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Cromatic Geek of the Week: Elena Jiga // AR | VR | Web & App Design

Hey there! If you’re here, you know the drill. This is our official blog where we talk about our projects, our people and our random thoughts.
This section of our blog is dedicated to promoting our team, in any way they want to. We’re going to question them about themselves, their life and their hobbies so you can know better the humans behind the work.

Today we’ll talk with Elena, but we’re gonna call her Cera, since that is how she introduced herself two months ago, when she joined our team. Yeah, hard times for everyone, but we ain’t getting nowhere if we don’t make this economic machine work, so here we are, bringing new people to the table and encouraging everyone to invest in PEOPLE. In this interview we’re gonna get to know what lies inside the mind of a multidisciplinary graphic designer who explores areas like AR  technology, motion graphics, web and app design.

CS: Here we are, talking to the most fresh member of the team, who joined us during a pandemic. Welcome! 

C: Hi there! I think it is my first interview.

CS: Oh, that’s more for us to explore! Let’s see first how you managed to land in our creative nest at such an intriguing moment. 

C: Bad things make good things happen, I guess. I had been working in another agency for 1 month when the pandemic started. When the situation changed, they said they were not able to continue with the contract so I was forced to find another job. I researched some creative agencies and contacted them in the hope that I would get an interview. I got one from you. When I met Daniel and Cristian I instantly knew I wanted to work with them. That never happened before.


CS: This is a good opportunity for us as well, as your colleagues, to know you better. Who is this girl people know as Cera? Where did you grow up and what did you study?

C: People say I’m someone totally different once they get to know me more. I grew up in Constanta, so I love the beach. I studied graphic design in Bucharest, and then in Eindhoven. I am an empath, 50% introvert 50% extrovert, I love animals and I don’t kill insects. I like to cycle, do yoga and laugh a lot. I also tend to be too straightforward.

CS: Let’s see you as a designer. When did you start your journey as one?

C: I guess at…6? I have been drawing since I was a 6-7 year old kid. Or maybe high school, I did graphic design in high school. I don’t know! It’s hard to say actually. 

CS: When Daniel showed us your portfolio, we were all excited to have someone in the team who has experience in AR and VR. How did you get into that and what lures you in that direction?

C: I started working with AR during my Masters in situated design in the Netherlands.
I had a cool teacher, Marnix de Nijs, who is a cross-media artist exhibiting in many countries. His work is fascinating, he experiments with photogrammetry, VR and technological sculptures. I also had other awesome teachers there, and the Netherlands is a pretty awesome place to do graphic design, really. All the people I met there guided me and showed me what is possible.
Due to my UX self-initiated project, I had the time to dive into many mediums, learned to code by myself, for AR, learned Unity, and many others. I have a self-taught method and I love experimenting with different fields. I also had all the help and support I needed. I love VR and AR every time I try it. I love watching people try it even more. Every time I tested the AR work I loved the expression on their faces. It’s like you show magic tricks to children. 

CS: You said you worked previously before your arrival at Cromatic Studios.

C: I actually worked in many agencies/companies before Cromatic Studios and in all of them for a short period of time. I worked in a creative agency as a graphic designer-programmer sort of combo, in an advertising agency as a graphic designer and as a UI designer. But, like I said, bad things make good things happen.

CS: Tell us a little about your interests and your hobbies.

C: Okay so more about dogs and yoga. Sure! I love ALL dogs, and I do yoga about 3 times per week. In the weekend I cycle with my friends. I used to do bouldering too. I love orchids. My favourite color is green.

CS: In our team people use social media to create, consume or even ignore content, cause they don’t really use it at all, but still, they have it. You don’t have any kind of social media. In a world where almost everyone has an alter ego in virtual reality, what made you take this decision of not using it?

C: I gave up on social media 3 years ago because I didn’t find anything interesting there. I also don’t feel like I missed anything actually. People who want to know how I am doing usually call or leave a text message. My brother also doesn’t use social media. Really, everyone should try it. You get more free time in reality.

CS: Do you ever get to the point where you feel like your creativity juices are low? How do you deal with that?

C: Strangely, I don’t. My creativity is not something separate from me, it is me. I totally got used to that. Nothing wrong with that.

CS: We’re honestly looking for more tv series to binge, movies to watch and podcasts to listen. Mind sharing some of your sources of wisdom and entertainment with us?

C: Unless you want to see Friends again, or X-Men, not really. I listen to Alan Watts sometimes. I like Scorpions, Arctic Monkeys, Massive Attack, R. E. M, Radiohead. I listen to the same band for 1 week sometimes. Don’t know why.

C: Instead of calling it work, realize it is play.