“My shout of joy was directed inwardly, so as not to frighten the neighbors,” reveals Marta Zariņa-Ģelze, one of three finalists in the design competition for the Swiss watch magnate Swatch. On May 11, Marta will head to Los Angeles, to take part in the celebratory award presentation during which the design competition's winner will be announced. “My first reaction was surprise, since I had forgotten that I had even entered,” says Marta on receiving the news that she was a finalist.
“I found out about the competition by chance – I just happened to chance upon it on the web. I've always wanted to try entering one of these, but I never really had the time. This time I finally did.” Swatch is organizing the competition in cooperation with the TTR World Snowboard tour. Entrants were asked to create the graphic design for the official tour watch and the snowboard trophy for the 2012/13 season. The assignment was to express the tour's themes of progression and style.
The TTR World Snowboard trophy is one of the most sought-after awards in free-style snowboarding, given to the season's TTR World Champion in Snowboarding. Toy designer Mark Landwehr (Hong Kong/Hamburg) is the creator of the trophy's basic design, which serves as the “canvas” for the annual graphic design competition. 36 cm high and weighing in at 4.5 kg, the trophy is the Oscar of the snowboarding world. The tour's official watch will be available at Swatch stores worldwide during 2012 and 2013, and will definitely be on the wrists of all snowboarders and artists that support the idea of the competition.
Marta Zariņa-Ģelze's graphic design entry is the visual image of a victory shout. “I got the idea by imagining a winner who has valiantly fought his way to the medalist podium and once there, lets out an uncontrolled shout of victory. I was also inspired by a recent trip to the mountains with my father and sister – they're both big fans of snowboarding.”
The two other Swatch finalists are Bettina Lundström from Switzerland and Elise Martinson from Australia. When asked what's her advice on entering design competitions, Marta answers with the age-old truism that the main thing to do is enter: “All you need to do is register and think of a good idea. The submitted work must adhere to all listed criteria. Of course, you should take a look at what has been done before, and understand what is essential.”
Marta Zariņa-Ģelze is working towards her master's degree in the Department of Visual Communication of the Latvian Academy of Art. She has been surrounded by art since birth: her parents are the well-known Latvian painters Vija Zariņa and Kaspars Zariņš, and her grandfather is the artist Indulis Zariņš.
The winner of the competition will be announced May 11, during the ceremony held on Swatch Art Rules Night. The First Prize is not only the honor of being the graphic designer of a world-class trophy and tour watch, but also a two-week, all-expenses-paid (including travel costs) vacation in New York for two, including spending money.
Let's cross our fingers and hope that Marta will get to issue a victory shout herself!