Between October and end of December 2018, Marija Mitić spent three months in Austria through the support of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and “Excite2.0” project. Marija is a young graphic designer who matched up with a small design studio in Vienna, run by the entrepreneur Johannes Kerschbaummayr. We chatted with Marija about here first EYE experience, at the same time the first relationship established by Nova Iskra Creative Hub from Belgrade.
How did the application process seem to you, and what advice would you give to anyone who wishes to apply?
I was actually the first one to apply from Serbia. It seamed a bit complicated at first, but as I was completing the application process step by step, I realized that it was actually not that hard at all. It went way smoother than I expected. I was slightly concerned about the visa issue, but that was also solved without any problems. I never wrote any projects or business plans before, but I had great support from the IO (Nova Iskra Creative Hub). So, I also learned that.
Which country and organization did you choose?
I think I was pretty lucky. I wrote some preferences, but actually I was pretty open in that regard. I did not want to go to Spain, but outside of that everything was fine for me. I connected with Johannes, who runs a design studio, who came across my profile. The prospect was very interesting for me, as his studio is doing everything I am already involved in, but also much more than that. So I was pretty sure that I would be happy with him being my host, and in our Skype call we understood each other pretty well form the very start. He was a really good mentor and, all in all, I had an amazing experience. I never expected there would be any problems in the process. I felt really privileged to have such an opportunity.
So where and how did your stay in Austria take place?
It was in Vienna, at the studio of Johannes Kerschbaummayr. It is a small office. He was in the process of establishing with his colleagues a new agency that would deal with larger projects. He usually puts together a team of creatives for the services they need to deliver. He needed help around the visual identity, so that was my main focus. Along the way, I got familiar with his current and new clients, and we also did some field work, like photo shoots. I also got to know many things that relate to the daily activities of running an entreprenurial practice. It was a very therapheutic experience for me, in terms of valuation of my own work. Creative work is much more appreciated in an environment such as Vienna, than in Serbia.
How did the logistic of your stay and your free time look like during your stay in Austria?
I was lucky enough to rent a flat in center of Vienna. The landlord was also a creative person, working with silkscreen printing. So there was a possibility of learning new things on that end as well. We also visited a conference in Linz, and a number of other exhibitions. I also spent my time there during holidays, so that was very nice to experience. As was the weather. In general, I felt very welcome and comfortable.