Interview - Acatrinei Lucian


  Acatrinei Lucian
Industrial Designer

 Bucharest, Romania


Tell us a bit about you...When did your graphic experience start?
I started drawing cars in high school and realized that I like the creative part.. painting for more than 2 hours is somewhat boring.. so I specialized in design. Have started working on projects about 4 years ago (2007) and have done all kinds of design projects since then (logo, identity, web, packaging & illustration, car design, etc). I’m more inclined towards industrial design (car design to be specific) but graphic design is also fun (depending on the project).
With the market becoming more and more competitive, what do you believe is a must in an Illustrator’s portfolio?
A simple, memorable presentation. I think a simple and direct approach works best.. a possible client must see what he is interested in without getting bored, and also remember you once he/she sees the portfolios of others..
Can you give us an insight on the process, the goals of the project and the difficult parts in the Auto(r) 2011 Design Challenge?
The contest theme asked for designers to create a concept car for emerging markets (eastern Europe, south America and Asia with a few exceptions). Also, it would have a new kind of chassis. My project was meant to be a fun car both for the city and the offroad areas. The main idea was that the chassis is built from 3 moving parts, thus allowing the car handle off road terrain and also give the driver some unique pleasurable experiences (because of the tilting)
You’re also a Local Motor winner. Did you use the same techniques from one car design to another? What changes on the concept part?
Yes, I usually use the same process for all the projects.. the details differ but the process is the same: research, idea generation through exploratory sketches, sketch development (explinatory sketching), and the final step, presentation of the final concept (done in 2d or 3d) .
What was the biggest challenge in the LM Hawaii concept?
The 3d model.. im not especially fond of 3d modeling.. I think the sketching phase is the most fun part in all the projects.
Out of all the projects you have done, which one is your favorite and why?
My favorite is always the project I am currently working on (unless the current project is something boring). Once a project is over, each new one is usually better.. so that is my new favorite.
What was the most difficult part in your Opel Contest Concept? How do you define and explain the design directions?
I try to be as logic as possible, ultimately, I think every project is a marriage of logics and instinct. The design process (logic part) can lead to multiple design directions but instinct governs the sketching part (the part where the project comes to life in my view). Each designer may interpret a set of characteristics in a different way, based on instinct and creativity, that is why in many cases design is a “team sport” (some companies use teams of designers to achieve a better result).
How do you start working on an ad? Do you use references, a description from and advertising agency or just imagination?
Yes, depending on the ad and based on client requirements I start the research phase, develop ideas through sketches, etc. References are always part of the research process. Imagination is usefull in the sketch development phase.
If you work for an advertising agency, do you find it difficult to work on “somebody else’s vision”?
No, as far as the project evolves to be better and better. If I don’t agree on something, I don’t hesitate to say it and try to change the project on the path I think is best...
Which concept/look do you believe was the most difficult to achieve? (How did you do it?)
The most difficult was the license project (though its not the best project I ever made it’s the one I applied the design process for the first time). It helped to have criticism from teachers and colleagues..
What programs/plugins do you use?

For drawing/sketching I use Adobe Photoshop (like most people), for vector stuff, Adobe Illustrator, for catalogues and prints that have more than 1 page, Adobe Indesign. As for 3d, I use 3d Studio Max (will be learning Autodesk Alias Auto Studio when I have time).

Do you think computer graphics changed visual advertisement and consumer behavior?
Sure, quality is so high that unless you know how and what to look for you can’t know where the photos end and where the computer graphics begin (be it 3d or 2d). For a normal consumer it’s almost impossible to know the difference between the 2. Also, better visual advertisement is more accessible now, so more small/medium companies can afford to use it.
What are your goals?
To get better.. and start working in the car design industry as fast as possible.
What’s the one project that you received the most praise for? What is your favorite movie/ commercial?
I think the project I received most praise for is that LM Modula (the one whith which I won the Local Motors Texas contest). Favorite movie: Game of Thrones (im also reading the books).. I don’t have a favorite commercial.. but I usually like the funny ones (VW Darth Vader for example)
How important is it to have a proper education in this field?
I see it as a race.. and the better schools put their students closer to the finish line. I can't think of a simpler metaphor to explain it.
If you had the opportunity to spend a day with anyone from this industry, who would it be?
Someone who could get me a job in the car design industry :) 
What do you have up your sleeve for future projects?
Currently working on entries for the Terra Prix 2085 contest held by Local Motors and the Renault4Ever design contest.