Meet our co-founder Stelios Vasilantonakis. An artist, dreamer and romantic that hates to compromise. Especially at work. He’s also our creative director and designer. We got to ask him some questions.
Stelios, tell us a bit about designing apps? - Well, honestly I know nothing about app design, but I do know how to use a pencil so that’s how I started. I drew the first images of what I had in my mind on my sketch book. In the beginning I tried to think, 'How would this look like if it was an app?'.
'How would this look like if it was an app?'
That escalated unfortunately in colourful, roundish almost cartoonish shapes. Not at all what I wanted or what I like. I took some days of and started all over again. I was a bit scared because I've always had control over visual imagery and I've always had confidence in that, but this threw me of a little bit. It was hard because I wanted Gayze to be something genuine, even though it’s an app. I wanted it to be different and personal.
I talked to my partner Elin Wibell and we realised that our strengths had to be our lack of experience. Since none of us were in tech we agreed that we would bring our passions and what we loved doing to the process and work from that. My passion has always been art and design so I started with these elements. All the things that were beautiful to me. My partner kept telling me 'Think outside the box!', so I started making a mood board with beautiful buildings, paintings from the renaissance and people I love.
My mother is often depicted in my paintings, so I went back to that also. All my life I remember her using a perfume from Yves Saint Laurent. Rive Gauche. The bottle is very simple, graphic and has the colours black, blue and silver. All of which I like. That became my main inspiration. How was the actual process from that?
- I always wanted our own imagery, from fonts to pictures, so I thought that everything written would be black, while the blue would represent different images and the silver all of the gray nuances in between. I think it worked out pretty well. At least the feedback has been overwhelming from both the tech and design world. We also use the same idea for our Instagram account Gayzestories.
You talk about inspiration. What is that to you? - I’m not sure really. It’s a feeling, not one feeling, but a feeling. For me it’s important to have an emotional bond with whatever I’m creating. The perfume brings back fond memories that I associate closely with that colour scheme. I wanted to share that.
So what inspires you? - I’m inspired by people and everything human and humane. The rest is just hard work. When I paint for instance, the sketches I make before are the easiest. They just come very easy, but to transfer them on canvas is pure work. I do enjoy the process, but it’s more of a craft. To finish, what was the most challenging? - If you ask my partner, she would say my ability to compromise, that is non existing. I just see things black or white I guess. In the process I found some of the developing really inhibitive, as a visual outsider I just didnt want to add some tecnichal features that we needed because I didnt find them aesthetically pleasing, but that was a really good lesson. Sometimes one has to accept that there has to be a Facebook login button (but it does'nt need to be blue!). Thank you very much for taking time and talking to us! - Thank you Jonathan! Our newest talented team member! / JONATHAN FLYTE, EDITOR