Róbert Mátyás – Content Marketing Through the Lens of Digital Design

The Cogniverse Podcast: In this episode, we will talk in-depth about branding and personal branding strategies and the importance of content marketing through the lens of digital design.

Attila Tóth

Digital Strategist

How can a digital content creator reach over 100.000 followers on Instagram in just 2 years? What does it take to maintain an educational YouTube channel with more than 25.000 subscribers in the competitive field of digital illustration and design?

Today’s guest, talented graphic designer, illustrator, content creator, strategist and entrepreneur Róbert Mátyás will take us through the steps to success and share the industry’s secrets.

Róbert has gained valuable experience working with luxury startups and other brands such as Adobe, Yellow Images, Pony, Spline, and Domestika. As a content creator, Róbert regularly comes up with short how-to videos about typography, branding, visual effects, optical art, illustrations, poster design, motion design and animation, and the like. 

You can connect with Róbert via LinkedIn, and make sure to check out his BehanceInstagram account, and YouTube channel. Without further ado, please enjoy this episode with Róbert.

Listen to this episode on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, and Spotify.

Podcast transcript:

Attila Tóth: [00:02:02] - Hey Robert, welcome to the Cogniverse Show. I have so many questions, hopefully we will have time to cover them all. But I think the best place to start with is your results and potential plans. 

Róbert Mátyás: [00:02:17] - Hey there, sure. So the whole thing with Instagram basically exploded in somewhere around at the beginning of 2021. And basically at the end, somewhere in October, November, it got really big and I received a lot of clients. From there, it kept going until the next year, 2022, for six more months. But I couldn't resist because it was so big. I received so many projects that basically I couldn't keep going anymore. It was real. I never thought this is going to work out, but it got really successful somewhere around October, November 2021. And I needed to manage also the content creation phase and I also needed to manage the clients and manage the project; so it was too much for me.

Attila Tóth: [00:03:30] - So, basically, you went on social media as a test to try it out, thinking what can happen, and from what I understand, it went better than you expected.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:03:43] - Well, the goal, the purpose of going on Instagram was to fine tune my skills, to get better at design. That was my whole thing. And the main idea to get myself motivated was to post something on Instagram every single day. That's how I kept myself motivated to get better in design. I was learning animation skills, how to animate logos or how to do logo design better. In the first two months, nothing was happening. I was just posting, I wasn't getting results, but I wasn't focused to get any results. So I wasn't focusing to get money out of Instagram or grow a follower base out of Instagram.

Attila Tóth: [00:04:43] - Sure, so your focus was to be consistent and to publish on a daily basis. 

Róbert Mátyás: [00:04:50] - Yes, exactly. I wanted to get better in design because I knew that I wasn't that good. I knew that I have certain problems in design. And I needed to get better in some areas, for example in typography, in animation, and a lot more. So I was just working and then thinking about creating a nice portfolio, and to keep it updated. Yeah, that was basically my goal.

Attila Tóth: [00:05:23] - Yeah, I think the best way to grow also professionally, but also in terms of content is if you focus on the content quality, because in between the lines, that's what I'm seeing here. That you didn't have a business goal, what you had in mind was to become better. And in this case, becoming better in your Instagram posts means becoming a better designer, a better professional, but that also comes hand in hand with becoming a better content creator. So yeah, it makes sense and I think that mindset should be something that inspires other professionals to think of content as the key focus because if you become better at what you do, then the results will follow. And I'm really glad that we are touching this topic and to continue on that, what are your plans for this year? Did you change strategy or how will you tackle these two channels, YouTube and Instagram together in 2022? As you said, you have limited capacity. So I'm curious how you plan it.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:06:39] - Yes, so basically I'm going to change the whole thing. So in ‘21, I was doing services 100%. But right now, I'm also going to focus on creating products to develop some online courses and to productise this channel base, because 95% of the people who are following me want to learn design and they want to get better at design. Then five percent are basically clients who want my services and I also get big payments from them. And the product base is going to be with low payments, I mean, much lower prices than selling service. I mean selling these online courses are eventually selling digital design assets. 

Attila Tóth: [00:07:35] - You had a very interesting kick-off, congratulations on your growth.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:07:41] - Thank you.

