As well as being our Graphic Designer, Dan is also outgoing, friendly, and helpful, making any workday a little bit better. Finally, we decided to meet the person behind the title, and brainstorm together.
Not only did he reveal some amazing facts about himself, he even gave us a peek into his job at DataDiggers.
Here is the story behind the title.
If you could be a crayon, what color would you be? What’s the meaning behind it?
Let's start strong with this: You know those double pointed pencils or markers which have a different color or thickness at each end? Or those pens or liners with multiple buttons that you can press for more colors?
That kind of goes my way with colors, and my job doesn't make it easier to choose, but now if I were to go for a color I would pick either blue, green or sometimes orange. It really depends on my mood. As far as I realised over the past two decades, I think I like those colors more because I believe they bring me back closer to nature, to peace of mind and simple things (blue - sea/sky, green - lush forests, orange - sunsets)
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I am very rarely alone nowadays in my car (1. Because I usually walk or take public transit and 2. Because when I drive I usually go either with my wife or with a friend).
I'm not scared of driving alone, not at all, just that I rarely do it. But I can talk about a time a few years back, when I drove 500 hundreds of km alone in one go. Apart from my eyes hurting like hell and listening to the radio to not fall asleep, one odd revelation that stood out - "Spider-man's greatest enemy is the Daily Bugle Newspaper. He's afraid of appearing unmasked in it. A spider. Being afraid. OF A NEWSPAPER! - Woah!"
What's your favorite '90s jam?
Music from the '90s is my favourite kind due to the era. My favourite is "Beck - Loser" - which I can also play on guitar.
What's the last tv show you watched?
I don't really watch a lot of tv shows, but I think the last one that I've watched was "Stranger Things" . It was alright.
What are you known for?
People usually approach me for graphical opinions, commissions, design projects, but in the last couple of years they came to me also for hardware advice or help on computer choices.
What's the most interesting thing about you that it's not put up in your resume?
I know my way around hard labor work like: surface painting, brick masoning, carpenting, gardening. (P.S. No, I won't leave my phone number here for services.)
What's your go-to productivity trick?
I've got two ways:
An early-normal wake-up routine with a hygiene-bathroom round and a sit-down, normal, breakfast and a cup of black tea (I hear a lot of people skip breakfast and go directly for a bagel and coffee on-the-go, that's a common mistake in a day's productivity);
If you're working at a desk all day (like me), get up, at least once through your workday and take a breath of fresh air, either go for a quick walk or if you don't have time, go on the balcony/terrace/yard for a few minutes (it really helps).
What's your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
I either go for a 1h-2h walk in the city with my wife or get home and go on my pc and play some video games. Nice and simple.
What three words would your friends use to describe you? Why?
Versatile - I'm both an extrovert and an introvert. I adapt depending on the situation I'm in. (if I'm busy working - I'll tend to be quieter; if I'm on a field trip or at a party - I'll tend to mingle with the people);
Soft - I tend to approach people more on the diplomacy/comfortable level than on an aggressive/dominant level;
Honest - advantage or disadvantage, I feel better when I'm sincere. Ease of mind --> no headaches.
If you could add one thing to the DataDiggers office, what would it be?
Bean bags and maybe a tv in our cafeteria room/kitchen.
What's the first concert you ever went to?
I know you won't believe this, but that has got to be the Michael Jackson concert in '92, here in Bucharest, Romania, in my hometown, right after the fall of communism.
Sure, I was about 1 year old at that time, but my mom really digs good music and wanted to go. (Although I was that little, I didn't suffer any ear damage or trauma due to the stage sound, in order to affect me in the long run).
If you had to pick one age to be permanently, which age would you choose? Why?
Looking at pictures of my grandparents and my parents, I'd have to say that around 25-30 years old it would be ideal.
I think this is the perfect sweet balance between: free time, no kids, money and energy (a. K. A. - the 4 horsemen of adulthood).
If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?
I do love travelling and leaving a first impression/review where I go, but not travelling alone.
Travelling is one of the best ways to get in touch with all the cultures, nature and in finding yourself and the ones you travel with, so I will have to start writing something like "Travelling light - here today, there tomorrow".
What was your first job?
I was one of the 4 people, in a small but demanding department, in a retail company, in which you had to edit/retouch product photos and web-content and info for the product.
The wage was small, the work was huge, but I had to start somewhere.
What's one skill you're currently working on?
Although I do have had my driver's license for about 8 years or so, this year, I've started looking more into an in-depth guide about defensive driving and will later go into a few practical test courses with a co-pilot at an authorized school.
What do you do at DataDiggers and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?
The one and only graphic designer here. If you've got an idea which needs visual representation, I'm your man!
How do you prefer to start your day?
If it's a workday: not rushing to get to work, taking my time and getting in time there.
If it's a free day: either waking up early and taking advantage of not crowded cafes or waking up later and taking things slow.
