Interview: Miodrag Djordjević

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Name: My real name is Miodrag Djordjevic but I work under the pseudonym MiShaLaMpe.

Where do you live:
I’m a citizen of the city of Belgrade and the never-land called Serbia.

Known for:
I don’t know how known I am but I design and create lamps and other interior elements.

Currently working with:
I’m currently actual with various products designed by the principle of Recycling and Upcycling. First, that implies the use of materials which for some are waste and second, it implies the processing of products that used to have a different purpose and have been rejected. Then, with the help of imagination and by combining the two principles of creating I transform that material into something that could be used once again, but as a completely different interior unit.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this:
I think that this is the answer where I will entangle bits and pieces from several other questions in this interview. There was a moment in my life during which I, while having completely different jobs from this current, on a sunny February morning, while walking by in the early hours in the empty streets of Belgrade, noticed one SpazioLampa lamp. At that moment only I and this lamp existed.

As time went by, I repetitively stopped by the shop window, each time staying there longer and longer, getting more and more intrigued by this lamp. Eventually, I decided that this is what I have to do – create lamps. Also, I have to mention that grinders and different such tools which I use every day now, I had never seen before that moment. I didn’t even know how to hold a hammer properly nor in which hand according to the true masters of this field, because I’m left-handed.

And so, being left-handed and without any prior experience I threw myself into this adventure called processing of iron and production of lamps… There was a lot of sweat and blood spent to get to this level of knowledge and competence that I have today.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
If I had the opportunity to choose, it would certainly be some place seashore with a lot of sunny days in a year. Because the sun is my favorite vitamin and with it, everything’s much easier. Regardless if that sun is seen through the window of my workshop. It just has to be there and shine. There, now I noticed that this goes perfectly in line with the lamps. The SHINING.

How would you describe your design/work:
I would describe by work with iron and paper, as well as some other materials, as a game or with a more modern expression – a mix of the imagination and real materials. And from this process of mixing and merging all creative products which have my name MiShaLaMpe on them emerge.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Immediately after the already mentioned obsession with the already mentioned shop window, I bought my tools and armed myself with patience. I didn’t think that it would take that much patience but it did. But, here I am before you, satisfied with my work and filled with a desire to continue developing and keep working as long as I breathe.

What do you do at the moment?
At the moment, I’m trying to combine different materials and different things from different time periods, and with a generous amount of imagination transforming them into something reflecting the present moment. Usually it’s about lamps but there’s also chairs, mirrors…and other decorative elements.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
I don’t have any particular advice. You only have to sincerely love what you do and be armed with patience and positive vibrations. Because those things are really necessary in order to be working with creative work here in this region. And then just keep moving forward!

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
The most important thing is all of the correct tools in order to not be limited during my creative work. If something’s missing, that process can stop and it can also turn into something that I don’t finish at all. The energy that happens must be lead in the right direction and correctly used during a creative work session. And when it’s used in the right way, magic happens. That’s obviously apparent on the final product.

What is your favorite film?
That’s a hard question, because I’m a cinephile, I love all films. From Quentin Tarantino to Lord of the Rings, the Scapegoat, Fight Club… All the way to romantic comedies. Sometimes I even shed a tear.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
I would love to have a dinner with someone of the head producers on Discovery Channel, to convince him/her to do a series that would be about creative artists from this region. From idea to realization. And I think that it would be very interesting, the many ways in which people here find a way to work with what they love. I think that this would be really, really interesting. Because surviving in Alaska isn’t that much of an adventure as creating something in Serbia. I think that would be a total success of an idea.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
I would like to spoil myself by relaxing on a terrace every morning, somewhere close to the sea. The early sun is starting to warm up the air, and I’m drinking juice and reading the newspapers along with having breakfast, before I walk down to my workshop with big doors.

What is luxury for you?
Luxury for me is time. A continuous fight to use that time in a better way. Sometimes you’re in conflict with the minutes and hours because there’s not enough of them.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your design/work, and from whom?
A little kid, he was about six years old, he stood outside my shop window and interrogated me about what I do. I answered that I create lamps, to which he immediately concluded that I am a “Lamper”, and that I make nice lamps.

What do you fear most?
What I fear most is people’s reaction when they see my work for the first time. I have that nervousness but it disappears the same moment when I notice their smiling faces.

What is a happy life to you?
Doing what you love and being able to make a living from it, enabling you to function normally and remove all obstacles for continuous improvement. And enjoying the fruits of the work with family and loved ones.

What does a regular day look like for you?
I start at around 7 am. First, I take care of things online, updating my profiles, which takes about two hours. Then it’s time for breakfast and going to the workshop, which I lovingly refer to a Dzu-Box. I then work until quite late. But the beauty in that is that I work with something different every day, using both body and mind. For me, this time spent in my Dzu-Box is very fun and interesting. Of course there are moments of darkness and overcast, but the sun always wins, because in my workshop the atmosphere is reflecting the feelings that maaaaaaaaany sunny days do.

Tell us about your dream project.
To make huge lamps for the Burning Man festival and that they shine bright in that location.

Who is your favorite designer?
Leonardo da Vinci. His inventions. That’s the source of inspiration.

How would you describe your style?
I don’t think that I have a specific or defined style. Maybe it could be classified as freestyle.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
Loved ones and my grinder.

What inspires you?
Basically everything. People. Things. Nature. But really everything because that’s a process which everything that happens around you is affecting, and then it all piles up until that moment when the inspiration appears on the surface. Just like in the cartoons when a snowball starts to roll down the hill. But literally, it’s very similar, except that in cartoons, the snowball always destroys something, and here it floats up to the surface and gives you hints and signals until you notice it. After that, the struggle with metals and materialization of the imagined starts – and it’s always very fun.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Lord of the Rings… Because the amount of imagination and energy invested in this work is fascinating. Tolkien created a completely new language and grammar because of this book. A fully functional new language. That, to me, is fascinating and the success of this book is completely understandable. It takes incredible imagination and such a remarkable determination to create something like that in one single entity. And it can only be done by people who are in love with their aspirations and goals.

Follow Miodrag on Instagram
Visit his blog
Connect with him on Google+ 
Check out his channel at YouTube 
Visit his pages on Behance & Vimeo 
See his profile on Tumblr & Flickr
E-mail him at mishalampe@gmail.com

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