6 Alternatives to compete in Warsaw, at Eurobest – Interviews













  1. The best moment at the Alternative School:


Anca: The experience was good as a whole. We got to see a lot of case studies and deconstruct the whole thought process behind them. The class attendants came from a variety of backgrounds, each with his/her particular set of skills, so it was pretty interesting to try to compete against that. Finally, the speakers were very entertaining, and if you paid attention, there were always gold nuggets to be collected from each workshop.

Andra: I couldn’t put my finger on just one moment; I think the entire experience was very rewarding. First of all, I’m glad I had the chance to work alongside the best in our industry. Secondly, sharing our ideas with others was very helpful. Suffice it to say we had a lot of debates. Sometimes it really helps to hear an outside perspective on your work; it always brings a fresh, new angle, which you hadn’t considered.

Ecaterina: Definitely that moment when I realized everyone can overcome his/her limits, the fact is to trust your idea.

Vania: I’m in love with people and their stories so frankly I believe there were several best moments at The Alternative School – meeting every new and inspiring human and finding out how they worked on different famous campaigns, these were my favorite moments.

Ana: A teacher meticulously plugged-in his hard disk: Then magic happened. He showed us all the work he has done in about a month, just for a certain campaign: dozens of folders, subfolders, documents and their related multiple versions. Eye-opening. Motivating, beyond inspiring.

Sonia: When I realized that I don’t need a big idea, I need 1000 small steps: 1000 steps ahead, 500 steps back, 700 steps to the right and then I will end up somewhere.


  1. Why would you recommend this experience?


Anca: It’s an accurate life lesson. When you’re dealing with the client, you know how to impress them, to a certain extent. We didn’t know the jurors or what they’d like to see in the solutions we provided for the two Eurobest Semester briefs. That’s how festivals work, right? You try your hardest to pitch the idea but, beyond that, it’s out of your hands. Feedback is subjective and it IS final, whether you like it or not. And that’s how the industry works: you give your best but, at the same time, you have to gracefully accept you can’t control everything.

Andra: Bootcamp! We managed to cram plenty of new things in a relatively short time span. So it’s ideal for people trying to learn a lot, really fast. If you’re trying to access an international creativity festival, this is also a great place to start. But, most of all, meeting all kinds of people gave us a broader perspective of where we stand. What we want to achieve and how that would be possible. It was a great reality check.

Ecaterina: I would recommend this experience because it’s a very good exercise for your brain and of course, your career. It’s another perspective and every speaker enroled in this school helps you to explore new ways of thinking. Creativity at its best.

Vania: I believe you can never suffer from too much creativity so why not learn new ways of turning ideas into reality? I would totally recommend this experience because it gives you the `hibijibies` of being in school again and a great boost of energy to make great things happen. And more, for the quality time spent with quality people. Every young creative should aim to learn and discover more.

Ana:  Learning never stops.

Sonia: If you want to gain one more pair of eyes.


  1. Your goals as a creative:


Anca: My personal objective is to do good work that solves the client’s needs. Damn good, if possible. But, nowadays, we are so focused on being creative that we kind of forgot that commercials still have to successfully sell products or ideas. I would love to do work that satisfies my intellectual ambitions, but also fixes whatever the client needs done. Maybe find the sweet spot between creativity and efficiency and stay there. And grab a couple of unicorns while I’m at it.

Andra: I’m an Art Director and I often end up in situations in which people tell me: “Just do something pretty and get this over with”. The thing is a layout that is just nice, with no idea or purpose behind it, isn’t good enough. Nowadays everybody creates content of some sort, so the key to grab your audience’s attention is not just good graphics but awesome concepts to build on. I don’t want to do functional work only, but I’ll always power my artistic ambitions with a more meaningful purpose.

Ecaterina: My goals (for the next year): strategic thinking, creative mind, change initiator, work with passion, less time wasted with complicated & unuseful stuff.

Vania: To always look on the bright side of life: add some humor and make people feel great. Create quality, inspiring, valuable and enjoyable content.

Ana: My goal Is to make a difference. Make people think. Or feel. Leave the world a little better than I found it, maybe luckily.

Sonia: To never lose my childish enthusiasm. Things are out of hand, things are nuts, things go wrong, and we celebrate it.


  1. People you admire:


Anca: Tova Leigh – generous insights into the mom life https://www.facebook.com/mythoughtsaboutstuff/

Street Art Globe – for the most random pieces of art https://www.instagram.com/streetartglobe/

Cover Junkie – for obvious reasons https://www.instagram.com/coverjunkie/

Socality Barbie – for delightfully mirroring our skin deep generation https://www.instagram.com/socalitybarbie/

Gojira – for the insane social media skills that will shame a professional https://www.instagram.com/gojiraofficial/ (check out #evilmario)

The Incubent Agency – agency life in memes https://www.instagram.com/theincumbentagency/

Copyblogger – really good practical advice https://www.facebook.com/copyblogger/

Awkward Yeti – awesome comics, full of insights https://www.facebook.com/AwkwardYeti/

Bored Panda – my daily dose of procrastination

Redditt – Free online focus group

Andra: I really enjoy everything that Stefan Sagmeister + Jessica Walsh do.

