makes you happy at work and beyond?
At work, people around me make me happy, their small gestures of kindness, and their inspirational stories. Oh, and also the lavender tea and all those good and crazy jokes. Beyond work: all that fun experiences that add an extra layer to who you are. But also the music, holidays, the good movies, my super funny family, my best friend, my dog and last but not least me. I make myself happy.
- A childhood story announcing the creative person you are today.
I have several, but I’ll pick two.
- I remember that in kindergarten we had homework in which we had to draw some apples. Well, I made them purple and square-shaped.
- When I was little I used to love wintertime. I remember that one night I was holding my father’s hand on our way home and I have noticed something strange. The asphalt was sparkling from the frost. I couldn’t understand back then how such a thing was possible. Why only in winter? Why don’t summer roads sparkle like that? Aaaand I immediately found the explanation. Clever girl. As there were no stars visible in the winter sky, it was quite clear for me. The stars cannot disappear just like that (even a 6-year-old girl knows that), right? Due to the cold frosty weather, the stars are no longer floating up there, am I right? So the stars must have frozen from the icy weather and fallen on the ground. It was logical. Why you might ask? Cause the stars in the sky were the same size as the stars on the ground. Mystery solved. Case closed.
- A trend / pre-trend you smell in the air and you would like to embrace & promote.
A trend: A mix between cultural jamming and social responsibility. People that put pressure on brands to take action in solving community problems. Long story short, brand activism – you make profit, but give back something good to the community your brand is serving.
A pre-trend: Work from anywhere. The pandemic changed people’s perceptions about being present at a job. So maybe we’ll embrace a more relaxed and flexible way of doing our job.
- An inspiration source that always gets you in a creative mood.
I’d say cinematography, animation movies, music, poetry, literature but also people.
It makes me happy to see my friends achieve their dreams. I get easily inspired by people who put passion into work and speak with enthusiasm about ideas, those who look at failure as the first step on their way to success. I dramatize and stress a lot and these kinds of people make me realize that and we’re all dancing through life.
- A project you’ve done and people had a crush on it.
I actually don’t know.
- A local brand that makes your life brighter, better, nicer.
A local gift shop in my hometown, Bușteni. It’s an old store full of beautiful things. You can find Indian aromatherapy oils, wood painted totems, African music instruments, handmade jewelry and warm-hearted people. Every time I’m home, I visit this shop. Not only for buying but to get inspired.
- What did you like most about The Alternative School experience?
I would say the briefs, but that’s foreseeable. My favorite part was my teammate, Bogdan. My copywriting skills and his graphic designer knowledge fusion into a supersonic something. He’s so calm and organized and has those sparkle ideas that make you say: ”Man, I wanna kiss your freaking brain. Or at least high-five it”.
- What was your favorite talk and why?
Davor Bruketa. He’s a total mood. He’s my spirit animal. He makes you dream with your eyes wide open about achieving great things in life. He’s so pure at heart and passionate about life and his work that makes you be passionate about everything else.
- How did you react when you found out your position in the final top?
Sometimes 2nd place feels like 1st place. I was happy about it, but ofc I wanted more.
- What was the most challenging part?
The Love and Lobby brief. We turned words into colors and the colors into sounds. But how? We wrote the musical notes obtained on paper and then tried to play them using a piano app. We’re so lucky that Bogdan found a better and faster way to solve this thing. We also had an idea on George2 brief we both loved and at one point, our brainstorming turned into a roleplay in which I was George and Bogdan a traditional gates sculptor from afar, far away village. The problem with our idea was that we were building from point B to point A, not the other way around and this is time-consuming. But, I think it’s important not to get so attached to ideas and to know how to give up when necessary. After this sick brainstorming, none of us had any coherence in our speech. We were totally braindead.
- Why do you recommend this experience?
I recommend it cause it triggers your brain. And makes you overcome your limits.
- Your message for the Romanian creative community:
-Yooo, wazzup creative ppl?
Just kidding. I don’t know what to say. I’m gonna say something I’d like to hear at this point in my career and my existence. I might sound like a motivational speaker but, dear creative community, do good J. Create, inspire and have fun. Don’t be afraid to fail, because it’s part of the process. Try to rediscover yourself through every little thing you do and live a little, god damn. A little more. With passion and intensity.
Photo gallery from Irina’s personal archive.