1First, tell us about yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
My name is Natali Zakashanska, I am the co-founder and Strategy Director of a local Ukrainian Branding Agency Galagan. Creating brands is what we are good and competent at and – which is more – what we love doing. My job is my hobby or my hobby is my job.
Once a year we take social branding or identity project to contribute to leveling up visual culture in our country and adequately present Ukrainian companies on the global stage. My partner Maria Omelchuk and I teach branding and graphic design in one of the best Ukrainian schools. Our designers are many-time winners of creative awards in our country. And account managers get along with customers and succeed in projects from all over the world.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
Branding is a complicated and exciting process starting with defining the brand's model, positioning, communication strategy up to visual identification. I manage all the process, participate in strategic part of it and supervise development. Our creative group works on the project; I am just a part of our cohesive team of professionals. Maria Omelchuk, second co-founder and Creative Director of our agency, is able to visualize and translate into graphics language any strategic thought and assignment. Under her guidance designers perform faster and better.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2018 Muse Creative Awards, what does winning this award mean to you and your team?
At 11 pm we found out about our creation winning gold! Even at such a late hour, we contacted our customer to congratulate on this landmark event. Gold in European competition is a reach award! This award for our team is a further proof that we go in the right direction, that design in Ukraine is worth of high international estimates.
4What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
I can’t divide my answer into three parts but I’d like to offer one diversified answer. Design is not art actually; design and branding are money-making tools. But branding can become art when it thrives at touching one’s heart, striking deep chords, evoking the right associations and carrying the right image and with all that helps to better sell a product/service.
5Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My second education is psychology. It’s trite to say so but every single person is a unique story with its own complexity and joy, scrutinizing human soul brings inspiration to create images that touches the human heart. I mean people themselves, customers, and their tasks inspire our team. The harder the task – the more interesting it is to work with it. It’s a kind of challenge.
6What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
There is so much to tell about Ukraine! My country is rich in traditions, emotions! Delicious and satisfying meals, expanse of woodland, beautiful and melodic language, friendly and hospitable people – all that influences our creative industry. Ukrainian pattern is often visible on an emotional level. We work very much, put a lot into our projects. Let’s say we add life.
7What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the advertising industry?
Aside from what is usually recommended (I mean professional resources) I would suggest enriching the mind and creative thinking with observation over the world around us, reading, theater, travelling, communication with loved ones. Growing emotional skills, if you know what I mean.
8Finally, what is your key to success?
Going outside and watching the world, giving time for rest and dreaming in bed) And last but not least – being hardworking.