OnTheGoSystems Came Together in the Name of Art

October 24, 2019

This month we had our first ever art contest at OnTheGoSystems. There’s a tremendous amount of talent to be explored at OTGS and we wanted to do just that.

We’ve received some outstanding submissions from all styles of art, and we were really impressed with the effort our contestants put it. We featured five selected artworks from various fields; photography, intelligent imaging, instrumental and automated music. The competition ran from September until mid-October and voting closed just last week.

You can check out each individual submission to find out more about them and view the originals, which include a fascinating range of styles and subjects, just below:

List of submissions

Why did we have this contest?

We have some very creative people at OTGS. Their jobs don’t necessarily allow their artistic energy to flow all the time. We wanted to give people the space and opportunity to show off their creative side. After all, creativity is one of our company’s core values.
It also gave us the chance to learn more about each other. We are, above all, human beings with different interests and talents, outside of our daily jobs.

What was the challenge?

To provide a work of art that reflected our core values: 

  1. Quality first (#quality-first)
  2. Excellent support (#excellent-support)
  3. Open-mindedness & Creativity (#open-mindedness-and-creativity)
  4. Positive Attitude (#positive-attitude)
  5. Honesty (#honesty)

Each person could send one submission that reflects one or more of our core values.

How did we decide and who won?

We’ve put the submissions to the ultimate test and let OTGS be the judge! In all, 42 people voted, to show their appreciation and without knowing who created which piece. Bruce Pearson, our WPML Developer, who got 28.6% of the votes came first with his visual art.
art winner

Mihai Apetrei got 26.2% of the votes for his self-written and instrumentalized song.

This made the contest really close. Since we loved the song so much (we’re actually considering it as our new official company song) he also got a reward.

How did the Winners come up with their ideas?

For Bruce, it was something he’d seen in a magazine. 

“I was interested in doing a project using a Raspberry Pi computer and I came across a picture of a sand table in a magazine. I thought to myself that I could probably do something similar. I found it fascinating in the end that what I thought would be interesting patterns ended up being a bit boring. It was the patterns that interfered with themselves by drawing nearly parallel paths were the most interesting.
Some patterns take an hour or more to develop and it’s a surprise sometimes to see what emerges. The maths is very simple and the beauty comes out of that simplicity.”

For Mihai, the inspiration came from his own passion for music.

“One of my skills is music so I thought that it would be a nice challenge for me to try to create a song that would talk about our company’s values. I also wanted to make it both fun and practical. So I took my guitar and spent some time to find an instrumental idea – while doing this, I was also trying to get together a few lyrics that would fit and rhyme nicely with the instrumental.”

One of the criteria for the competition was to link to OnTheGoSystems’ values, and both winners did that perfectly. Does this mean they’re inspired by their work at OTGS?

Mihai says,

“I love helping people and that is our main goal in the WPML Support department. Feeling useful to others also brings joy, encouragement and a sense of purpose. Something else that inspires me in my daily work here is the way I see people treat each other like family. Seeing how they help each other, being greeted with a warm smile and hello each time that I ask for help from a team mate, seeing how my colleagues are doing their best to make our customers happy, sometimes even by going the extra “mile” – well, this is that amazing picture that inspires me in my daily work at OTGS. This is what helps me understand that I am part of a bigger mission.”

Mihai shared some incredible advice, too – Read the entire interview with Mihai »

What inspired you to pair music and company values?

One of my skills is music so I thought that it would be a nice challenge for me to try to create a song that would talk about our company’s values. I also wanted to make it both fun and practical.

So I took my guitar and spent some time to find an instrumental idea – while doing this, I was also trying to get together a few lyrics that would fit and rhyme nicely with the instrumental.

You seem deeply connected to music, where does this come from?

I have an amazing friend called Sunny, who many years ago (at 12-years-old) decided to teach me how to play the guitar. He was a pretty busy man. He was in a band at the time but he still took the time for me.
While I was passionate about music since I was a little kid, what Sunny did for me created an even stronger bond between me and music and helped me learn how to express myself through songs and writing.

What do you think made you stand out in this competition?

I can’t tell for sure but if I would try to guess, I would say that it was the way I managed to embed into the song the short introduction about company values in general. And after that, something that I think also helped was the way I continued to present them, one by one.

As I said above, I tried to make the song both fun and practical so maybe that helped too :)

What would be your advice for the next art contest, if someone wants to be as successful as you were?

Well, I think this applies to life in general and not only to a contest situation: In everything that you do, give your best. This way, even if you don’t win, you’ll at least be happy with yourself knowing that you did your very best.

Sometimes, your very best might not necessary be “compatible” with that current situation, but that’s less important. Winning can come in many forms and can mean many things. Sometimes, just being a great influence to someone else can make a huge difference in that person’s life, in both the present and the future. 

You can never know how valuable something simple like a small encouragement can be to someone else, helping that person get through a difficult situation in their life. You are more valuable than you think and you have an amazing dose of influence over other people’s lives. Use it wisely.

What inspires you in your work every day at OTGS?

I love helping people and that’s our main goal in the WPML Support department. Feeling useful to others also brings joy, encouragement and a sense of purpose.

Something else that inspires me in my daily work here is the way I see people treat each other like family. Seeing how they help each other, being greeted with a warm smile and hello each time that I ask for help from a team mate. Seeing how my colleagues are doing their best to make our customers happy, sometimes even by going the extra mile. Well, this is the amazing picture that inspires me in my daily work at OTGS. This is what helps me understand that I am part of a bigger mission.

For Bruce, this competition tied up perfectly to the company values, and those still inspire him every day.

“It definitely required quality first. Without the precision engineering it would never have been able to draw the paths with any accuracy. It required creativity and open mindedness because it only started with a vague idea in my head and there were lots of problems and issues that needed to be solved. (…) I’m inspired by simple solutions to complex problems. It’s always nice to see a simple, clear solution to a customers problem or to some development work.” 

Find out more about Bruce, what motivates him and he comes up with brilliant ideas. – Read the entire interview with Bruce »

Bruce, tell us, what inspired you to pair maths and beauty?

I was interested in doing a project using a Raspberry Pi computer and I came across a picture of a sand table in a magazine. I thought to myself that I could probably do something similar. I found it fascinating in the end that what I thought would be interesting patterns ended up being a bit boring. It was the patterns that interfered with themselves by drawing nearly parallel paths were the most interesting.

Some patterns take an hour or more to develop and it’s a surprise sometimes to see what emerges. The maths is very simple and the beauty comes out of that simplicity.

How did you find the connection between our core values and this form of art?

This project definitely required quality first. Without the precision engineering it would never have been able to draw the paths with any accuracy. It required creativity and open mindedness because it only started with a vague idea in my head and there were lots of problems and issues that needed to be solved.

What do you think made you stand out in this competition?

I think my submission was visual while most of the others were audio, which would have helped it to stand out. In fact the competition was very close.

What would be your advice for the next art contest if someone wants to be as successful as you were?

My advice would be to just enter. It’s always interesting to see what other people do in their off time.

What inspires you in your work every day at OTGS?

I’m inspired by simple solutions to complex problems. It’s always nice to see a simple, clear solution to a customer’s problem, or to some development work. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to do, and it’s a challenge.

Thank you to everyone that voted for my submission.

Congratulations to both our winners, thank you to everyone who took part in voting, and of course, thank you to all the entrants!