What is it that you do?
I am a Co-Founder and Creative Director at Our Revolution.
What’s something people would never guess about you?
I can speak a little Russian.
When I was at school, I was mistaken for a fluent Russian-speaking student by a teacher who was also Russian.
I was too embarrassed to correct the teacher who would speak Russian to me.
After a while, I ended up learning the basics.
Who did you want to be as a kid?
I wanted to be an artist.
My parents were practical and worried I’d be a ‘struggling artist’.
Becoming a designer was the compromise. It turned out to be the best compromise ever.
What’s the driving force behind what you do?
I think brands are a reflection of our culture.
They hold a mirror up to what matters most to us.
As designers, we are always working in a future state. At Our Revolution, we can be working up to 2 years in advance of a project launching.
To be able to help create and develop brands that, in turn, will help shape the future of our culture is an opportunity that excites me.
Can you share a highlight in your career?
Founding our agency, Our Revolution, with my co-founder Diana is definitely the highlight of my career.
We were young, with little money or connections.
So to have created a business that is continuing to grow after 7 years and hit new milestones is something I’m immensely proud of.
Who are the women that have inspired you the most?
I’ve been inspired by many women in my personal and professional life.
As a young designer, I was fortunate to work with three different female Creative Directors. Each one is a role model of leadership and strength. They gave me confidence that becoming a Creative Director was very much possible.
Today, my inspiration also comes from the remarkable women in our business. Endlessly talented and truly considerate of how they can use their skills to make a positive impact not just on their own career but on the wider world and everyone on it.
Lastly, My co-founder Diana has been a huge source of inspiration. I’ve always said she made our business ‘a business’. Her grit and determination through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is a constant source of support.
What is good about being a woman in the creative industry?
For the design industry to be of true service to the world, it is essential the industry is made by the diversity and inclusion of many different perspectives — one of those is women.
We can bring a different sensibility and empathy that can enhance projects and design. And female leadership can help improve and evolve the working environments of our studios and agencies.
Have you faced any challenges?
One of the biggest challenges has been balancing my professional and personal responsibilities.
Running a design agency requires a lot of time and energy, and no surprise being a mum requires a lot of time and energy. Finding a balance between these two roles can be tough. It’s important I’m intentional about managing my time and priorities.
When starting Our Revolution, working weekends was part and parcel of getting the business off the ground.
Now I try to make sure my weekends are preciously spent with my family.
What change in the creative industry would you like to see?
Design is a hopeful act to show us what the world can be.
Through design, we create a utopian view of what other industries, brands, products, and services can be.
Yet I still hear from younger designers about negative experiences they’ve had working in our industry.
Whether it’s unrealistic expectations of workloads or cruel treatment from leadership disguised as ‘feedback’.
It’s like, seriously? This shit is still happening?
Our industry professes that design can change the world. And it can, but for better or worse. So treating the next generation of designers with respect, empathy, and encouragement is non-negotiable.
The industry has come a long way, but there is still more to do.