Attila Tóth: [00:07:42] - And I like your idea to think a bit ahead and work on how you can scale your services and what you just said, creating digital assets that make it possible to create value from the same product. So you don't have to be there for each and every service. So I think that's an interesting road and looking forward to see what you will achieve this year and maybe we'll continue from here in our next discussion in 2023. 

Róbert Mátyás: [00:08:13] - Sounds great.

Attila Tóth: [00:08:14] - What do you think? What is the most interesting for your followers in terms of your content? So what are the types of content that they like and they return to and they engage with? And when was the moment you realised that okay, this is the type of content you need to create in order to further grow your channels and, of course, your professional career?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:08:49] - After a couple of months, actually I think it was 12 months, when I basically recapped the whole year by what I was posting. I checked the most engaging posts on Instagram and I categorised them from best engaging to mid-engaging and also low engaging content. So I basically separated three categories. And I noticed that the most engaging ones (which got like half million of engagement, big numbers) were these special effects on typography; or these optical illusions. I was surprised that they weren’t these logos, or something I was passionate about, or typography. You know, I'm also really passionate about typography and that was the least engaging. So yeah, people want to know about how I debunk special effects or they are sending me designs and asking me how to do this and how to do that if you can debunk this special effect or that. Because people are basically really curious and nobody gives the answer for that because these artists, I don't know, they don’t want to get this information out. They don't want to tell you how it's done. And I was debunking some of these effects and people were really engaging on these posts (the special effects and optical illusions). And that's how other great designers started to talk about me and study my stuff because I did these special effects, most of the optical effects.

Attila Tóth: [00:10:47] - Interesting. From what you say, if I understand correctly, it means that basically you are giving answers for some questions that nobody answered before.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:11:00] - Exactly.

Attila Tóth: [00:11:02] - And I think that's key in your success because if you create content that everybody can create then you don't have a chance. But if you give them real value then people will appreciate it. And as you said, if nobody answers these questions, then we'll come to you for these answers. So it's very useful.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:11:25] - Yes, and it also created a little bit of controversy and a little bit of hate because some designers and artists don't want you to know these practises. They don't want to spread this information or reveal this information. And a little percentage got pissed off, you know, but the majority, like 99%, thought it's cool, it's good. Even controversies are good marketing.

Attila Tóth: [00:11:58] - On the one hand, and on the other hand there's that saying, if you create something to be different and if you want to make something that has an impact, then for sure there will be some people and a part of your audience who will not like it, who will try to go against it. And there's also this idiom that says if you want to please everybody, then sell ice cream. But I think even with ice cream, there are so many different flavours that you cannot satisfy everybody's needs. It comes with success that once you start getting visibility on your brand and on your work, then people would comment, say their opinions. Some of those opinions won't be positive, but that shouldn't be something to demotivate you.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:12:51] - There's also different implementations that Instagram and YouTube did so these algorithms now detect all sorts of hate comments or all sorts of negative stuff. Even if there aren’t any swearing words, they really detect those and they just eliminate them. It's really interesting.

Attila Tóth: [00:13:18] - Yes, most of these platform have a bunch of algorithms behind them. And many people only want to hack them in order to gain followers and coverage. But you are constantly providing high quality content besides working with the platforms’ specifics. What was your approach? Alongside your original content, did you get acquainted with the algorithms, too? You gained a lot of followers in a relatively short time.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:13:53] - I needed to learn how the algorithm operates, and how I need to post and stuff like that. So it's important to understand the algorithm and there are people talking about the algorithm and describing what is their behaviour and how the algorithm is operating because you can do whatever you want. But if you're not doing the way the algorithm wants you to, then your content is useless on the social media platform on which you're uploading. TikTok is a new thing. TikTok's algorithm is way different than Instagram's algorithm. You need to study the algorithm first and then post because you will mess it up. You won't get engagements.

