At 99designs, our team is always enamored by stories of meaningful connections that spark long-lasting relationships between our designers and clients. After all, that is what we’re here for! But we were in for quite a surprise once we started getting to know the team behind designer account Lucadia.
Yup, that’s right – team Lucadia consists of Luca Scalise and Nadia M. The pair behind the stunning portfolio is a romantic duo who has been keeping the magic alive long-distance. Now grab a glass of wine, dig into their interview and get ready to feel warm and fuzzy.
Names: Luca & Nadia
99designs handle: Lucadia
Location: Italy and the Netherlands
How’d you get started in design?
L: Design and Art have been always part of my life. When I was young I used to lie on the floor of my parents’ advertising agency and scribble everywhere, copying posters and drawings on hundreds of papers or even worse… drawing some horrible “artworks” on every wall of the apartment! Basically I was born and raised into this world, luckily for me.
N: It all started with my love for drawing as a kid. As the years passed, this passion grew with me until the moment I started using Photoshop to create banners, wallpapers, and avatars in fan communities. At that point it was evident that designing was something that I love to do. Unfortunately once I got so caught up in studying, work, and unfortunate life events, this side of me got neglected. That is until I met Luca, who reignited this part of me!
What were you both doing before 99designs?
L: Before starting this amazing experience I was running my own advertising agency in South Italy, having the luck to collaborate with great people, gaining experience as scenographer and sculptor, but I rarely felt satisfied with my works. I rarely had the freedom to experiment and be creatively daring because our area was a bit close-minded. Finding a place like 99designs where you can freely express yourself without feeling out of place and being blessed with the ability to compete with and learn from crazily talented designers is the ultimate Designer Heaven.
N: I had many plans and goals, but unfortunately I got diagnosed with a serious case of Crohn’s disease which ruined and changed a lot of my plans. But this unfortunate happening hasn’t stopped me from making new dreams and chasing them. Like working as a model in the racing world, and rediscovering and studying the graphic design world.
You’re from significantly different areas – how did you meet? Do you see each other often?
L: Our passion for racing somehow caused us to bump into each other on social media. Nadia always looked unreachable for me, out of my league, and after our very first message I was over the moon. I love to talk to her, the more time I spent with her, I needed more and more of it. It’s a “crescendo”. Ever growing. So, soon it was inevitable that I’d buy a plane ticket and meet her in person. I wanted to see if it was too good to be true or perhaps I was the luckiest person in the world. I got on that plane to Amsterdam… and still after 3 years I still can’t believe she’s real.
N: Because of the distance we don’t see each other as often as we wish. We try to meet at least once every 6-8 weeks, but we are working hard to get rid of this distance for once and for all!
How did “Lucadia” on 99designs come to be?
N: We stumbled upon a graphic design blog that posted about sites that held logo contests. We didn’t know such a thing existed! We Googled for it and saw 99designs listed there, which was in our opinion the most professional and inviting looking of all! As soon as we discovered you, we signed up. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to find out if we stood a chance in any of the contests. With the number of diverse contests we found here, there is seriously not one reason to not give it a try!
Were you ever worried about how working together would effect your relationship or vice versa?
L: Absolutely! Especially Nadia who was worried at the beginning. The time we spent on Skype was already precious and limited, so she was afraid working together would take up all our time. It definitely does, but we found so much pleasure in that it didn’t feel like work but instead something fun to do and made us grow closer. You get to know and trust each other so well through problems, victories or other challenges you may encounter during work.
N: At the start we were careful with expressing our honest opinions of each other’s work. But soon we realized we both wanted the ‘harsh truth’ in order to get the best out of a creation. Now we’re not afraid to be blunt (haha)! It influences both relationship and work, but in a positive way. Within a short time (and some trial and error here and there) our worries faded and made place for trust and confidence.
Has our site played a role in your relationship?
L: Yes, absolutely. 99designs is a way for us to stay connected. It’s something we love to do together and we are on 99designs almost daily. It’s great to share that feeling of excitement while waiting for that orange notification sign, or rushing to call the other the moment stars appear under our design. Also winning contests helps us to meet and be together, and spoil each other a little every now and then!
How were you able to find harmony developing a consistent style as two different people?
N: We compliment each other, no matter what the roles in a project could be. We feel that we would never reach these results without collaborating. Basically we are two designers that can handle projects individually, but the designs of team Lucadia are the result of this synergy. It came very naturally for us. We found this harmony without any effort. Before being colleagues and teammates, we are a couple, and in our case it has helped.
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring designers… or love skeptics?
L: Just be curious, experiment and find your own style. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fail because these are the things you learn and grow most from and, in the end, make you a better designer. Make sure every day you did something to make yourself come closer to your dream. You’ll need to have a lot of patience and consistency in this world.
And to the love skeptics: true love exists! Everyone can have it and deserves to have it. Many people use too much of their head and too little of their heart. Look at us, if we would’ve let our mind dominate and do what is ‘right’, our story wouldn’t have happened. Distance, cultural differences, and even health problems can be big obstacles, but we have never felt that way! Think in solutions and possibilities rather than obstacles. Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to show who you are!Sound cliché? Probably! But have you truly done it? Probably not, or not long enough. So what if it’s unusual? It’s refreshing! In our experience it intrigues people, instead of pushing them away, well the cool ones anyway… this goes for work or love. As our signature tagline says: “Better Brave than Sorry”, guys!
So what’s next for Team Lucadia?
L: Ahh, what’s next… what I can tell you for sure is that we’ll be together! This is a one-in-a-million relationship, something that time nor anything else can stop. Where our road will lead us? Definitely growing as people, as professionals, as designers but mainly growing our relationship and taking it to the next level, with all the meaning that this sentence could imply… 😉
As Lucadia we plan to officially establish our company and finally live and enjoy, side-by-side, all the adventurous projects that will come our way, doing our best to make the name “Lucadia” a synonym of quality, trust and kindness. Obviously, with 99designs always by our side, since it’s a place that we love to be at and where we grow so much as professionals. It will always have a special place in our hearts <3.
There’s no doubt these two are a love story for the 99designs record books!
As an added (mushy) bonus for Valentine’s Day, we asked Luca and Nadia to secretly answer questions about each other.
Luca, what do you love about Nadia?
L: Oh gosh, how many GB of space I can use to answer this question? There’s too much to say. I live my days constantly with her, not spending more than 5 minutes without hearing or talking to her and I can never stop thanking God for bringing her into my life. I simply can’t stay without her anymore. I adore her creativity, she’s extremely talented and I’ve grown so much as a designer since I’ve met her. She’s my muse, my inspiration, and she’s by far the best colleague I’ve ever worked with!!
She’s an immensely strong warrior, going through a hell of a disease every day, but she never loses her joy – her colorful and vivid way to see and love life. It’s something that makes me look up to her so much and her personality has taught me a lot. She made me grow as a man hoping one day I’ll be strong and at least half as good as her. And last but not least: Did you take a look at her? She’s breathtakingly gorgeous!
Nadia, what’s your favorite thing about Luca?
N: It’s impossible to name just one thing, but when I’m with Luca everything turns into an adventure! He has this ability to turn anything dull into something funny and exciting! For example, grocery shopping? An adventure! A hospital visit? Super funny! With him, nothing’s the same anymore.
Everything becomes brightly colored and shiny. This is truly a rare gift. No matter what, Luca always keeps smiling and puts other people first, always taking care of everyone, without ever complaining. Sometimes so much that he forgets to think of himself. But luckily that’s where I come in – to finally spoil this big-hearted man, as he more than deserves! Oh, and… his mysterious dark eyes make me melt!!