Tea, tell us more about yourself.
Hi, my name is Tea and I am working as a web designer at Bamboo Lab. I was born in Nova Gradiška in 1991. I lived in Zagreb for about ten years, which provided me with everything my hometown could not and greatly influenced my development. Recently, I moved to Osijek, which I currently consider the most comfortable Croatian city to live in. I'm loving it mainly because it's spacious, full of green areas and parks. The traffic is generally not crowded, and it's great for cycling and walking. There is plenty of gastronomy, music, and both cultural and artistic events in and around the city. I'm a foodie, craft beer sommelier, explorer, and artsy engineer, so I greatly enjoy them.
How did you first learn about Bamboo Lab?
I heard about it when I explored the IT scene in Croatia and searched for job offerings out of Zagreb. A little over a year ago, the company searched for a web designer, so Boris contacted me via LinkedIn, and that is how my story with Bamboo Lab started.
How long have you worked at Bamboo Lab?
I’ve been here for a year now and counting. It's very dynamic, so it flew by very quickly.
What does your job 💻 look like?
Colorful, literally. At the beginning of the day, I review Slack channels, Asana tasks, and notes. I set priorities and start with the most important task. It is known to happen for several days to only work on a specific website or application. After the briefing, I start with the research, determining the main goals and needs of the end-users. When I get a bigger picture, I sketch, design layouts in Figma, and iterate as needed. Besides that, I design various visuals with the marketing team. In addition, we are constantly improving and working on the internal processes, communication, and structure.
What do you like most about your job?
Possibility to create - add value by function, aesthetics, or problem-solving. I love the freedom to innovate and express, anytime, anywhere. Constant progress - no stagnation; it is necessary to monitor, learn and keep up with current and best practices. Working in Figma - a simple and powerful tool that facilitates collaboration and makes everything easier for every team.
What is the favorite part about working at Bamboo Lab?
I appreciate our freedom, trust, understanding, and flexibility here. Interpersonal relationships and atmosphere are nice accordingly. Teambuilding and hanging out with my colleagues are always fun.
Tell us more about your favorite project.
It was challenging to work on the web for Jezikoslovlje, a journal of the Osijek Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Content is extensive, mostly textual, and users are less computer literate. The main goal was to bring them closer to the content and make it easier to use in the digital form.
What advice do you have for prospective Bamboo Lab candidates?
Feel free to be curious, playful, ask, and explore. Practice as much as possible. Ask for feedback and learn to appreciate it. Maybe a bit cheesy, but follow your dreams; there's always a way to reach them.
3 words to describe Bamboo lab 🐼?
Adaptive, multifarious, progressive.
Let’s jump to some lighter questions. What do you love to do in your spare time?
I love to explore, learn, travel, and create. So far, I have tried my hand at painting, illustration, and various DIY techniques. I've retrained to work with metals and jewelry design. I have trained in athletics, karate, gymnastics, and aerial silk. I am currently attending pottery workshops and have made my first cup and candlestick. Dancing, music, festivals, painting, going for a walk, socializing, and traveling help me to relax. Also, psychology and self-improvement are very important to me. I'm studying Creative therapies to understand people and their feelings more.
What is on your bucket list 📝?
I’d like to see Aurora borealis, parachute jump, learn to play at least one instrument, live at least for a year outside of Croatia, to do road trip around Europe, have a house by the sea with a well-equipped crafting workshop, and make a jewelry piece for Croatian artist/singer Josipa Lisac.
What is an ability you wish you had?
Time management or the ability to clone myself. Currently, I'm writing with my right hand, thinking, translating thoughts from Croatian to English, and eating with my left hand. Having ADHD brought me some nice things like flashes of creative ideas, hobbies, and lots of colorful interests. Sometimes it's hard to choose between so much cool stuff to do, and it can be exhausting. The possibility to clone or manage time to make it pass faster when doing something boring, or slow it down when enjoying the moment or trying to finish long to-do lists would be a thrill.
Any random facts you could share with us?
Yeah, a completely random one. The artesian water benefits the hippos, as its composition is quite close to that of the Nile’s waters. The Budapest zoo management thus decided to fill the hippo basin with thermal water, in which the hippos are literally thriving: most of the hippos in European zoos have Hungarian roots, as the Budapest Zoo hippos are breeding at a record rate.
What book did you read 📕 last?
I have been reading mostly manuals for years. The last book I read was Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton. I recommend it to anyone involved in design or writing. Great for freshening your knowledge or learning something new about typography and layout.
Do you have a favorite newspaper, or blog?
I do not read newspapers or watch TV. I like to read blogs. Some of them are: Psychology Today, various blog posts from Infinum, Figma, UX Collective, It’s Nice That, Webflow, and Medium.
If your house was burning down, What is the one nonliving thing you would save?
If I have to choose one, it's the phone. Mostly everything I have is connected to it. Accounts, photos, documents, credit cards, contacts, etc. I'd take my favorite wardrobe pieces and sneakers if I could choose more. A box with memories and photos or a laptop, iPad, and a wallet (so I don't need to make new documents and wait for them in the police office).
What is your personal philosophy?
Be skeptical, curious, and enthusiastic; always keep your mind active and open.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
When I was born, my parents named me Irena, but after ten days they changed their minds. I'm glad this happened and think that Tea works much better for me.
Best vacation 🏝 you’ve been to?
My friend Tijana and I came to Dubrovnik and slept in a hammock at the historical fortress walls. Rode a crazy bus until we arrived at the final spot in Montenegro, next to the Albanian border. We stayed in a cottage at Ada Bojana waterside, from where we went by boat to the jazz & soul festival at the 13km long sand beach. The people we met there were the best, very helpful, kind, and chill. After this experience, jokes I've heard before about Montenegro residents, their laziness and grumpiness didn't make any sense.
What is something you always wanted to do but never did?
I wanted to study architecture for a long time, but I chose design instead and don’t regret it. I still admire architecture, but the design path gives me more flexibility and variety. Especially UX / UI design, where I still have the opportunity to combine nice and functional to develop digital products.