Attila Tóth: [00:14:39] - So you managed to understand how the algorithm works in order to make the most of your posts, your content.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:14:46] - Yes. For example, Instagram is based on hashtags in order to get engagements and get more famous. So that’s a different thing. The algorithm is analysing every single post on these hashtags and these hashtag groups. And at the end, under a hashtag group, for example, “logo design” hashtag, it's analysing the full picture of those contents, how they look and whether the algorithm saw one particular style. That algorithm is going to think we're going to need more similar posts. Let's say for example, if it's a colour between black, red, and blue, then most images are on those colors. And the algorithm going to think we're going to need to boost more images that are on those colour styles. So in the top nine posts, because that's what matters, they are going to boost more images and that kind of style. Or let's say you're posting pictures in a hashtag that is related to puppies. If you're posting an image with a cat and your hashtag is puppy, then the algorithm is gonna seize that this is a cat and it's going to identify a cat. So it won't give engagement to that post because the algorithm knows that content is not relevant to the specific hashtag. So it's pretty intelligent, it's really interesting. And this basically creates the trends in these hashtag categories that people, most people post in that style. That creates a trend and you're going to need to somehow infiltrate in that hashtag base. You need to upload something similar.

Attila Tóth: [00:17:00] - Interesting, so  you are also watching what is trendy and trying to create content that is trending and you also select topics that are important for you and they have a good follower base and then you try to infiltrate into that hashtag topic.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:17:20] - Yes, so basically this is how it works. You can do it other ways. You also need to analyse a lot. You need to do your homework, to analyse the hashtags, there are hashtags which are really competitive. You can make something in that specific trend or style, but you won't enter because that specific hashtag is so competitive. But there's software out there or these research platforms, you can enter your content, you can analyse the hashtags and that software is going to predict that this hashtag is discompetitive, that hashtag is more easier to get in. So there's a lot of data that goes into it. And yeah, basically this is what I did a lot last year. I basically cut some trends and I got really successful with hashtags. The main idea was that when I post something, I add 30 hashtags. So in order to succeed with these hashtags, let's say you have a thousand followers. That means you need to research a hashtag that has around a thousand posts. You don't research a hashtag that has a million posts or 100 million posts, you will never ever get into the top nine. It's very important to try to get into the top nine because that's what people are looking at. And the thing is, I was researching for small-reach hashtags and they were not that competitive. And to be also in the same style. But you can also make compromises. It doesn't need to be 100% that same specific team, you can also get in if the hashtag is not that competitive, if people there are not that competitive, they aren’t posting in every second. In those competitive hashtags people are really engaging, they're posting in every single second and then it's changing super fast.

Attila Tóth: [00:19:37] - And on that note, so what you did was only organic posts,  you didn't have paid promotion, right?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:19:45] - Yes, it's 100% organic.

Attila Tóth: [00:19:48] - It's interesting that you went on a data level and likely that's also part of your success because from what I see happening in the markets, many people and many brands who are active on social platforms don't go into the data. So they want to get engagement but they don't learn what's behind engagement. And that way, they don't have a real chance because as you said, if there's a hashtag that is really popular, usually that means that's also really competitive. And in order to get there, you need to find those hashtags that I like to call niche hashtags which have enough followers or have enough interest, but they are not so competitive. 

Róbert Mátyás: [00:20:39] - Yes, exactly. And regarding to this engagement, we're talking about a social media platform, we're talking about people who want to socialise. It's a people to people thing. So the algorithm understands this. The algorithm is programmed to work on these social cues and it's also programmed to track these engagements, for example, how you communicate with people, how often do you comment, do you reply to the comments. That thing is going to boost your engagement and it's counted by percentage. You can see also that. And if you're engaging with people, if you're commenting, if you're saving comments and replying to those, the algorithm is also going to promote that. For example, I have another guy whose page has 95,000 followers. I know the guy. He's from the Netherlands or something, I don't know, but he doesn't post every single day. He's not consistent with posting, but on the other hand, he's really engaging. His comment section in every single post is beyond 200-300 comments. He's really engaging with every single person. He's a really social guy. That is his thing. I'm not that social. I'm more of an introvert. And I'm more focused on content. So he is growing a lot because he's doing a lot of comments and the algorithm understands it and that's how we see he's growing. So there are different tactics and strategies you can apply on Instagram and it works.

