What are the five words that people would use to describe you?
That’s a tough warm up question! The ones I hear most often are “passionate” and “creative”, but I’ve also heard from many people that I’m pretty driven and so I’ll add that one in there. I think compassionate and fun would be the last two.
When did you know you wanted to be a Designer?
Growing up I always loved doing anything creative and couldn’t wait to leave home to go to art school. Although I studied Fine Art, I shifted into design early in my career because I wanted to make things that people would actually use. I love creating experiences for people - digital or otherwise - and it feels good to genuinely be able to say that I love what I do.
What is your favorite thing about your job and why?
I’m definitely more of an extrovert and love working with a people. While I enjoy discovering more about the people for whom I’ll be designing, the energy I get as ideas are bubbling, when a quick sketch is starting to become a solution is my favorite “moment”. And I especially love sharing that with others. When a new project starts there is always this mix of excitement and anxiety, so when things first start coming together and becoming more tangible I get incredibly energized and can definitely be known to burn the midnight oil :-)
What would people never guess about you?
That I have absolutely no sense of direction. I honestly couldn’t navigate my way out of a paper bag!! I’ve started to tell people I’m direction dyslexic and will be eternally grateful to google maps and smartphones.
What motivates you?
Being better. I recently did a strengthsfinder assessment online and found out that my #1 strength is “Achiever”. I can be pretty restless and although I have a lot of stamina, when something’s done I rarely spend a lot of time celebrating it. I’m always thinking about the next thing I can do or learn so I’m trying to remember to stop and reflect on where I’ve been, instead of where I need to go.
What is your favorite FM project and why?
I think it would have to be the most recent one. It was a pretty competitive bid situation and so we were thrilled to win the work. The collaboration - with both client and team - has been amazing and I think it’s pushed us to channel all of the core FM values!! The challenge to come up with something simple and differentiated is always the hardest so it’s satisfying to look back and see how all the pieces have come together.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere! I love books and reading, being outside, going to galleries, watching movies, listening to music and hearing stories. I definitely feel like I get a lot of inspiration from others, and recently have been getting a lot of inspiration from listening to podcasts. It’s funny because I always used to find the greatest inspiration in visual forms, but these days words are what are making me think more deeply and I’ve been excited to do more writing myself.
What are you afraid of?
Wow. That’s a good question. I’m not a particularly fearful person but I’m most afraid of losing my mind. Once when I was particularly burned out and sleep deprived, I started to feel like I had fried my brain and this was scary. I think that’s why I’ve always taken so many photos as I’m always worried my memory will go one day and hope these will help bring things back.
What’s the last book you read?
I just finished Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. It’s set in world war 2 and there are three narratives of women whose lives eventually intersect. While there is a lot of tragedy in the book, there is also an incredible amount of hope and what’s really powerful is that much of it is based on real people and real events. I love historical fiction as a genre, and this book has inspired me to visit some of the places in Poland so that I can experience the story on another level.
What’s the most memorable place you’ve been to?
It has to be Cuba. I just loved it. I loved the architecture, the music and that many things felt like they were from another era. The old 50s cars are just beautiful and the sense of decayed glamour with history literally peeling away fascinates me. I also went there at a time in my life when I had fewer responsibilities and could wander for hours with my camera getting lost, feeling inspired and knowing that was ok.
What are the top five songs you would put on your playlist?
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
- Saturday Night Fever - The Bee Gees
- Prelude in E-Minor (op.28 no. 4) - Frédéric Chopin
- Mad World - Tears For Fears
- Born Slippy - Underworld
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I’ve never been good at planning that far ahead! In fact, I often have a tough time thinking about next week!! I think I’d like to feel that I’m still feeling challenged, but that things are less hectic. I have three young children so many days feel like a hurricane…if in 10 years I can look back and feel like I was present as a parent while staying professionally fulfilled then I’ll feel like I’ve done well. I think more than anything I don’t want to feel like I missed it.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
I often think about this question. I think honestly it’s my mum because she introduced me to art, music and allowed me to have a lot of freedom growing up. I’m very different from her, but now that I’m a mother myself I often think about the choices she made, comparing them to the ones I’m making and wonder how my children will think of me when they’re grown up. More than anything I hope they feel very loved…and just a bit proud.