Mania Mavridou is an architect, blogger and consultant, from Greece.
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I studied architecture and have worked as a freelance architect, architectural design and CAD educator, interior designer, colour consultant, graphic designer, writer and blogger, and career consultant.
I own DesignMania, the [interior] design studio where design meets psychology and marketing. I offer interior design, colour, branding and consulting services. I also consult and coach creative freelancers, helping them to follow their dreams and succeed!
I have two blogs, Designing for Happiness, the first Greek blog about Interior Design Psychology and The Successful Blog, which helps creatives follow their dreams.
I also write for Millo, a top American blog for creative freelancers.
What do you love about your work?
The fact that I have never felt I’m working and that I keep on dreaming.
I work on several projects and jobs (designing, writing, reading, learning new things, consulting and educating others, communicating with interesting and talented people) and I’m always experimenting with new things, so I never get bored!
I enjoy the freedom it gives me, that I spend most of my time in a “creative flow”, the fact that I make people (my clients) happy through my work.
I jump out of bed every morning full of exciting ideas which will soon become real. Okay, I’m in love with my work!
Why did you go into this area?
As far as I remember since I was a child, I used to spend most of my time sketching and later, reading and writing and sharing what I’d learned and what excites me with others. I still do the same now and get paid!
If I had to do something that isn’t artistic or creative I would be depressed. I hate to follow orders or routines. I like to live my life and do things my own way. I prefer to work alone (this is why freelancing is for me) or be the leader of a team (which I also did successfully).
Any tips for beginners?
Find what you love and you’re probably good at, what you do easier and better than others. This will help you stand out, make money without feeling you’re struggling all the time.
If you love what you’re doing you can easily spend many hours working, practicing and honing your skills, which is necessary if you want to succeed.
If you decide to work as a freelancer, you must definitely learn how to market your business and sell your work. Your talent is not enough.
Which person inspires you the most?
There’s no just one person who inspires me. I get inspired by all sorts of artists and creative people or smart entrepreneurs, people who have a passion and developed their own style and personality.
Those who innovate and dare to be different – not those who steal others’ ideas and just follow trends.
Some of them are famous and some of them are not (yet)!
The last book you read that touched your heart?
I mostly read psychology books, this is why I love Irvin Yalom and Wayne Dyer. I read “When Nietzsche Wept” many years ago, after having been psychoanalyzed, this is why it touched my heart.
The feel-good film you could watch over and over again?
I’m not a movie person, I’m a music person. it’s been ages since I last went to the cinema. I don’t get easily excited by movies unless they have a great soundtrack.
So, the films that I could happily see again were “rock movies”, not exactly “feel-good” films. I’d first watched them when I was a teenager when there was no Netflix or cable TV. “The Wall”, “Sid and Nancy”, “Trainspotting” and the more classic “Amadeus”, because I love Mozart. All full of music!
The song that means the most to you?
I grew up listening to post-punk groups – The Cure and Magazine were my favorite. Now I listen to many kinds of music, except for jazz. I can’t stand it!
When I work I mostly to listen to contemporary orchestral music and baroque composers – lyrics could distract me. My favorite is Vivaldi. From the classics, I love Mozart.
What are your long-term goals?
Roughly, to work on what makes me happy and excited and makes other people happy through my work. Get paid to do what I love!
I have many short-term goals, which keep me motivated. Actually, I like to turn my dreams into achievable goals.
But I don’t have very concrete, long-term goals, because life proves me wrong – and this is exciting! I grab challenging, unexpected opportunities that come my way, so, I usually don’t know where I’ll be in five, three or even, one year!
I mean, just five years ago I couldn’t even imagine most of the things I’m doing now! No way!
Your favourite quote?
I came to earth to have a wonderful time!