Attila Tóth: [00:22:41] - And I think that also applies to other platforms as well. And that's why I said initially that okay, you can tap into understanding the algorithm and tap into what some call growth hacking. But unless you create value, then basically you are just on the platform and you will not have any success. And it's a very good example with this guy from the Netherlands, what you just said. Because the value he creates is probably in the comments and as you said, he is a social guy, his service is giving out tips, giving out feedback. And that's also value and of course that's an engagement counter for the algorithm. It's similar in other platforms as well. Even on LinkedIn or YouTube, comments matter. And it also matters how you engage with comments. And I think we've talked quite deeply about Instagram, but let's go a bit also on the YouTube part because I'm sure that many of our listeners are creating video content and, especially, I'm talking business listeners who want to get better in terms of promoting their brand with video. What were the learnings on YouTube, what do you think are the most important tricks and tips that can make your content grow better? What was your experience here?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:24:06] - Well, the first thing I'm going to tell you is that YouTube is way more difficult than Instagram. We're talking about something that looks like Netflix, you need to create professional content there. I mean, the truth is you don't even need high-quality videos, but your content, what you're posting, you're going to talk in front of the camera, it needs to be really engaging if you're talking for three minutes, the whole three minutes has to keep the eyes on you. And there are a lot of subskills involved. It's not that easy. And it's really good if you have somebody edit the videos or help you out because it's a lot of media production behind it if you want to succeed with YouTube. There's a lot of stuff involved. The truth is I didn't have that much time to focus on YouTube 100% because it's just really time consuming. And because I was working with also other clients. But I did learn a lot from YouTube too. I did my homework. I can say the thumbnails are one of the most crucial things that determine if your video is going to be watched or not. At least 50% of the success rate depend on whether the thumbnail is attractive or not. Same thing on Instagram. If you want to succeed in those top nine hashtags, you need a really appealing thumbnail, so on which people are going to click on. This is going to come with time and experience, how you're going to figure it out, after a lot of trial and error and failures, what works and what not, and in that specific niche you can be inspired from others to see how they did. But it's very important. So the thing is if you're posting something, it needs to be engaging. You can't be boring because you can see after you post, after 24 hours, you're going to see the statistics, like what section of the video people watch most and then you have the decline, people start to leave. So you need to check that area out: why are people leaving, what is going on? So you need to figure those areas out why weren't you engaging in that spot? Or you can do those eight to ten minute videos where you can post commercials wherever you want on the video. So you can put the commercial and ad on the video. And basically on those long videos that take eight to ten minutes, you really need to create serious content. And you really need to be good at that stuff. In my case, I’m not that good. I saw how professional YouTubers are doing it, but that’s a whole new level. I’m doing short videos, 3-4 minute videos, because I saw that people don’t like to watch long video, so I’m trying to do these shorter videos. Now there’s a new thing that’s going on on YouTube: it’s called YouTube Shorts, because TikTok exploded, and every social media platform got panicked, because TikTok is killing everything. Instagram implemented the reels, YouTube implemented the shorts, Pinterest implemented the same structure with the videos. And now, these platforms are giving you better boost if you are doing the shorts and reels, like on TikTok. They are getting you better promotion. But the thing with YouTube is what the YouTube algorithm does is analysing your videos, how many percentage is over watched on your videos. So let’s say your videos got watched 25-30%, which is really low. If you create short videos, they are going to take 15-25 seconds, so the duration of these videos is going to be really short. People watch it til the end. So you’re going to have 80% to 100% engagement and watch time because viewers are going to watch it again and again, because it’s really short. And this is the trick in there, because the algorithm sees it like “this guy has a bigger watchtime”. Instead of 25-40%, he has 80%, 100%, 200%, so it’s hacking the system somehow for what YouTube gave the opportunity. Chris Do from The Futur was talking about this. And I saw a few months ago, they were posting only short videos on The Futur, and I was like, what are they doing? Before, they were posting high-quality content that took from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. There were a lot of long videos with value, and now what they are doing is posting only these short, 4-second videos and their page grew out exponentially, they reached great success. The talked about how in the first two months there was nothing, they were posting consistently these short videos people didn’t care about, but after about one or two months, the whole thing exploded and they were on YouTube for something like eight years, but now they were having the biggest success with these short videos. It’s really interesting. 