Browsing for interesting illustrators is like a daily routine for me so here are some of my favourites: Malika Favre, AKACORLEONE, Lana Simanenkova, Evan M. Cohen.

For weekly inspiration: Stephen Mcmennamy, James Turrell and the Lernert – Sander duo

And of course: Plato and Platon (pun intended :D).


Andreea Badala – https://www.instagram.com/andreea_badala/

Anastasia Soare – https://www.instagram.com/anastasiasoare/

Michelle Obama – https://twitter.com/michelleobama?lang=en

Vania: Well, that’s a hard task! I will write down the first three names that came into my mind when I thought about inspiring people. But the list is never ending…

Ana: Damon Stapleton – CD // Bharat Avalani – Storyteller // Alfredo Jaar – Artist // Marian Goodell – Burning Man Cat Herder // Cecelia Wogan-Silva – Chief Creative Evangelist

Sonia: Mies Van der Rohe – modernist architect, Eric Ravilious – English painter, Julius Shulman – Modernist photographer.


  1. Best statement of Romanian humor:


Anca: We have this very fun saying: “A Romanian is offended when he doesn’t get invited to places but when he does, he doesn’t show up.”

This must be the truest thing about Romanians: we are proud. At the same time, since this saying exists and mocks exactly that, we recognise that Romanians are unnecessarily vainglorious. But get this! Although we are aware of our smugness, we insist on holding onto that.

So basically Romanians are a living, breathing contradiction, which makes us both intentionally and unintentionally funny, ridiculous and lovable.

Andra: There is a phrase that, I think, describes us, Romanians, better than any other:  să faci haz de necaz, which translates to looking at a bad situation humorously.

The best examples for this are the recent protests taking place across the country. While lobbying against the corrupt political class, Romanians became really creative with the messages written on their protest banners. Here are some I really enjoyed:

“We are gonna catch you like pokemon. Gotta catch’em all!”

“This is so bad that even introverts are now protesting”

“Chuck Norris, please help!”

Ecaterina: Walk the bear.

Vania: Romanians are masters of hilarious expressions. But I will stop selling you donuts, I cannot choose only one.

Ana: What others call to do so much with so little, we call it to make a whip out of poo.

Sonia: “Să faci haz de necaz” – to make fun of your troubles – as if, no matter how fucked up a situation is, if you can laugh about it, you can survive it.


  1. Romania should be known for:


Anca: The people’s fight against corruption.

If you Google “Romania”, you’ll see that the number #1 association is not “the vampire country”, but “corruption perception”. And that’s because Romania’s corrupt politicians monopolize most of the press. This sucks.

The news should focus more on the regular Joes that work hard, pay their taxes, do their parts and sometimes even more, who you’ll find protesting for hours on end against corruption. That’s the true story.

Andra: My feeling, at this point, is that the foreign perception of Romania does not necessarily reflect the actual state of things. I might have been fortunate or maybe I’m an optimist, but the Romanians I’ve had around are really nice and honest people. That’s why I think Romanians’ honesty should be in the spotlight more.

Ecaterina: Romania should be known for its capability to find a solution between expertise and creativity.

Vania: It may sound as a cliché, but Romania should be known for its creativity. We always manage to do so much with so little.

Ana: kindness.

Sonia: Its beautiful and complex language. The semantics behind certain words are prime examples of this subliminal Latin language. The most popular example is the word “dor” which has no direct correspondent in any other language.


  1. Your message for the Romanian creative community:


Anca: Just this: everything gets a little better with kindness. Another agency’s campaign, the client’s feedback, another team’s idea, the 13th draft of a script, my Art Director loudly chewing an apple.

Andra: I know for a fact that the creative community is very competitive. That’s both good and bad. On one hand it pushes you beyond the limits you thought you had and helps you uncover new strengths you never knew were there. But, there’s also the bad. It makes us focus more on the negative and criticize everything, including our own work. I think tolerance might be a better idea.

Ecaterina: Find balance between rational and emotional. It’s our duty to bring good things to the world.

Vania: Get out of the bubble and explore, dream, discover.

Ana: Work. Work harder. Travel. Read. Listen. Empathize. Nurture old friendships. Meet new people. Be curious. Stay humble.

Sonia: Always imagine the unimaginable and prepare for it.


The Young Lions Design & The Roger Hatchuel Academy

Entries are open for the Young Lions Design & Roger Hatchuel Academy via The Spring Semester.

Deadline: 17 March

€300 + vat / individual

€500 + vat / team


Looking to buy multiple participations?

More Info