Creative Dialogue

In conversation with Louise Kellerman

MAKE IT. Everywhere arrives in Auckland on Tuesday, 12 July. Ahead of the event we asked keynote speaker and Design Assembly founder Louise Kellerman to share some insights and offer advice to creatives just starting out in their careers.

Louise Kellerman

1. Firstly, tell us about yourself.

I trained as a graphic designer at Auckland’s AUT and then took my first job at North and South magazine. A few months into the role, I was offered an opportunity at the studio I’d done my student work experience at and moved to the 2020 design group where I worked for three and half years, getting a solid grounding in graphic design across a wide range of clients such as Moontide, Line 7 and Soljans.
Next, as many Kiwis do, I headed off to London where I spent three years working as a designer before coming home again in 2007.
I started Design Assembly in 2008 and increased my focus on it in 2009 when I began working for myself. It was also the year I started my family, it was a busy time!
Since then, I’ve continued to build Design Assembly and I’m excited to say we’re moving to a brand new shared space in Mt Albert next month.

2. As someone that has worked in New Zealand and London, what do you think makes New Zealand unique?

First and foremost, I believe our physical place in the world influences what we have as a market. New Zealand sits at the very bottom of the world and while we are more connected than ever before, we most definitely live with the challenges and rewards of beautiful isolation.
In my opinion, nothing beats being in New Zealand, but to appreciate this, you need to get out, see the world, and experience new cultures and markets.

3. What are your words of wisdom for creatives that are just starting out?

Practice makes perfect. The best designers I know are talented but hard working people. Create for yourself. People remember how you treated them, be nice.
A good designer with a curious mind, an eye for detail and the ability to change and bend will always find their place in the world. The opportunities are boundless.

4. If you’re new to the industry, what should you do to accelerate your career?

A designer needs to be able to talk about their ideas so I would say get out there! Get amongst your peers, go to CreativeMornings, go to MAKE IT Auckland, go to Semi Permanent, soak up everything you can.
But also have a personal practice – develop your craft, for yourself, at times you might not get everything you need from your day job. You’ve got to fuel your fire.
Do it all – you’ve got the time, the energy and the headspace. Load as much into your young creative mind as you can handle.

5. Why are you excited about the MAKE IT. Everywhere tour in Auckland?

The opportunity to share my story, the story and vision of Design Assembly, and – fingers crossed – enable people to leave with some new thoughts to apply to their own creative practice and journey.

Louise founded Design Assembly in 2008 with a vision to be a national community for New Zealand graphic designers, committed to sharing ideas, information and inspiration. She’ll be sharing more insights at MAKE IT. EVERYWHERE Auckland on 12 July 2016. Tickets are available online and at the door, hope to see you there!


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