Our time on this plane of existence is quite limited, and I want to savor each piece.
What's one thing that surprised you about working at DataDiggers?
Friendly and understandable people, both casual and professional atmosphere and most of all - work-from-home - before it was cool (a.k.a. before the pandemic).
Yes, I've stated some common perks, but during my whole work experience, on the other jobs that I've gone through, I've never had any of these.
Needle in the haystack, right?
What's the biggest misconception people have about your position?
Long story short: the fact that people think I know how to code, on top of graphic design. (a quick example: I can build newsletters, banners or other simple page-like sections, using only HTML and CSS languages, but I can't build websites, applications or other complex projects).
This is where you have a web developer or front/back end developer who specializes in coding an app or desktop version, and the brains which stand behind it.
An important note - HTML and CSS, which I'm using, are not technically programming languages, but more like computer languages, which are used to structure and style information on a page.
What's your favorite place you've traveled to and why?
So far till now, I'm going to go for Tivoli - located about 30 kilometres east of Rome. It's a quiet, but not too secluded town filled with italian picturesque narrow streets, buildings, gardens, fountains and best of all - a wide view over the Roman Campagna and vineyards which spread across the county.
Who is your hero?
My real-life hero would be my grandma. She's going for 86 years this autumn and still can write, see good, walk straight and without a cane, carry buckets filled with water, cook and tend the house and garden at the countryside and she also looks good for her age. I've learned a lot of tips through her life stories while I've grown alongside her, and I still do to this today.
My fictional hero would be Spyro, the dragon, from the video game series with the same name. It's a brave and inspirational character and the game itself it's very engaging. Really lifts up your mood and it's perfect for kids and bigger kids.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
My wife wouldn't agree with me, but I'd go somewhere where it's generally cold, chilly or the sun is set to low intensity. Either in the mountains or in the north, I can't really say a certain place.
What's your favorite podcast show and why should I listen to it?
Definitely the Joe Rogan experience podcast!
It's such a good way to not only stay updated with different trends, certain personalities, but with how we view different aspects of our day-to-day lives as well when such subjects are debated on the show.
It's also an easy-to-digest podcast, so you can listen to it while doing other stuff.
What's your favorite quote from a tv show/movie/book?
"There's no one I'd rather be than me. " - Wreck-it Ralph.
What's the phone app you use the most?
I would put up 2 phone apps because I use them both equally the most - Google Maps (driving, walking and reviewing) and Pokemon Go (playing while walking and indoors).
How do you take your coffee/tea?
95% of the time - tea, with a teaspoon of honey (I tend to drink black tea in the morning, any other kind of tea for the rest of the day)
5% of the time - coffee, simple/milk with a teaspoon of sugar (I drink coffee when I'm lounging on vacations or meet with a friend/colleague)
Do you have a work best friend? Who is it?
A hard-working fella who has gone through some hardships but doesn't hesitate to make the days brighter at the office.
How do you pick yourself back up after making a mistake at work?
If time is on my side, I try to prioritize it to find a solution for it as soon as possible, so I can get the other tasks done afterwards.
Also, water - hydration, is helping a lot.
Have you ever had the imposter syndrome?
All the time. I know my limits - what I can and can't do. I don't want to be a so-called jack of all trades, but I do have some particular skills and I try to develop and focus those more than the others that intersect along the way.
What's the best thing you've learned in your current position?
Variety is key and having experienced this here, through different events, people, tasks and other work related milestones, is surely to benefit me in the future.
Generally speaking, having gone through different experiences throughout time, in non similar industries has prepared me more for that next step, or at least gave me a good hunch on things of what is going on, so that I can use that to my advantage to understand the situation more rapidly and find solutions.
What's the best clothing item you've ever bought?
I've got a Jack & Jones suede jacket all the way from highschool till now.
Still fits me, no damage or worn out signs to it, so far. Looks almost brand new. One of the best investments ever made.
What's the most stupid thing you've ever bought?
I was persuaded to buy a fizz saver device. It's a simple lever-like-contraption that can be screwed on any kind of soda plastic bottle and acts like a faucet for the soda, turning it on or off to fill up your glass and also preserving the fizz of the soda inside.
I later found out that it doesn't quite work as it was supposed to. It was a dud.
If you could recommend me 5 movies, what would those be?
I like animation movies a lot, so I'm going to recommend some of those:
- Wreck-it Ralph (2012) + (sequel) Wreck-it Ralph - Breaks the Internet (2018)
- Zootopia (2016)
- Monsters University (2013) + (sequel) Monsters INC. (2001)
- Coco (2017)
- Spirited Away (2001)
The sequels are optional, but are very good as well.
What's your motto?
Slow down. Life is to be savored!
Can you tell me a good joke?
Not really a joke, more like a fact, but take it as you will: Before the pandemic started, you would cough to cover up a fart. Now with Covid-19, you fart to cover up a cough.