Attila Tóth: [00:30:52] - Yes, and as you said, that’s also part of the bigger game, that these platforms compete with each other. YouTube had to pull something against TikTok, and it will be interesting to see how this changes in the future. Because right now, YouTube is probably the best way to monetise your content, whereas on TikTok and Instagram you don’t get paid for creating content. And on that note, I wanted to ask, did you apply for the YouTube premium partnership to get your channel monetised or that’s not happening yet?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:31:32] - Yes, a long time ago, last year. The goal was to reach 4.000 hours of watchtime. I reached that in the first three months because my focus was to create long content, videos between 5 and 10 minutes. So I wasn’t making these really short videos that I’m making now, because my goal was to reach that milestone of 4.000 and from there, you can monetise your videos. YouTube gives you access to those tools. Just yesterday I was talking with my accountant about how to work this paperwork out, because YouTube is sending monthly payments and you need to work with an accountant to…  

Attila Tóth: [00:32:29] - to Help with legal part to handle those payments?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:32:33] - Yeah. And do you know what’s the difference between YouTube and the rest of the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok? YouTube has a strong search engine. Google is the strongest seach engine on the planet. And your videos on YouTube are assets. People search for something and your videos are going to reappear again and again and again. On Instagram, on TikTok, on Facebook, you’ve got the feeds. Your post is going to appear once, and it’s going to go down, and disappear forever. So you have this 1% window opportunity when your content is going to shine. Of course, if you are going to enter in those hashtags, it’s going to last for a few more days, but that’s it. It’s going to pass away, it’s done. So the longevity of these contents that you are posting on social media platforms vs YouTube is that what you’re posting on YouTube is an asset. Let’s say that people are interested in real estate. That thing is bulletproof. People want to live somewhere, they want to know about those. Or some businesspeople want to learn about real estate, they are going to seach them all of the time. Or let’s talk about entertainment, these entertaining, funny videos. People want to get entertained and people want to learn, and they are going to research all the time what is on YouTube.

Attila Tóth: [00:34:15] - Yes, and on that note, I think that’s also the critical difference in terms of the content type, the video format on the hand, as you said, has longevity, it stays on the platform, and people can find it even after 2 or 3 years. And if it’s still relevant, they will look at it. That’s one part. And the other part, when you create a video, you can use it on other platforms, but that video also means that you have a script behind it, you have written content. So, as you said, YouTube is not an easy game to play, but once you invest in it, then you can reuse that knowledge multiple times, so probably it’s harder to start, but on the long term, it has the best return on investment. Of course, you need to learn a lot. And as you said, probably today it’s not enough to do it as a one-man-job. We know famous YouTubers started like that, but, again, the competition is crazy on YouTube. There are so many people doing professional videos that what you create and what you put out there has to be in terms of content, even if it’s not the 4k video format, but it has to be clear, crisp, and it has to have a good message, it has to create value. So I completely agree, YouTube is a different game. But as you said, if you play for the long term, it might make sense to invest in YouTube.

Róbert Mátyás: [00:35:57] - Yes, and it’s also really difficult because, for example, on Instagram, you’re posting images of your works, or tutorials, or whatever. On Youtube, on the other hand, you might need to speak in front of the camera, you need to have speaking skills, you need to be charismatic, fun, all these things. It’s much more than just an image or something like that. People want to know your personality and it's a lot to work on those.

Attila Tóth: [00:36:33] - Yes, and at the same time you need to be authentic because if you just have a good speech, but it doesn't feel authentic then people will not engage. I saw many brands trying to create this very professional look, a very good vibe, and good feeling. But from the outside, you have this feeling that this is fake. The guy who is speaking in front of the camera doesn't believe in what he says. There's no connection. It's the perfect setup, but it's not authentic. And people are not stupid. And it's not enough to follow the quality standards you have to, again, engage with people. And people, people engage with the people. 

Róbert Mátyás: [00:37:54] - You know, like 99% of YouTube is all about transparency. It's all about personality. And if you don't fit into that then people are going to figure it out if you're fake or not. So it's good to behave naturally. It's very important to be yourself on that platform.

