Mukadis Mehmedova – Muki is one of the most creative, positive and devoted people you could ever meet. She is a part of our Graphic Design team and she handles every concept with extreme care. Her jaw-dropping ideas leave Kingly‘s clients speechless and we couldn’t be happier to have her on board.
Muki, was there a specific moment in your life when you discovered that Graphic Design could be a possible carrier choice for you?
It all started when I went to study Industry Design at the University of Ruse. They were teaching different disciplines – from product design to interior and graphic design. At first, I wasn’t quite sure which path to take. And because I was interested in Photography, I decided to combine it with graphic design. I later learned it also goes hand in hand with product design.
I had the chance to get an internship while I was studying at the university. This experience drove me toward graphic design even further. The firm I was assigned to had a very professional approach when it came to handling creative projects. They had an in-house professional photographer and a graphic designer. They were creating the overall campaigns for their clients. I was able to see how every piece of the puzzle falls into the right place. It was fascinating. I was mainly editing the photographer’s pictures. He was involved in product photography and stock photography. We were creating content for websites as well. Later I continued working part-time for this company. That was how the spark was lit.
I found another job that also allowed me to combine photography and graphic design. However, the focus was mainly on photography. I was mostly creating content for online shops. And even though I didn’t have much knowledge about graphic design, I later found a job that helped me concentrate on it. This experience gave me so much more know-how than what the university could offer. I learned a lot more about the preprint process in a company called Ruse Press which was focused on the creation and printing of advertising materials.
So your true passion is Photography? Do you have a specific interest when it comes to drawing with light?
I am really keen on product photography. I have been experimenting with different genres. I had a fling with event photography. At some point, I was even taking pictures at discos. I thought it is quite exhausting. You realize you spend way too much time taking photos at night, and then you had to spend even more time editing them. It is OK for a temporary job. However, getting every detail right when it came to the product pictures was far more satisfying. I liked the fact that someone else would use what I have created as advertising materials.
How did you discover Kingly as a company? What made the company stand out?
The story is quite interesting. At that exact period, I was working as a freelancer. I didn’t have a steady job. I had left my job at the printing house. My fiancée – then boyfriend – and I decided to move to the UK and try to find work there. That is when I realized that I have to continue developing in what I enjoy doing instead of trying to find just any job. I believe that anyone should experiment until she/he finds her/his passion.
We returned from the UK after spending about 9-10 months there. I wanted to see if I could manage to support myself with some freelance work. And one day an ex-colleague of mine told me that Rob is looking for a photographer. I have heard of him because he was a client of Ruse Press. She gave him my contact information so we could have a chat and I could get a better understanding of what he really needs.
And then he sent me a large package of socks, so I could take photos of them. During the first month, I was working with him as a freelancer. He liked the final result and he suggested I start creating designs. It seemed very different from what I was used to, especially when it comes to sock design. I have never thought that I would be involved in anything like that. I decided to give it a try, especially because I thought the products are quite interesting. That is how I started working for Kingly.
Surely there are challenges you face on daily basis as a professional. What makes your work rewarding? What gives you motivation for moving forward?
Motivation comes mainly from the fact that I have freedom. I can express my point of view and discover solutions for any kind of issue that might occur. When a person feels like she/he is swimming in familiar waters and they are valued for what they do, that is when their full potential can unfold. That is the most important thing for me. Even when you are facing problems, somehow you manage to overcome them. I immediately come up with a solution that might just fix them. Usually, when we are in a stressful situation, I often come up with a better solution when it comes to design.
Is that what you think your biggest strength is? Are there other qualities or skills you possess that you think could help the company stay on top of its game?
I am a very calm person which helps me react smoothly in various situations. I am instantly looking for the solution rather than spiraling down within the problem. I think that helps in finding a way out of the issues we have so that we don’t let the tension build up between co-workers.
There were a few changes made with regard to management and organizational culture within the company in the past several months. We could even say that this is a 2.0 version of Kingly. Are there any particular practices you would like to keep? Is there anything you think needs evolving?
To a great extent, I am satisfied. A problem could always occur within the work process. The reason I work for this company is Rob. And he is the person I mainly work with. I had a very good impression of him from the start. He jumps into projects that he doesn’t have a very clear vision of but manages to find a way to execute them. That is a very strong quality for business.
I appreciate that when the Covid-19 pandemic spread, he flipped the business around, and made sure that everyone gets their salaries. I thought that I would be left without a job. However, at the same time that my friends were complaining that they don’t have any projects to work on, I didn’t have any chance to take a break from work.
Rob is extremely adaptive. And that is a very positive quality. He thinks about everyone – not just about the company’s growth but for the employees as well. Something that is worth mentioning is that he constantly initiates donation campaigns. He is very inspiring. He gives great ideas and he is quite creative. At first glimpse, his ideas seem a bit crazy. But on second thought, there is always a way to make them happen. Of course, anyone could say: “I don’t care, that is not in my job description”. But when you see the result and you see that it could really happen, it is very impressive.
I am happy to be a part of his projects and that I can build up on his ideas. When he tells me that I need to create a design for a product, I already know what to do and what he would like. With just a few explanations of what he needs, I can create a really good design that he would like. Thanks to the experience I have gained and the time that I have spent in the company, I know how to put the spotlight on a certain product and make it shine.
How do you feel about the atmosphere of the company? Do you think there is good communication between the different departments of Kingly?
Given the distance and the fact that Lubo – our other graphic designer – and I are working in Ruse and not Sofia, I don’t really have a problem with anyone. Everyone is very helpful when an issue occurs, or when I have a question. Our co-workers have never said “No” to giving a helping hand when I need it. I also help them when they need information. Lubo and I are constantly giving ideas.
I don’t have the full picture having in mind that I am not working on site. I have always tried to have a professional relationship with my colleagues. I don’t like to share my personal experiences with just anyone. Of course, if you have some personal issues to deal with, emotions reflect on your work and your relationships within the workplace.
During the shaky period in our company that was driven by some personal and professional conflicts that affected the work, it was really hard. There was a certain tension in the air. We felt it too even though we are not in the factory itself. But the change is positive. I see that the organization between the teams is better, especially with the new CRM system. We have a better overview of the status of every order. There is always something we can do better in the process.
I see that Rob is doing a really good job so far, even though he was going through some personal struggles. Even if he wants to focus on the work, this is something that surely affected him on a deeper level. I think it might take a little more time, but we are on the right track. I believe that because when there is a will there is a way.
What is your opinion on the sustainability drive behind the company? We are creating some exceptional sustainable products for world-renowned companies, like Google, Samsung, Coca-Cola, etc. How do you feel about that?
I am truly inspired when we create sustainable promotional gifts. These are not just products, there is a story behind everything we create. We can tell a lot more about the product when there is a concept, an idea behind it. Offering eco-friendly products is a trend these days. I really like everything sustainable that we offer. I create every design with great inspiration just because it is for an eco-friendly product.
What is Muki like when she is not at work? How do you like to spend your spare time?
I like riding my bike. When the weather is nice, I come to work with it. My fiancée and I like to go for walks in the park with our husky after work. It is very refreshing. On our days off we like to enjoy nature, its wild places and mountain climbing. We are thinking of going camping. We also like to explore tourist destinations in our region.
Text and translation: Desislava Pateva
Photo: Ivaylo Ivanov
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