He’s the author of our animations and films… and we’re their total fans! His mind is a breeding ground for ideas, his sense of humour is amazing and he never takes himself too seriously. Not long ago, he started going on loooong walking holidays. And as well as all that, he’s a MakoLab dinosaur!
Insights is proud to present our UI designer, Łukasz Jatczak, aka Jadzia.
How long have you been at MakoLab?
I joined MakoLab in May 2000. And you know what? Almost everyone who started working here then is still with us today!
Has a lot changed since then?
It certainly has! You can see how much it’s developed. Even so, despite the extent of our growth, we still have the sense of being a small, family firm. I’m talking about the atmosphere and the direct contact between the staff. I’ve played my part in more than one move to new offices. Six moves, to be precise! Each time, our HQ’s been bigger, the location’s been better and the premises have been nicer. Ah… and the number of coffee machines has increased significantly. Back in the day, it was instant coffee all the way!
What brought you to MakoLab?
I was studying computer science, although I’d always wanted to be a graphic artist. At the time, I worked it out like this; when it comes to the relevant talent, you’ve either got it or you haven’t… and I wanted to learn something new. Hence my chosen course of study. And here’s the irony. What MakoLab needed back then was… a graphic artist! And here I am. (he grins) For starters, I was given the job of creating a multimedia presentation using Macromedia Flash technology, which isn’t even a faint memory any more. The truth is that I had to learn it in a week, but I managed. The owner of the company, Mirek Sopek, was really pleased with the results and so I stayed on… for the next twenty-two years …
Where did the thought of being a graphic artist spring from?
I was given my first computer in 1987. It was an Atari 65XE. But instead of playing games on it, like most of my peers, I started programming in Basic and using the early graphics programmes. The Atari was followed by an Amiga and a fascinating programme, Deluxe Paint. I used that to create my first stop motion animations. When Pixar’s early 3D animations were hitting the cinemas and finding their way to Poland as pirate VHS recordings… films like Toy Story in 1995… I was absolutely caught up in the potential of the 3D technology and I dreamed of working on productions like that in Hollywood. That was when I learned the entire user manual for Helion’s 3D Studio 4.0 for DOS by heart, as if my life depended on it!
You’re also a photographer, aren’t you?
Yes. Back in 2000, when I started designing a website for MakoLab, it wasn’t nearly as easy to get hold of photographs legally as it is now. Stock photos didn’t really exist at all. If I remember correctly, the first legal photo database on the Internet was corbis.com. Back then, though, a single photo cost something like fifty dollars… in other words, the same as three days’ work by a young graphic artist! (he bursts out laughing) Those were the days when the first one- and two-pixel digital cameras were making their appearance, so we added one to the other and, in the end, we started taking our own photos for the website. Photography’s been one of my passions ever since.
Is it true that you’re a master photoshopper and that you always find a way to slip your orange cabrio into a scene somewhere?
Absolutely! (he laughs again) I’ve been working with the Renault brand for years now and that’s given me contact with masses of professional shots of cars. I enjoy analysing them pixel by pixel, identifying any mistakes in the retouching, shadows falling where no shadow should be or traces of the clone stamp… and discovering what’s been added in post-production. And as for being a bit fixated on my car… well, as it happens, I have managed to erase a Renault and paste in my cabrio… and to do it so that the swap couldn’t be seen!
All that remains for Insights to do is offer Łukasz mega congratulations and wish him many more years with us! And if anyone reading this has a hankering to talk about old computers, graphics programmes and the first stock photos, Jadzia’s the man and MakoLab’s the place… and the door is always open!
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