Modest and super talented. With Vladi I had one of the longest interviews – honest and friendly conversation. We discussed all the questions, plus many other topics, like the weirdest client’s ideas for a coffee painting he has received ( and I have to say that the people have imagination… )
Will try to not put all my comments, so you can dive into Vladi’s full or passion and love world – the world of the Bulgarian top barista:
How would you describe yourself, what inspires you?
- Balanced, honest, active. Dignified and determined also. I am strict and demanding, but I know what I want. I have ambitions that I pursue. Modest also, because I am trying to keep me as a person and not let the fame change me. Results inspire me, but mainly the people. They are my motivation. Their reactions and energy are irreplaceable. My fans are from all ages – from children to grandpas and grandmas. Currently I’m focused on my professional progress, which costs me a lot of sacrifices. I don’t have time for myself, rarely go out in the evenings. I must be always fresh and in a good mood – people expect me to bring them joy. They even marry each other through my coffees hahah Seeing the happiness and love of my clients, makes me work even harder.
“It was extremely hard for me in the beginning. I had to do not only the paintings on the coffees, but all the other things, that my colleagues were doing. My employers thought that I just had taken myself seriously. But with time, I showed that my work really is something serious – job, that makes people happy.
I know that you’ve studied art, now you use your talent in an amazing way. Is art present in your life in a form other than the coffee drawings you create?
- Yes, I’ve studied almost every aspect of art – sculpture, painting and icon painting, design and this definitely gave me a good start. We practiced a lot, I enjoyed creating. But I didn’t put my heart in it, I didn’t think of continuing doing this kind of things and making them a career. Maybe that’s why I didn’t develop my abilities enough. I can’t say that I’m a great painter, but I’ve learned to paint some things good enough. I don’t have other type of art in my life at the moment – the one that I make gives me enough.
You put all the love you have in your job and that’s easy to see. But what’s love for you out of your workplace, can you describe it for me in three words?
- Three words are not enough to describe the meaning of “the greatest feeling”. With love anything is possible and with time I’ve realized that all the things made with love always work out. I suggest everybody using the power of love, all the time, in every possible way.
Did you found your work or it was your work that found you?
- I’ve been in the restaurant industry since graduation. I continued after that but didn’t find any perspective realization in that too. But one day I saw my colleague doing latte art and wanted to try it myself. I had the motivation to progress fast. Could say that the inspiration found me.
“And you know, there were these billboards all over the town, presenting a famous latte art spot. I remember watching them for about 2 years and dreaming of seeing my name there. At that time, I worked at a pool in Golden sands, but didn’t like it. One day a new colleague came to work and while we were talking he said that he left work from the exact same place I was looking at. So, without hesitating I jumped to this opportunity, not knowing if they’re going to hire me. I sent my CV and after a few days I went on an interview and I got the job by showing sincerity and passion. In a month I got the attention of everybody hahah That was the time when I started experimenting with the drawings and decorations on the coffees, which was something never seen before. All the success was also accompanied by a lot of negativity towards me, but I try to not pay attention to the hate I receive and just focus on the important things for me.
I’m impressed that you’re preparing all the stuff you use by yourself – the chocolate and the “paints” you draw with. Is the connection with your clients important for you, do you put something personal in it too?
- At the beginning I had only red, green color and a chocolate toping, like the ones you can find in stores. With time, people started to look for new colors and designs – they were the ones that showed me the way and what more I was able to do for them. I like to pay attention to the details, because I see that my clients are appreciating it.
Sometimes is hard for me to maintain the way of communication I have with them, simply because I also have bad days, I’m not always in a good mood. But I never allow myself to transmit negative energy, I consider it a good quality that I’m calm hahah Because my work is very precise, especially when I’m preparing the little “shots” – compliments I often make for my customers.* I’ll keep in secret the receipt of the chocolate Vladi told me
And you, do you like drinking coffee?
- Yes, yes, I do. I drink one every day. I try to not drink too much of it, because sometimes I don’t have time for breakfast at work and the coffee’s not helping. Also, I don’t want to fed up with it.
Every artist have a favorite piece. What’s for you the coffee you’ve made and won’t forget?
- I don’t have a favorite drawing I’ve made, because I put the same effort and love in each one of them. I greet and talk to every client about the drawing on their coffee they want me to do. I’m used to give, even too much – I’ve had problems with my bosses in the past for that hahah
What plans do you have for the future?
- To keep being a good person and create a family to give my all love to. That’s what I’m dreaming for. I want to open my place, where all my customers would be able to find me. But I don’t hurry making it come true, because with time my vision becomes more and more clear and my ideas get better.
I wish to be able to start teaching other people the things I know and create followers, because my job has great future. Also, the bad side of being the only one, is that I don’t have no one I can trust – it happens to stay more than 10 hours working without a break, simply because I can’t get any help.
- I hope your dreams come true soon, Vladi! Your talent and art must not get lost
Have you ever thought about what kind of job would you choose, if you stop being a barista?
- Honestly – no. I think that for success, the most important thing you need is ambitions. I have them, I dream big and work hard, so I think that I’d become the best in anything I start doing. It just happened that I became the best in latte art. I enjoy doing promo videos to show my audience the process of work. People who don’t know me personally think that I pay somebody to make them. The truth is that I create them myself with my phone. I’ve received compliments about them from people in the industry, which surprises me and makes me super happy at the same time. I’ve even made a promo video for a restaurant. That’s why if I have an opportunity, maybe I will dedicate myself to video making, because it will also help me with the marketing.
- We discussed the money part also – Vladi told me that they never were the goal for him. He’s more interested in success and knows that when you’re successful money come your way. He had job offers from prestige places like Dubai and New York. But he preferred to stay in Bulgaria, even though he knows that here the professional realization is harder to achieve. Now, he’s feeling ready for the international recognition and fame.
Is there a question you ask yourself?
- I don’t question things. I stick to my goals and ambitions. Keeping my priorities in order helps me achieve better results. I try to find balance between work and rest and just focus on the happiness. I wish myself only health and to keep developing the talent that I have.
Once arrived in Milan, I will wait for you Vladi. I’m sure it won’t be your last visit, because Italians are famous for their coffee but will fall in love with your unique and colorful creative mind “di sicuro” – for sure!
“I regularly give free drinks to children. How could I take their money, seeing that their hands can’t even reach the table.”