Meet the team: Branka Malenica, the studio wordsmith
For some members of our team, holidays present a truly special time. Some of us will use this opportunity for a little out-of-town getaway, while some will celebrate the first anniversary in our studio. The latter refers to Branka Malenica, the assistant in our studio who handles our internet presence and is there to answer all your questions.
Branka is a literature graduate and has worked for various online magazines and local news platforms. Before joining us in the studio, she mostly wrote about pop culture and graphic novels, as well as conducting a number of interviews with various interesting people from the region. Yet, once she became a part of Salt & Water, she easily fit her role, despite not having any professional experience in design.
What is your favorite part of your day in the office?
Well, the tasks that I handle are very diverse, so I can’t really say. My job is mostly focused on creating a variety of content for S&W community pages, website, and newsletter. Yet, since we have a small team here, my daily activities are filled with common administrative assignments, research, and, mainly, communication. I guess that writing press releases for some of our projects were some of my favorite assignments so far. Considering my previous work experience, communication with the press is the most natural thing. It is also interesting to find yourself “on the other side”, playing the role of the one who provides information, not the other way around.
You have never worked in this field before. How did you manage to get along with architects and designers from our studio?
I have always been surrounded with creative people, and architects are no exception. A lot of people from my social circle are graphic designers, illustrators, and musicians. This is why I found it easy to step into the role of a PR manager in a design studio and surround myself with creative people and highly quality design. The biggest change I have noticed so far is the fact that I can now separate a good rendering from an average one. Of course, none of the buildings I pass by on the street look the same anymore. Now I’m always looking for some curious details, elegant solutions, or even flaws.
How has your previous experience as a writer and journalist helped you in this position?
This is something every experienced content writer could tell you. When writing on various topics, you must be ready to step into a wide range of roles. Here, I get to step into designer’s shoes – which is quite good actually, because their job is wonderful. Even before Salt & Water, I was following websites and blogs dedicated to design and community management. Only now I do it more frequently.
How do you feel as the only non-designer in the design studio?
I don’t see this as a problem. The other team members do their thing and I do mine, but we get along just fine. When I need a visual for a social post, Milica or Nikola will make one in no time. On the other hand, when they finish a project they are especially proud of, it is my job to let people know about it. It’s nice to see people get curious about our work. It is also interesting to see how one simple blog post can evolve into a newsworthy story all around the globe. Since I started working here, it happened with the Tiny Portable House and the Eco-Barge projects, for which I’m very proud. Truth is, my contribution to the team can’t be measured by the rates that apply to other team members and the first person to recognize it is, of course, Svetlana. Another part of my job is to make her workday a bit simpler, and I am happy to help in any way I can.
What do you do once the workday is over?
I try to spend as much time as possible with my friends, pets, and family. I also try to travel around as much as I can and catch at least a couple of concerts a month. Besides this, I’m a partly active member of a local book club, I indulge in graphic novels, and every now or then I will translate a TED talk. Though, as much as I try to spend my free time as creatively as possible, I have to admit that Netflix usually wins.