Hometown: Kragujevac, Serbia
It would be criminal not to include Dora Lazarević in our Bright Young Things round-up for 2020. The 20-year-old designer is the best thing to come out of Serbia’s fourth largest city, and you only need to flick through her impressive portfolio to see why. Dora’s background in interior design and fine arts takes shape in her super-minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired work that dabbles in poster art, type design, illustration, print editorials, and more. Put simply, Dora has the kind of style that can’t be taught, but we caught up with her from the other side of the globe in the hopes of siphoning off some of her natural talent anyway.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Kragujevac, Serbia. It’s a really small town with a lifeless art scene, so finding people with similar interests was, and still is, a challenge.
What initially drew you to interiors and set design?
Since childhood, I was drawn to architecture and expression through different kinds of art forms. One of them was interior design. I enjoy finding a perfect balance and order in colours, shapes, materials, textures, and space.
Is there anything in particular you learnt from studying these, that you use in your design work?
I learned many different things including calligraphy, photography, sculpting, and painting. I think all of them are extremely useful in their own way.
What’s one of your earliest memories of appreciating something visual?
I always find myself searching for beauty in things, and it’s been like that for as long as I can remember. My mom had a notebook with a few of Salvador Dali’s paintings and I loved looking at them when I was four or five. He’s still one of my favourite artists.
You have a very clear, minimalist approach. What do you think this style is influenced by?
Maybe it’s not that obvious, but I’d say it’s heavily inspired by the Bauhaus movement and brutalism. I also enjoy folk and primitive art.
What have you been reading, watching or doing at the moment that’s inspiring you?
I haven’t been watching anything lately, but I’m listening to a lot of poetry written and read by Sylvia Plath. Her voice is so powerful and beautiful.
Have you been experimenting with any different techniques or tools lately?
I haven’t had a chance, but I’d love to experiment with analogue stuff and explore some other forms of art.
You get to collaborate with someone on a dream project—what’s the project and who is it with?
Stanley Donwood. The project can be absolutely anything.
What do you want to learn this year?
I’d love to get better at 3D modelling and rendering, maybe learn the basics of animation and coding. I also want to expand my knowledge of Russian and start learning Greek and French… I’ll probably have to leave something for next year.