Attila Tóth: [00:38:17] - Yeah. I think we went deep enough on these platforms. And as you’re a designer and as you have grown quite a lot in the last years. I also want to discuss the professional part of design. So what trends do you see emerging in digital design and what practices are becoming outdated? Could you give us some examples of trending topics and maybe what to watch out for in the following years?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:38:47] - Yes, so there are a couple of it. For example, on Instagram, it's still ongoing this pearlescent, colourful, psychedelic abstract forms done in three dimensions or this metallic, really colourful typography. I don't know where it came from, but it’s just ongoing. It looked really beautiful, but I don't think it will have longevity. I think it’s going to come to a short end. Then there's this kinetic typography, this typography animations for example. This has been up for a long time now, like five to six years. I thought this trend is going to die out, but it's still going hard and I believe this is still going to be up forever because typography is crucially important. And every company wants this animation typography implemented because it just works on videos. It's reinformative and it's innovating. I mean, designers are innovating this kinetic typo all the time. And yeah, it plays a crucial part. And there's another thing in the design that got really popular with these NFTs, these Bored Apes. I don't know if you saw this yacht club, selling these Bored Apes in exchange of membership. And people went crazy and everyone is doing some caricature dressed up in a thousand ways and they're trying to sell those without knowing what they're doing. And some of them do like that specific 1%, understand the marketing, like how to sell and how things work and move, but most of the people are just copy-pasting what these guys did and they tried to resell it. Yeah, this NFT world got wild, it's going crazy. And there's a new fascinating design method that was invented. It's called a generative art. Basically, this is generative design. This kind of design is done by coding. You're coding and you're going to see in motion how your code has come to live in forms and shapes. That has a lot of possibilities because Adobe After Effect or these motion softwares were a little bit more limited. You couldn't do all sort of things that you wanted to do. So there were these interesting generative design solutions that were created and you can literally do anything from scratch. And you need to understand how to code, basically. But yeah, it was last year when I was doing the trend things also, a lot of optical illusions. I was crushing it there. It was really trendy on Instagram. Designs and logos made in grids and lines and circles: that was also a really popular topic. I was also crushing it there on Instagram until I could, but after that I basically stagnated and decided to slow it down with the whole thing. But yeah, mainly these were the things. The biggest one is the NFT.

Attila Tóth: [00:42:36] - Thanks for your thoughts. I would like to take two of these trends and discuss them a bit more in detail because I see these two quite interesting categories. One of these is typography. As you said, this is something that's been here for a while and I agree with you. I think it will stay here. But for those who are not familiar, as I said, in our audience there are a lot of business people, so could you explain really simply what typography is, where is it used, what are the most interesting ways to use it and maybe also what are the potential downsides, if there are any, to use typography?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:43:24] - So many of these typographies, they're describing something, they want to tell a story by images or some video content. Mainly these brands are who are implementing these. And they don't use their voice to talk, they're using these animated typographies and they're telling in every slide something about the image or something of that event. And if you read a simple text and you say okay, we got something going on and we're going to read it and we can understand it. But that's not that attractive. And there are these kinetic typos where basically you have the text but the text is animated. It's interacting. It is moving. It has all sort of effects. It's twisted, it can bounce so you can add all sorts of funky animations and make it really interesting to the eye. And I had a specific guy who did only these sorts of kinetic typographies and talked about the importance of them on Instagram especially because a lot of businesses nowadays are talking about this. They are posting something and they're putting the text on so they can tell a story. They can give value this way and this guy was saying how important it is to animate those stories, to animate those feeds, at least the typographic aspect of that and he was showing, demonstrating examples with carousels in Instagram. It was really interesting and it's really fun to watch. It creates a lot more engagement rather than a simple text on an image. And it's implemented everywhere. It's implemented on video clips. It is implemented in news. For example, if you're watching the news and under it, it's describing in short what is going on. It has been animated, you know, how it is appearing or it is disappearing, and it's huge. This thing plays a very important role in businesses and in use.

