60 Seconds with me by Future Women
“The more you understand about yourself and why you do what you do, the easier it is to move through the big challenges.”
Thank you Future Women for the opportunity to share my story and insight on building trust with clients, on finding inspiration and the art of negotiating creative & commerce.
Were you always set on a career as a creative director, or did a different path lead you here?
I was eight years old when I first discovered that I could articulate the world around me through visual expression. My creative female role models were my great grandmother Ellen, my nanna Maureen and my mother Sally, who were all passionate and skilled at using the home as a place for self-expression. Years later at university, I learned that through art and design I could materialise the intangible, make the imaginary actual, and the abstract definitive, no matter the subject. It was during this time that I started working at Aēsop as a Visual Merchandiser. My seven years at Aēsop taught me what it takes to be a creative director. It’s a unique skill that requires an incredible ability to be both a visionary, and a detail orientated perfectionist at the same time. You have to be able to have feelers out to sense the intangible world around you and make them tangible.
What are the routines or stimuli you use to get your creativity flowing?
It’s when I get out of my routine that I am inspired the most. It seems that when I remove myself from my everyday, my heart is given the space to feel, my eyes the room to look, and my body the chance to explore. For this reason, I love travelling. I think there is something about being in transit that helps generate ideas, solve problems and join dots. Ultimately however, it’s people who inspire me the most.
What is the biggest learning curve you’ve experienced since starting your business?
Owning a business is incredibly challenging. Here’s what I have learned:
Get to know yourself, your drivers, motivations and reason for being in business. The more you understand about yourself and why you do what you do, the easier it is to move through the big challenges.
Ask people for help. If I don’t ask or seek advice or guidance, I usually won’t receive it, so it’s important for me to get outside of my own head and hear what others think.
Creative and commerce need each other to thrive. In business, the negotiation between the two is critical. My clients come to me because I can navigate the space between the often opposites.
Dare to be different. Being the best isn’t necessarily the way to succeed in business. It’s so competitive, so I learned early on that to stand out, you need to be different.
Part of your job is to evaluate a brand or business through impartial eyes. How do you guide your clients to embrace new concepts and ideas?
Trust. It is incredibly important to me that my relationship with a client is both personal and professional. Because all of my clients are founders or business owners of some sort, they are the ones with the most at stake. So, to help them see differently we must know where each of us is coming from. We do this by becoming 'professional friends' first. I offer a no BS, highly personal approach, so with me, you get it straight up. I don’t fuss about and I help demystify brand and design process.
What can attendees expect at your Sensory Experiments event this weekend?
Sensory Experiments is a one-of-a-kind event – part-art, part-social experiment, part-philosophical inquiry and a fully immersive performance piece that's guaranteed to challenge your mind and engage every one of your senses. You can expect internationally renowned chef Justin James (Executive Chef of Vue de Monde) to reignite your sense of taste. Avail yourself to floral artist Hattie Molloy’s interrogation of sensual perception with her reckoning of the Sublime. Absorb and participate in live-choreographed performances, and be aurally challenged by mood-altering soundscapes. It's being held on Saturday 16 March from 2pm onwards and tickets are available on our website. It sounds a bit out there but, I assure you it will be really enjoyable!