Interview with Victor A. Syrnev

Winner of Retro and Jewelry Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Victor A. Syrnev shares insights


Interview with Victor A. Syrnev at Monday 24th of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
VA : I was born and raised in the great industrial city named Yekaterinburg, where we had several factories - the Giant ones. On one of them, namely "Uralmash", they were producing walking excavators, the size of a big building, which struck my fancy. I decided to become a lathe operator – universal one. Particularly attracted the word "universal". My Father, having learned about my plans, recommends me to think about recalling my hobbies designing, modeling and making pattern. In 1956, I enrolled in art – entered the industrial school to learn a profession jeweler specialty. Later I worked at the oldest enterprise of jewelry industry in Russia, the “Russian Gems” company.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
VA : I have always driven by a desire and interest in learning new and unusual. It was a surprise or shock as the basis of the need to find my own response to what I saw, felt and experienced.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
VA : The dream led me ...

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
VA : I like to create jewelry and objects. I think particular interest is in the work, the occurrence of which is associated with an exciting theme or event which amazed me. For example, the collection "Conversations from a apart" and "Russia, the Urals, the Dynasty." The first collection was the result of my familiarity with the poem of I.V. Goethe's "West - Eastern Divan" (1819), as well as miniature "Shepherd" (1634) made by Persian painter and calligrapher Rezai Abbasi.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
VA : Working with material I think we should equate with working with an alive. Metal, clay, glass, and other materials have unique properties and nature. The artist must feel the material. Understand what it stores in itself and engage in dialogue with it. The material has a soul.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
VA : When design meets function in the identification of all the aesthetic and technical possibilities of the material and ideas.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
VA : Good design organizes the world, all the spheres of human activity.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
VA : I'm not sure what could be such a project. Maybe I have already touched him, but have not yet revealed all its features. After all, often we do not review before till the end of the possibility of the started project. We see only the first and sometimes the second layer. Everything opens in a deeper penetration into the material, into the idea.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
VA : An exciting idea, feasibility, social need ...

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
VA : I am unlikely to have some secrets. Rather, it is a combination of the conditions which you exist in: a fierce desire to create, a sense of time and a sense of the material. Harmony with your own world.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
VA : If we not set the ranks, but simply list those who radiates their heat for me - Rene Lalique, Henri Matisse, Bernd Munsteiner, Michael Perkhin, Alexander Calder, Michael Zobel, Ryuseki Morimoto.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
VA : Bernd Munsteiner and his polished stones - the objects. These stones retained the power and originality of nature, and we can see some mysterious beauty which hidden from all prying eyes.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
VA : In this role I have the project "Metamorphosis". I was Guided by the desire to create jewelry, where there will be two parallel independent artistic images and two different states. The wildlife is not a frozen state. Changing seasons. In a place of the gloomy morning comes a warm sunny day. Day replaces night. Changing colors, changing the atmosphere. I wanted to introduce the idea of images turnover in jewelry. The idea of the collection "Metamorphosis" is the possibility of the miraculous transformation of one image into another. The owner of the jewelry becomes a part of the game in which there is a transformation of form and content. Man gets Entertainment & Arts. He gets the attribute of life style, which can be defined as an ADVENTURE. The brooch "Metamorphoses" was awarded with the silver prize at the A'Design Award 2013 competition.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
VA : I cannot imagine. Now, when I am so passionate about my work, the thought of doing anything another – seems different and unnatural for me. I'd rather settle for a sex change than to change my profession. Creativity gives me the greatest pleasure, which is equivalent to loving ecstasy. But this is not a short-term flash, but stretched in time, an incomparable pleasure. "Creativity is an orgasm", said Professor Thurman.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
VA : Everything we do is design. Everyone is improving his/her own living environment, own surroundings, own job. It does not depend on the profession

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
VA : A Man lives among the people. The most inner circle creates an atmosphere of warmth, support, understanding and patience, which is comfortable for creativity to develop. My wife and family always gave me strength.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
VA : I burn with pleasure and joy ...

