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Visually’s Marketplace connects thousands of designers with clients seeking to commission infographics and data visualizations. Every week, we feature a member of our designer community here, on the blog. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at blog[at]visual.ly.
Name: Sofya Yampolsky
On Visually: sofyay
In Design: 15 years
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?
The first time I ever designed something on a computer was when my mom started her own business in the early 90s. She used to make ads for the newspaper (whaaa?) and I helped her out using ClarisWorks on a Mac Performa IIe. I think I was maybe 12 or 13. It’s just something I’ve always done, sometimes as a job and other times as a hobby, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. These days I’ve moved more into UX design, because my primary motivation is problem solving and user experience is where novel problems in the web and digital arena often arise.
2. In 7 words or less, describe your style.
Malevich and Tschichold. Stuff of my dreams.
3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?
El Lissitzky. He was working at the intersection of typography, formal abstraction, and architecture. My three favorite design-y things. I deeply appreciate the rigorous theoretical foundation of his work, and I admire the marriage of form and action that took place in Russian art and architecture in the nascent years of the 20th century. So much so, that I have some Constructivist architecture tattooed on my arm.
4. What’s your favorite color? Why?
Wait, is this a date? haha I find this question completely impossible. I guess my favorite color is “leather” and “coffee” and “brass”. And “heavy metal”.
5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?
I’ve always tried hard to avoid having a boss. It’s rarely a relationship that has worked well for me. However, as I reached a point in my career when people began to work for me, I realized how much I could have learned about managing people if I had ever let myself be managed. But hey, when you’re young you think you know everything!
6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.
I’m proud of everything that I do at the time that I do it — and I think it’s all junk about six months afterwards (haha). That’s how I keep myself from getting complacent, I guess. The “What Are the Odds” infographic was the piece of work that garnered the most media attention, and it was pretty exciting to reach that many people. But I would be truly proud if I could create something that has a substantial and subversive social impact. I have zero desire to reach 2,000,000 Coca-Cola consumers with my brilliant advertising campaign; I’d rather be part of something like Occupy Design.
7. Who should we feature in this space next?