Attila Tóth: [00:46:02] - Cool. Thanks for the explanation. Yes, typography should be part of every brand's communication and specifically visual communication strategy. I also want to ask you to talk a bit more on the NFT part, so that's the second interesting topic. As you said, last year was crazy. Personally, I think the craziness is not yet over. Of course, there are ups and downs and as this is something new, it's very volatile. So it's not something stable, but I'm curious. What do you think if somebody wants to connect digital design with NFTs? What's the best way to do it? How would you do it? Would you do it? Or do you think this is something that isn't worth investing in right now?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:47:03] - Well, it's a good idea to do it. I mean, your art at least gets authenticity. If you make an NFT out of it, then people know exactly that piece of work is yours. It has the code on it or I don't know the process behind, to be honest. I don't have much info about NFTs. I gathered as much info as possible, but it's real. It's here. I saw this 3d artist, Beeple, who succeeded the most out of this thing, he collected I think 66 million dollars or something like that in three, four days selling all his digital assets and he got really famous out of this stuff. And yeah, the thing is this, NFT is not just art related, as I saw. So everything can be converted in NFT for example, people are investing in NFT real estate. They're buying real estate properties in the metaverse. I'm shocked, what is going on? So it's like really getting into the matrix somewhat, and people want to be part of it. So there are a lot of bells and whistles and two weeks ago I was at a virtual meta exhibition, art exhibition, NFT art exhibition. So it was like a video game. You could move your mouse, you could walk using your keyboards, using those letters when you walk in video games and that way you can watch the art digitally. There are a lot of weird things that are going on and are involved into these NFTs. Yeah, I don't know if it's a bubble, it's going to pass away or if it's going to stay. I think it's going to be the same way as Crypto. It exploded, but it just stuck with us. Yeah, I’m curious.

Attila Tóth: [00:49:17] - Thanks for your thoughts. It will be interesting to see in what direction NFTs will go. Of course some NFTs are overrated and it’s only a question of time when the bubble will burst, but also for those who are interested on the topic, there are some parts in terms of technology which can really create value. The issue right now, as you said, there are a lot of people trying to make huge wins without understanding the value creation and without understanding the value chain. And yes, there's one percent who can do it, but it's still an industry that is in the status of forming. So it's hard to see in which direction it will go. Let's see how it will stay with us. 

And then on that note, I really like to get from everybody who comes to this show a perspective on how they see the future. And as we draw close to the end of this episode, I want to play a game of imagination with you. So what do you think? How will the digital design industry look in 10 years from now?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:50:43] - That's a great question. Well, first thought which I saw from my experience in these softwares, most specifically in the Adobe softwares and Photoshop Illustrator and all these things, they're advancing a lot. So they're making incredible changes and creating design is becoming easier and easier. Using these tools is becoming easier and easier. For example, how I did before a couple of years, like how I cropped an image, how I selected the model from the image to cut out that model, it was so difficult to do. In 2020, in Photoshop, you just do it with one single click and it's going to select the models every single here, one by one perfectly. So it advanced. It's not perfect, but at least 90% is really accurate. It's way beyond how human can do it. So imagine if we're at this stage, how it's going to be like in 10 years? Probably everything is going to be really automatic. Then on the other hand, you're going to think, hey, wait a second, but we got the AI, the robots are going to take over our jobs and all that stuff. That's a difficult answer to give, because let's be real, a lot of robots are already taking our jobs. And what is going to happen in design, in the creative industry? I was also talking with specific psychologists or emotional intelligence experts. And their answer was that robots can't learn emotions. And on the other hand, for example, an animal doesn't have imagination but we as humans do; and this one single factor is what kind of separates us from each other. Same with the robots. So far, we got these really smart AIs who are really intelligent, but so far they couldn't manage to have any fantasy or any imagination, they're just programmed to do something; to solve a problem. And creating something, being creative, inventing something takes imagination. So this is why I think our space, the creative industries are still safe. Because we still get the advantage to be creative and others cannot replicate like these robots; still cannot replicate for the AI. But yeah, another thing is this VR thing, you know, virtual reality. The metaverse is getting real with these VR goggles, creating insight with VR goggles and thinking that you can create 3D designs with VR and paintings in three dimensions. That's also very interesting and also I'm hoping that this generative art is going to go big and it's going to evolve because it's really small now, it's a really new technology. And it has a lot of potential, I also saw the AI, this artificial intelligence started creating art, for example, but it's generative art, somehow it's really repetitive. And I also was talking about that the AI won't get creative. And then I remembered that this thing, it's really interesting how the AI started to create art. They are doing demonstrations on how the AI is trying to do art and you basically upload images and the AI is converting those images and it's doing crazy things with them. But it's still kind of repetitive. You can see there's a pattern going on and they're doing the same thing after a while. And I'm curious where that technology is going to be in 10 years too. But yeah, these things were my thoughts so far.

