We had the good fortune of connecting with Maryia Bulka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maryia, how do you think about risk?
I believe that risk-taking is essential for growth both in life and career. It is at times easy to get comfortable where we are and nag about the circumstances. But to get different results or to be in different circumstances we need to change our ways. This is where the risk comes into play. It’s stepping out of our comfort zone whether it’s reaching out to inquire about a job opportunity or simply speaking up in a relationship that can make all the difference and get us where we want to be.
They say that the brave are not the ones who don’t have fear, but the ones who conquer it, and I agree with that. Risk means change, and change is scary. There are no guarantees, but to me, the potential results and the experience gained along the way make it worthwhile.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an identity & packaging designer, but I didn’t come into the graphic design field right away.
While I always enjoyed drawing as a kid, I ended up studying languages and communication at a linguistic school back home in Belarus. It was then that I realized how important it is to be able to relate to people from various backgrounds and to know how to craft the message so it would be understood across different languages and cultures.
Languages are the key to the world and its diversity, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so with time, I added photography to my skill. Yet, it felt like something else was missing. And that’s how I discovered graphic design: a perfect intersection of words and images. It is a concept made live by means of typography, photography, illustration, color, composition, and many other means that take into consideration the context where the message and its audience live.
I believe that every person has an authentic story to share, and think that my experience of coming into this industry from a different academic path as well as being an immigrant make mine unique as well. My path has been challenging and non-traditional, but I have enjoyed the process and met some really talented, kind, and inspiring people along the way. I am very grateful and wouldn’t change a thing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love showing people around and think that food is one of the best ways to get to know a destination. I would definitely recommend Grand Central Market, which is a great spot for coffee & pastries at G&B, a taste of Mediterranean at Kismet Falafel, or an egg & lox bagel from Wexler’s Deli.
The famous Bradbury Building is right across the street for your architectural viewing pleasure, as well as Walt Disney Concert Hall to see a performance. The Broad and MOCA are right there too if you want to get contemporary artsy 🙂
Avenue 26 tacos and Guisados are a must-eat for those who want to get a Mexican kick. And of course, “fruta mixta” with some chile and lime from any street vendor would make you enjoy and cry at the same time if you are not used to spicy.
LACMA would probably require multiple visits but is great to get an overview of the city as a diverse and rich art destination. Huntington Library is a perfect combination of outdoors aesthetics and indoor historical artifacts.
To finish off, I would grab some Salt & Straw ice cream at Larchmont and head out to the beach to see the sunset, which is beautiful all year round.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people! Dan Hoy, Annie Huang Luck, Adele Bass, Scot Moss, Milka Broukhim, and many other great teachers I met at ArtCetner Extension program and through work, who showed me the beauty and the power of design, and how it can make a difference. My co-workers along the way, who shared my joys and struggles, made me a better team player and taught me that there is something to learn from everyone. My family and close friends, who are my constant support and a source of inspiration. And a special shoutout goes to my mom, who is an example of how curiosity, hard work, and a positive attitude can make anything happen.
Sam Nava, Jason Travis