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.
Amanda Gilchrist, Senior Creative at Plato Creative
How did you get into design?
I loved all creative subjects at school, they were far more enjoyable and what captured my passion. I studied a Bachelor of Visual Communication at Massey University where I thought I would major in Fashion Design, however after my first year changed to Graphic Design, my best decision yet! I worked as a Junior Designer at an agency in Australia for a couple of years then some much needed travel before returning to NZ where I got my job at Plato Creative in 2015.
What do you love about design?
That design is absolutely everywhere we are, where we look, where we live, where we travel to. I love that I get to work in an industry with a group of extremely talented creatives who I can learn so much from, to continue to grow as a designer and collaborate with to create work which pushes the boundaries of design.
What or who inspires you?
I feel inspired daily by so many things, often inspiration happens at the time and place you least expect, I’ll see something on my drive to or from work which sparks an idea or by scrolling Instagram on the couch at night. I also work with a team of really talented designers and creative people who inspire me everyday.
How are you feeling right now?
I am feeling good. I have used the 7 weeks during our lockdown to enjoy the slower paced life we have been forced into. It’s been nice to have a break from the daily commute and the rush of day to day life. It’s also put into perspective what’s really important in life. However, I am really excited to be heading back into the office this week and get back to normal again.
Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?
I sure am. I’ve tried to keep as much routine as possible which has meant getting up early for a walk around the park followed by an at home workout. Peanut butter on Vogel’s for breakfast then a coffee at my desk as I sit down to start work for the day. Zoom calls have replaced team catch ups and client presentations, which was interesting at first but now feels normal. Collaboration has meant a lot of screen sharing and emailing through sketches and ideas.
What’s your one tip right now?
That there is no right or wrong way to use this time, just do what’s right for you. If you’ve wanted to use this time to be productive and finish that home project, learn a new skill, bake lots of treats or read 10 books then that’s awesome. But it’s just as beneficial if this time has been used to push reset on a busy life schedule and just enjoy a slower pace and lots of Netflix. I suppose it’s being empathetic to how people have coped during this time, whether that being well or not.
Tell us about your current workspace.
I’m working from my dining table which I have converted into my desk, luckily it’s the perfect size. It gets loads of natural light which is great. It’s definitely quiet though compared to being in the office, with my partner at work and just the odd knock on the door from the courier.
Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period?
I’ve missed getting a decent coffee from Ally&Sid on my way to work. I can’t wait for the Christchurch Farmers Market to start again so I can get some lovely flowers, fresh bread and of course Posh Porridge for breakfast. When we moved from level 4 to 3, my first takeaway was a breakfast burger and flat white from my favourite brunch spot, Hello Sunday, it was so good!
What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?
That we will continue to adapt to this ever-evolving landscape of visual communication and lead the world in innovative and creative work which shows what our little country is capable of.