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
VA : The biggest obstacles we create by ourselves. A couple of times in my life I could erroneous go by another road. And both times I have found the way to my profession.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
VA : I continue to try working with different materials and on new topics. Often a familiar theme, but realized in other material becomes totally unexpected sound ... I'm very interested to know what will I do or continue to do ...

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
VA : You can go to the top, but do not stop ...

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
VA : Save the interest to the world around me. To see something amazing, hidden from prying eyes, and to submit to a general overview.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
VA : If the design streamlines the objective world, maybe it will affect the human society ... But it is doubtful.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
VA : This is very important and very dear for me part of my work. I speak about a collection dedicated to the Romanov dynasty and the family of Nicholas II: «Russia. Ural, Dynasty", which is associated with the bright days of the life of the last Russian Emperor's family. Second. I grasped the idea S.Bottichelli "Birth of Venus". A completely new design for me. The object appeared as a synthesis of jewelry and decorative plastics. The site retains all the heroes of the paintings: Venus, Shell, Olive grove, cloud, God of southern wind named Zephyr. Trying to imagine the classic theme in my own way in the composition of the object entered unseen by us, but existing in the real world - Balance, balance, center of gravity. Feature of the object is to create a free design that can have self-regulating status of all its elements in a space.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
VA : I bring the project "Palmistry" to a special place. The idea is to create works that represent the uniqueness and individuality of each person. This is evident even in the patterns of our fingers and figures' fate lines "of our hands ... If you make a handprint, you will find dozens of lines and signs on it, which are fraught with extraordinary artistic possibilities. In such kind of ornaments we see fixed Artistic Personality Code, and each jewel emerges as a completely individual architectural design. The competition A'Design Award 2014. Brooch "Palmistry" was awarded with gold prize.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
VA : "Metamorphosis" project has been formed for 3 years. But there are works that are realized much faster.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
VA : The Idea is almost always ahead, the idea that contributes to the emergence of forms and fills it’s content.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
VA : For various reasons, in our society we have some new contacts and new relationships ripen, there are requirements in the new design. Step-by-step form trends.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
VA : Sometimes it is crucial. Having mastered the new technology, you start to adapt your past skills and knowledge and implement for new technologies.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
VA : We use Microsoft Windows, Office, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and some free software. To make pictures we use Canon Camera with Canon lens.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
VA : I work alone. When I have some need for cooperation, I can easily go for it.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
VA : After I have read "Full Course of Palmistry" by Professor Jurgen Koestler I got the idea of “Palmistry” project.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
VA : I am interested in life around me and it gives me new experiences and creative impulses

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
VA : I would like to meet my grandfather - Ivan Tovostin (1850 -1921) – artisan and collector of Minusinsk Siberian antiquities. His collection is stored in the State Hermitage Museum, Kiev Museum of History and Art, the Museum of the History of Finland and in the Museum named after Martyanov in Minusinsk.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
VA : It is nice; I treat awards with respect, but quietly. The amount of invested labor regulates the balance of the perception. It is distributed to a small circle of initiates, but it does not cause difficulties.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
VA : Lapis lazuli and gold; Boulevard Erkindik Bishkek; Some types of seafood; Spring in Asia; Ancient Chinese Bronze "A dog and a bird.» «VICTOR» Brand.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
VA : In 1996, was an exhibition of my works in Hanau (Germany). It opened on a holiday quite early, at 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning. I went to the opening of the exhibition and watched with wonder as a lot of people were going to the same place I did. The closer we came to the Old Town Square, the more people went there. I realized that here it is, my finest hour. Here it national recognition. From a narrow alley we are pretty tight group, left to the Old Square. I turn right to the opened doors of the exhibition hall, and my "fans" turn left, to the Cathedral. But I was not disappointed.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
VA : When there is a period of accumulation of information and reflections, this one state. Realization time requires concentration and maintaining emotional balance. In order not to spill the emotions intended for performance plan.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
VA : It was obvious that I have a desire to work creatively. This desire led me through my life.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
VA : In the course of my life sometimes there were so many events and changes. So I cannot predict for such a long period ...