Nenad Pantic, Software Developer and Sci-Fi Artist

Hi, my name is Nenad Pantic, and I am Dev team lead at Bionic. My focus is primarily front-end, but I also do bits of the back-end and business analysis. I am originally from Croatia. I learned by chance of the growing demand for software engineers in Ireland, so I took that chance. That was 3 years ago now. My wife was also delighted as she was in Ireland while she was studying linguistics. We now live in Greystones, just south of Dublin.

I love programming. From my childhood, I was a frequent visitor to computer centres, along with my older brother, who inspired me to learn more about programming. That was my first engagement with computers – huge terminal ones. For me, programming is like art – a way to create and express yourself.

Besides programming, I have numerous hobbies and interests! I do DIY electronics and IoT (Arduino); I enjoy gardening (I rent an allotment space) for a constant supply of organic vegetables, and also for good exercise and the opportunity for family activity, and I love playing computer games and reading comic books. However, my primary interest is in the arts. I follow many artists on the Internet, and I have multiple portfolios of my work online.

The Jungle Book, Digital Artwork by Nenad

My passion for art started in primary school. My father was an architect, and also a very skilled artist. I was always surrounded by his drawings and paintings, so it must have influenced me. I was also drawn to Fantasy literature. As a young teen, I had Brian Froud/Alan Lee Faeries books bought by my Mother. I wanted to create my own fantasy worlds! Tolkien also had great influence on me. My aunt was a librarian and recommended his books to me while I was sick. I read Lord of the Rings when I was a teenager in one go.

I have always preferred the mediums that are less messy, simple and give me a chance to jump into the creative process as soon as possible: pencils, watercolours, inks, or digital art. European Mythology, Folklore and Storytelling influence me, such as Nordic, Celtic, Slavic and Greek stories. Outside of Europe, I like Middle Eastern mythologies like Hebrew and Sumerian. However, I am mostly engaged in fantasy/sci-fi illustration. I always try to make them as believable as possible. The execution is almost always realistic, but the theme is dreamy. I use to do a lot of illustration work for books, both for a source of extra money, and for a way to stay connected to a world of art. Nowadays I do it only for fun and as food for the soul.

Lake Forest Idyl, by Nenad

I always thought that my interest in art was a good complementary skill to programming. Approaching software development from a more creative point of view is a bonus. Also, it is useful for practical skills such as UI/UX, as there are many rules already found in the world of art.

Art is a medium to try to express our true self, and also a way to break free from the boundaries of our physical self. Art for me is a way to explore my inner world. I try to express the vibrancy of life, the multiple and rich aspects of it that might be not obvious in our daily lives.

Each module in an application could be compared to an object on a canvas. These objects need to be composed well together to give you best impression. In UI/UX it is even more obvious, as each element on the screen needs to be balanced and play well with the others – and aesthetic rules there are the same ones as in picture composition.

The Dragon’s Embrace, The Falling House, by Nenad

Lately, I have not done much artwork, but I want to restart my passion soon. The canvases and materials are bought and ready for me once I am inspired! When I do art, I usually do it passionately for hours and hours, forgetting about the outside world.

For new artists, stay true to yourself, but accept the criticism from others as an opportunity to grow. Observe and practice a lot. I like my fathers saying: “When you grow up the answer will present itself”. It is interesting how we often search for the answers and not find one, but then suddenly you know when you are ready.

See more of Nenad’s artwork here!

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