Attila Tóth: [00:55:38] - Thank you. I want to tap into creativity because I think that's one of the values and maybe in ten years, people will prove me wrong, but I think that's the value we humans have and it's not easy to copy and I can explain it with a very simple example. As you said, you can have an algorithm to create design. But the question is, why is it creating it? The answer is because somebody is pushing the right levers to create it. Even if it's an analogy, you know what I mean. But there's no purpose behind. And when we humans create something, there's always a purpose, be it for entertainment, be it for education, be it for explanation, be it just for joy. There's something that motivates us and what I think is hard to replicate in terms of technology is to give these algorithms some kind of purpose that is coming from themselves and that purpose to be similar to what we have because, of course, you can expand the capabilities of intelligence and specifically, artificial intelligence, to do certain topics and there are various methods to use different machine learning technologies, so these algorithms learn by themselves. But the question is, what is the motivation? And I think with creativity, we can have our own motivation. It's not driven by somebody else. And depending on scenarios, it can be creativity applied to strategy, to design, to communication, even to collaboration. So that's something hard to copy, and I believe that part will be our job and our responsibility as humankind, to be responsible for being creative in solving challenges. And as you said, the machines, the algorithms should help in the parts where the work is repetitive, where you need to do the same thing again and again. 

Róbert Mátyás: [00:58:01] - Yes, also I was watching a conference a while ago with Elon Musk and he was talking about how in the future nobody will have a job, they will be replaced by robots and then we're going to have to find a solution, what to do with people. What jobs to give to people. And it was really hard to digest that speech there. Even now, it's hard to imagine. But slowly, more and more robots and these artificial intelligences are helping the industry in different sectors and areas and solving problems a human can't or they can do it better.

Attila Tóth: [00:58:52] - Yeah. It's an idea that our audience can think of and let's see how the future will look. But before closing, I just have one last question. If you could tell us what would you change in design if you had the possibility to change one thing only? What would that be?

Róbert Mátyás: [00:59:18] - Well, so far in design, it's pretty rich already. I mean there are so many things that have been invented already. I wasn't even - I don't know what else could you add more or change? Because everything is going so well, how I see it at least. We got everything. I mean, Adobe is inventing all sorts of ways and possibilities. I don't know, to be honest, so far I'm really satisfied. Well, yeah, there's this one thing. Adobe has these subscriptions, these really expensive subscriptions and maybe if they can change that, if I could change it. If that could be changed and maybe some other alternatives, some more simple ways. Because it was a transition from we buy the product to now it's with subscription or annual subscription or monthly subscription. That was the only thing that was a little bit annoying, but on the other hand, they are doing a great job. They are advancing way faster and improving their softwares. So, yeah, overall everything is pretty cool, I mean. I don't think I would change that much in design.

Attila Tóth: [01:01:11] - Interesting perspective. And on that note, let's hope that we will see the industry grow with highly skilled designers such as yourself. It's certain that the digital world holds many opportunities and adventures for those who know where to look for them. So thank you, Róbert, for sharing your story, your tips, your tricks, and I really enjoyed this conversation. I think we went beyond design. We went to marketing and into data. So I'm grateful for that. And you most definitely made our creative spirit hungry for new challenges and wishing you success for this upcoming year and yeah, let's keep in touch.

Róbert Mátyás: [01:02:04] - Thank you so much, and also thank you for having me and wish you the best, also. Hope we are going to hear each other, also, soon.

Attila Tóth: [01:02:17] - Thanks.

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