Following yesterday’s interview with Dana, I saved some of the best until last. In some refreshingly honest answers, she talks about getting over her demons by starting a blog, what makes a good designer, what she loves and hates about the job and who she admires. Well worth a read if I don’t say so myself…
ON THE BLOG
How successful has the blog been?
It started out as a hobby, however it quickly gained local and international readership which has been absolutely amazing. I am really lucky to have a little growing army of loyal and wonderful readers who make me feel so proud about my blogging achievements. I have been really fortunate to meet and connect with some incredible people since starting the blog. Receiving feedback from other designers who tell me they visit the blog for daily inspiration is also hugely satisfying. It has definitely opened a few doors for me and created countless opportunities for which I am really grateful.
On a personal level, I used to be petrified of public speaking and putting myself ‘out there’. My decision to start blogging was a conscious effort to get over myself and to ‘face my demons’ in order to become a better person. The blog has really made me believe in myself so much more and trust my own judgements, instincts and decisions so much more than ever before.
On a professional level I am constantly engaged with what’s happening in design around the world and I continue to learn, expand and broaden my visual point of reference, which sharpens my design eye and grooms me into a better designer.
ON BEING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER
What are the attributes of a successful interior designer/stylist?
They need to have a degree of left brain/right brain balance. One cannot be separated from the other as designers are both logical and creative creatures. A job of a good designer is to solve a problem first, followed by making the solution beautiful. Someone who is then able to dream up the ‘big idea’ and create an emotional value behind a brand (or a client) is a superstar in my eyes!
What do you like most about your job?
There are so many things I love, but seeing my client’s happiness after a project is completed would have to top that list. I approach my design with passion and emotion, and I always strive to separate who am I as a designer from the essence of my client, which isn’t always easy to do. I feel it is always so important to create a space that tells a story about the user, rather than about me.
It would have to be the cyclical nature of interior projects; moments of high intensity and pressure followed by quieter periods. And deadlines. I really, really don’t like deadlines! Although they say that pressure is good for you…
ON HER IDOLS
Who do you admire in the design industry?
I am in absolute awe of London-based Ilse Craford of Studioilse and her philosophy which talks about designing with a cool head and a warm heart. I also really admire the work of iconic Italian designer Paola Navone, Istanbul-based Autoban, Tokyo-based Nendo, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Lidewij Edelkoort, Rossana Orlandi for her impeccable eye and design intuition, Charles and Ray Eames for their gift of enduring design which only gets more beautiful with age… the list is endless really.
Photos: (Top) Dana’s work at The Furnace ad agency and (below) her studio, where the yellowtrace magic happens.