Interview with Larisa Zolotova

Winner of Jewelry and Limited Edition Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Larisa Zolotova shares insights


Interview with Larisa Zolotova at Monday 6th of August 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
LZ : I was into a design since my childhood. It started at the elementary school as a hobby of creating clothes and jewelry. Later, I had been designing furniture and interiors professionally for 7 years. The love to a creating and a designing slowly transformed to a very strong and unique passion for making jewelry. I decided to pursue the art of jewelry and made it a new career in 2014. I developed my technical skills and knowledge for working with precious metals and gems at the School of Jewelry Arts in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 2016, I was graduated from Graduate Gemologist and Jewelry Design and Technology at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California, USA.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
LZ : I like to create things because you can enjoy the result. In addition, the process of designing objects is also very intriguing and exciting. I spent a lot of time on the right element to the composition until the outcome satisfies me.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
LZ : It was my decision to make it as a profession initially as a designer of furniture and interiors, and later as a jewelry designer.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
LZ : I design jewelry and will continue to develop myself in this field.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
LZ : My advice to emerging designers is not to be scared of breaking new ground. No matter what you did before you started getting into jewelry business and how old you are. Passion for your job and hard work will make you achieve any goals. I wish everybody good luck and excellence in jewelry art. Develop your contacts and share your experience.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
LZ : A good designer produces exactly what a client wants. A great designer, on the other hand, develops and uncover a client's needs.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
LZ : I evaluate my designs according to different criteria. They may vary depending on a project. For instance, if it is a custom piece or mass-produced jewelry. However, it is always important to me as a designer in a jewelry field to consider color, form, target relevance, and emotional value in design. Other very important criteria for evaluating jewelry design is usability, functionality, ease of production, and uniqueness. If a design that I created meets all criteria, I consider it as a good design and begin to produce the piece.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
LZ : Everyone should invest in good design because it positively impacts the related industry or area. Good design always adds value to the matter.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
LZ : I would finish all my ideas and projects that I have been already planned. This is my dream to realize all the ideas that I have.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
LZ : Being inspired by legendary jeweler Faberge I would like also to achieve his high level of excellence and high standards of professionalism. I would be happy if I could realize my dream of releasing a fine jeweled egg every year as Faberge did avoiding coping him and implementing new technology and contemporary design trends.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
LZ : I believe that a secret recipe for success in design is a passion, dedication, and hard work.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
LZ : Carl Faberge was a talented jeweler, designer, and businessmen. I admire all of his beautiful and unique creations, with the highest quality. He is a legend and innovator in jewelry design. I also bow before the talent of Antoni Gaudí. His impressive masterpieces are breathtaking. His genius of the designer is close to God could not be replicated.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
LZ : Faberge Eggs and Antonio Gaudi’s the Sagrada Familia. The objects that were created by these two extraordinary people are fantastic.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
LZ : I consider the Marilyn Monroe Collection is my greatest design, and especially Marilyn Monroe Ring and Fine Jeweled Egg The Movie Theater because I truly like every piece of this collection. In addition, it was my first time when I created not only pieces of jewelry but also added the object of art, Fine Jeweled Egg, which has moving parts. It was undoubtedly a challenge I threw down to myself as a jewelry and 3D designer. Every detail of the Egg and the Ring is symbolic.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
LZ : Self-education, sharing, and collaboration

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
LZ : Each Jewelry has to have a story. The design is about adding value, making difference, and creating moments of happiness.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
LZ : I am eternally grateful to my first tutor Denis Sitnikov for help, invaluable consultations and encouragement. He turned my hobby into a passion and helped to start making jewelry in 2014.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
LZ : Dedication and commitment

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
LZ : I plan to release the Fine Jeweled Egg Passion Tree this year

DL: How does design help create a better society?
LZ : Designers are problem solvers who are responsible for society and environment over the choices how to change society and environment. New products and new processes implemented by designers contribute to social well-being. Their professional contribution plays a huge role in economic development, livelihood, and environment.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
LZ : I am currently working on Ballerina Collection.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
LZ : A love all my creations.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
LZ : In my opinion, designers with cross-disciplinary experience and knowledge will become more important and integrative approach to designing will dominate in the future. And the reason is that the best innovative designs have been created by the team of people from different disciplines.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
LZ : It depends. There is no time frame when I will be satisfied with my new design.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
LZ : I begin with creating an inspiration and a story for the project.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
LZ : I think design sets the trend.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
LZ : I use technology a lot for my projects. Technology is an important part of my jewelry designing process.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
LZ : My favorite CAD program is Matrix and organic modeling tools Clayoo and T-Spline.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
LZ : Color and gemstone material are very important in fine jewelry.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
LZ : I explore it and try to understand how it was designed and produced.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
LZ : I am still searching, and I do believe in codesign

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
LZ : My tutors in St.Petersburg and Carlsbad.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
LZ : I spend a lot of time on studying, practicing, and developing my skills.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
LZ : Carl Faberge, Antonio Gaudi, and Leonardo Da Vinci

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
LZ : It is only hard when a client says: " You are professional, right? Create something amazing for me I have any idea what."

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
LZ : Red is my favorite, color of pigeon's blood rubies

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
LZ : Some of the Clients have difficulties with explaining what they what, or they do not have time to discuss. This creates challenges and funny situations at the same time. I would not probably, give an example since they can recognize themselves.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
LZ : I did not experience the lack of motivation. I am ready to work anytime and anywhere

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
LZ : I will be honest, I did not have any wish to become the great designer. I simply felt enjoyment when I was making jewelry, pleasure when I was finishing a piece, and great satisfaction when I saw the happy eyes of my customers.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
LZ : Very difficult to predict.) I am sure that we will print every item for our household.