Nenad Dodić, design superhero
Your friends call you Batman. Would you tell us why?
Haha, it all started one day when my colleagues from work and I gathered and went to the cinema to see Batman. On our way back, I rushed with my motorcycle right next to the car they were driving in, all dressed up in black; my jacket was unzipped and looked like a cape, which was enough for Marko Prokić to start calling me Batman ever since. The rest picked it up!
Who are the heroes of your collectable figurines? Should we be scared of them or are they the good guys?
Their characters are a sort of mixture of good and bad features, since it would be boring if they were unambiguously defined.
We see a clear influence of 20s and 30s styles, some elements of the early Walt Disney. Do you have some role models among designers from that period?
I love the old cartoons from the 20s, they look so awkwardly, and most would not get past modern censorship.
I don’t have any role models in the form of specific authors from that period, but I really like the style. It is far less tidy in comparison to contemporary illustration.
Your "One Percenter" figurine was produced by the famous "designer toys" global company. How did you start working with them? Has some toy reached Belgrade yet?
After my solo exhibition, I reached out to the company asking whether they’d be open to production and distribution. I did not really feel like smothering them too much, but they said they had already seen my work on the internet, and that they were very fond of it and in the mood for serial production. And so, sometimes one should make the first step and give it a shot. The figurines are still not available in Serbia. I am not sure whether they’ll be; the production costs are not that affordable, and also there are shipping costs… it’s adds up to being rather expensive.
You took part in the residency program in Malmö, Sweden. What did you learn? What did you find most surprising in the new artistic setting?
I spent a month in Malmö, which I found to be phenomenal – nice city, friendly people. I have learned a great deal, worked with new things, tried 3D printing, learned plastic casting and painted on the glass for the first time. I was surprised by the fact that they actually do not have that many galleries. They prefer industrial design and hand craft.
You are a fan of Nordic noir TV series. Is scenery around the famous Öresund bridge really so dark or are Denmark and Sweden in fact the ‘happy’ countries as many see them?
I like their style of TV series and films; they are both humorous and dark. They have a really strange weather. Even though the temperatures are not that low, it is still very humid and cold, and this probably transcends into their character.
I was there during Christmas holiday, when everything is quite alive so it looked cheerful and pleasant. They do know how to make a nice atmosphere when it’s cold outside.
Stupid, but necessary question: Are you preparing something new?
Well, I am always preparing something new, the only problem is the lack of time. Otherwise, I am up to all sorts of things, like making new figurines, painting something or perhaps drawing comic books. However, the weather’s going to be great from now on, so I will definitely not be doing any of this :)