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Meet Odul Saroz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Odul Saroz.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Born and raised in Turkey. As far as I can remember, I have been drawing and painting. With my mother’s observation and encouragement, visual arts and design became a big part of my life. I’m an only child and coming from a small family so I had to create my world and enjoy it while I was growing up. I was actively involved in exhibits and competitions and have won many prizes. Then I went to a high school which was highly focused on academic success. Later on, I thought finally I was in a better place when I got my BA in Fashion Design then worked and designed for several well-known fashion brands. However, suddenly I started doing graphic design projects and wanted to get educated in this field to switch my career. I came to UCLA and recently completed Design Communication Arts and Advanced Print&Graphic Design programs which were one of the hardest and most passionate journeys of my life. When I decided to study abroad, I barely could speak English. So in six months, I learned English by working on it non stop. Even though I was already in the design world, graphic design has so many unique aspects to discover. So like English, I practiced my design projects from a different perspective&mindset like learning a new language without judgment and by simply wanting to express myself more and clear.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As an international student, yes I can definitely say there have been some struggles along the way and many of them were over out of my control. For example, when I decided to move to the US due to politics, the currency changed drastically in one night then Turkish Lira lost its value more and more over time. Basically, I lost half of my savings for my education unexpectedly. Then to support my education and for the experience in the art which I am passionate about it so much I worked at the Hammer Museum. While you’re taking at least three intense design classes and working at the same time can be rough but it taught me a lot about different things like being completely unbiased or fascinating facts about artworks around the world. However, I’d still do whatever it takes to get to the point where I firmly want to be. If you are brave enough putting so much effort into it creates miraculous paths for you to get there.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I mainly focus on movie posters, album covers, product design, and branding. I can say branding and print design has bigger parts in my graphic design journey. As branding is a way of building a personality to business and, let me tell their story to communicate its own unique audience in the best possible way. By being mindful and aiming communicative results for each case and brand is my main goal.

I love any kind of design project which excites me without putting them under one label. Also, I think being excited about learning different tools and information each time reflects on my work positively. However, I end up including specific colors, clean silhouettes or hand-painted&crafted elements to my work. Even though we have digital tools, I enjoy most when my work looks like executed by a human and has some sort of emotion for people who will see it after I finish my task. Since if you are a designer in my field most of the time you design things for people to interact with visual or tactile ways.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t think I was able to observe the role of luck in my life especially for the past couple of years. Since I was fully focused on to improve my skills either professionally or emotionally and I believe that allowed me to take advantage of the lucky opportunities along the way. However, there are certain things in my life that I cannot deny, for example, my family and grandpa. I think they are my biggest luck since I have unlimited support and people with unconditional love.

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