We had the good fortune of connecting with Miroslav Kostic and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Miroslav, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up in the city of Novi Sad, Serbia. In one of the town’s worst and most hostile neighborhoods, Detelinara (Cloverfield). During the era of Slobodan Milosevic as a president. This means that I have also lived through the worst era in the history of this country: the 90s, which ended with the cherry on top NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999.

My parents struggled through our entire childhood, and they were the ones who kept my brother, and me shielded (as much as they could) from the ugly world we were surrounded with.

Before times got bad, my parents traveled a lot because my father worked for Yugoslavia Air Transport (JAT), and they have tried to keep that wanderlust flame even during the hard times. We were so fortunate to have visited Moscow, Dubrovnik, Cairo, and Rome during the times when people struggled with their basic needs.
The upbringing of my brother and me was always a priority for my parents. Seeing those other countries, how people lived there, and how it all works from the subway to airports, museums, and even graffiti art on the river banks kept us sane and related to the outside world. We practicaly lived in slums but experienced what Europe and even what the world had to offer.
All this made me flexible and open-minded, always striving for more to learn and open to new experiences.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I was able to remain teachable thought my entire career. It is essential to stay humble and constantly acquire new knowledge. Knowledge is the key. What you have learned stays with you; all those things you have experienced, even the worst experiences, will make you better person and professional. My career stretches to the previous century, as I like to say. I started working as a graphic designer during high school. I went to high school for graphic design before applying at the academy of art. Everything related to design, animation, and illustration was appealing to me. I was never hesitant when it came to projects. One month I’ll work on an animation of some kind, and next month I’ll work as an illustrator on a book project. I was always hungry for more, and I stayed that way. But it wasn’t easy. I was so passionate about design that I worked even for free. Money was never something that I cared about. Doing what I love was the only thing important to me. For the first couple of years, learning as much as I could was the only thing that mattered.
I took years to understand how much money I should ask for my design and consultancy work. Lack of transparency in this field still impresses me. If you are transparent about your work toward the client, you will surely end up broke, but if you use tricks, smoke and mirrors than you can earn a lot. I always hated that. That is why, I take time to educate my clients. It is much easier to work with your mind at ease. I love being fully transparent, explaining every stage of the process to clients.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Fortunately, nowadays, I have two cities that I can take you through! The first one is Novi Sad, where I grew up, and the other is San Francisco, where I’ve been spending a large portion of my time in recent years. But since San Francisco is well known, I will tell you more about my hometown of Novi Sad, the Republic of Serbia.
First of all, we have the second biggest fortress in Europe here in Novi Sad called Petrovaradin Fortress. This is undoubtedly a must for every visitor to our small town. There is a restaurant on the top of the hill, with a large terrace. This is one is one of my favorites. That restaurant is a world-class establishment!
Another location is a large park with a beach on the Danube river named Strand. A fantastic place where you can spend an entire day enjoying sun, sand, and shade, lying on the grass. Next to the Strand, there is another fantastic restaurant worth mentioning.
Everyone visiting should visit the national park Fruska Gora which stretches on the other side of the river. There, you can find a lot of great hiking trails, and almost every one of those trails will take you to an even better restaurant on the outskirts of the wood.
And of course, if you are as into punk rock as I am, you should visit PeroBar in the center of the town.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Shoutout goes to my parents, who have done everything to keep my upbringing normal in the highly chaotic environment I have grown up in. The other shoutout has to go to my wife; she has the ability to steer me in the right way when things go sideways.

Website: http://www.mickeysworkshop.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mickeykostic/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/miroslavkostic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mickeyns