This week we are shining the light on Footwear Designer Jovan Popovic. We met at a College for Creative Studies portfolio review and I was taken with his enthusiasm, skills and confidence with which he spoke about his work. We pinged him to help us out putting together IDRAW SHOES, the latest addition to our series of sketchbooks. He was awesome to work with - kept the energy level high and always had new ideas for how we could teach certain aspects of Footwear Design. As a pro designer at Reebok in Boston, Mass. he's got his hands full churning out the shoes tomorrow's athletes will be rocking on the court, field and blacktop. If you're looking to get into footwear, keep an eye on Jovan because he's just getting warmed up.
Jovan, where are you from and where did you attend school?
Im originally from Belgrade Serbia but moved to Michigan when I was young. I decided to attend the College for Creative studies for Product Design.
At what point did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in Product Design?
My whole life since I was 3 I wanted to become a footwear designer.
How long have you been working in the industry and what is your current gig?
1.5 years in the industry, designing footwear at Reebok in Boston, MA since graduation.
What are you favorite drawing tools, both analog and digital?
I love sketching with a prismacolor or pen, and using just one highlight color, then bringing the idea I had sketched down in photoshop and really bringing it to life.
What were some of the biggest challenges in getting to where you are in your career?
Persistence! Getting one foot in the door to any footwear company was a challenge but after trying and trying again I was able to get an internship at Reebok which led to a full time job.
Were there other career choices or have you always been dead set on this career path?
I was always dead set on this career path. I wanted to do this forever!
Favorite resources? Blogs, books, websites, etc.
I love concept kicks, solecollector, lemanoosh and simkom. These websites inspire me the most.
How do you stay inspired?
I get inspired just dreaming of what something could be. When I start sketching and the ball starts rolling I get a huge sense of accomplishment which keeps me inspired.
Any advice for anyone just starting out on how to break into the industry?
The advice I give anyone trying to break into the industry is to just keep being positive, keep trying. If you get denied, keep thinking of innovative and great concepts and keep your passion. You will reach your goal no matter what it is if you do this.
Much thanks to Jovan Popovic for taking the time to chat with us and share his experience in yet another IDRAW Feature. Follow him here to keep up with his creative pursuits:
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