The DA team want to support our community through these unprecedented times – something we kept coming back to is a focus on connection and community. So we want to do what we think DA does best, sharing ideas, inspiration and information and profiling our community.
With that in mind, we launched a new series Take 10 with… to do a pulse check on how you’re feeling, how you’re working, what you are missing, and what your hopes are for the future. We invited some of our friends, peers and the DA team to participate and we hope you enjoy these honest and candid profiles of Aotearoa designers today.
Anushka Harrison, Senior Graphic Designer
How did you get into design?
On completing a Visual Communications degree at AUT and a Graphic Design diploma at Media Design School, I started an internship at Saatchi and Saatchi Design Worldwide. This is where I met and worked under my mentor Shabnam Shiwan (Osborne Shiwan). It was here that I honed my skills and passions for considered design.
What do you love about design?
Design has given me an outlet to visually express myself in a way I did not think was possible. Growing up, I was never really good at art in the traditional sense. My art consisted of alien cartoons, animal hybrids (a dog and mouse mashup being my most widely acclaimed) and custom typefaces which I would draw to create ‘pieces’ for my friends. Design has allowed me to use creativity and conceptual thinking to tell a compelling story.
What or who inspires you?
Inspiration lies in everything. What has inspired me most is having lived and grown up in India, a society so different to New Zealand. It has helped me look at things from a different perspective and find different ways to touch people through design. Music is a huge inspiration as well, it is my teleportation device. I have found that surrounding myself with creative minds is also a great way to have a constant stream of inspiration.
How are you feeling right now?
It is hard to put these feelings in writing. For the most part I have tried to focus on the positives and enjoy the down time. As designers it is easy for the work to consume our time, energy and being; as we put a big part of ourselves into it. This time has really been just that, time. Something we are constantly battling with and now have so much of.
Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?
I have had a few weeks off but am currently working at Culture & Theory. My work from home days start with a team catch-up at 9am, usually followed by a couple of meetings. Hands-on design starts at about 11am. My lunch breaks usually involve a walk with my dog Charlie which serves as a good mental break before getting back home to complete my workday.
What’s your one tip right now?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Try to enjoy the downtime. Sleep in, stay up late, watch that show/movie/documentary you have put off watching because you haven’t had the time, have breakfast for dinner, bake that bread, walk the dog, make that dish that takes 3 hours, CALL YOUR MUM. It is so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing and feeling guilty about not achieving all the goals we set for ourselves. Try to fill your time doing what you really enjoy. I feel like this time should be more about keeping yourself and the people around you happy!
Tell us about your current workspace.
My current work space is our spare bedroom. Pushed the bed to one side and voilà! Home office. I love my little work space. Need a better lighting setup for those zoom calls though.
Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period?
What I miss most is the process of discovery/elimination. Researching and deciding where to go for dinner or where to meet a friend for that after work drink.
The first local business that came to mind is Pinky, the lady I go see to get my eyebrows done. Man I miss her, my eyebrows do to. Shout out to all the migrant small business owners!
What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?
I feel like this experience is going to bring us a lot closer. I think it already has! Watching content from other designers’ living/working spaces I feel has helped humanise them a bit more. Week by week watching Instagram lives and the DA pulse checks, seeing designers and business owners in their homes, with their families, pet photobombs, random interruptions, tech glitches etc. The imperfections have been perfect.