Timeouts are lightning-quick interviews. Five questions to help you get to know the players holding court at Dribbble. Many thanks to Anna for being today’s interviewee.
Who are you? Let us know where you hail from and what you do.
My name is Anna Ropalo. Originally from Kashpir, Samarskaya Oblast, Russia (I have yet to meet someone who knows where that is) and am currently in Portland, OR, on my way to the beautiful St. Petersburg. All over the place.
I am a student, an insomniac and according to people that know me well, incredibly sarcastic. I don’t say this enough, but I am incredibly blessed. Blessed to be able to do what I love, to be able to share my experiments with the design community. It’s really humbling. I’m not a seasoned designer and I haven’t been doing this for years, which means there is still a lot for me to learn. Lettering for me was always more of a hobby, just something I did in class when I couldn’t concentrate, and it quickly became something I was passionate about.
What are you working on?
Currently working on a couple of projects that I’m really excited about, and a few that make me question my life choices haha. Finishing up a postcard series (eventually), a few wedding invitations for friends and a couple of tattoo designs that have been pretty fun thus far. There are also some illustration projects in the works, as well as lettering for a wine label project that I’m thrilled about, and a ton of personal projects that I have been putting off for too long. The other day I was helping my younger sister superglue beans onto a shirt and wondering if I was losing my mind.
Choose a favorite shot of yours. Tell us why it’s a favorite.
My favorite shot is the first project I posted on Dribbble because it was the first thing that really pushed me to explore lettering. I was studying architecture before graphic design (and math before that, because who doesn’t love numbers? *cough cough*), and instead of focusing on floor plans, I would be sketching, drawing, procrastinating. Gave me a lot to think about, and I finally decided that if I was spending more time reading through books on typography than building models, I was in the wrong place. Also because I thought it was weird that everyone in my studio class kept sleeping bags under their drafting tables. I wasn’t ready for that haha.
Tell us about your setup. What tools did you use to create the shot(s)? (e.g. hardware, software, pens, paper, blowtorch, etc.)
I don’t technically have a “workspace” because I do what I do in random places. I can’t sit still long enough to occupy a space. This is what it looks like pretty much every day (except there’s usually more of a mess):
If I could, I would leave everything in sketch form, because I think process work is beautiful. My setup is really simple. A pencil. Paper. Every MuteMath album on repeat and pens or sharpies I find laying around. That’s pretty much it. I go digital from time to time, but my work is usually complete after i’ve laid down the ink. I love traditional methods of design and detail…man, I am a sucker for detail.
Choose a favorite shot from another player. Tell us why you dig it.
That’s like asking me which member of my family I like the best. There is so much incredible work on here, and I’m blown away every time I look through the shots, trying to figure out how the heck people do what it is they do.
There are a few that I really, really love. First, this shot by Justin Mezzell. The complexity of textures and colors is really beautiful, and it has a really unique aesthetic, which makes it even more amazing.