Playlist
December 21st, 2016
Creatives each have a varying aesthetics and different ways of visualizing and conceptualizing ideas. Working with a group of people with different cognitive pattern recognition, inspiration, style and aesthetic can turn out some pretty awesome work, and that’s exactly what the New York design team do on a day to day basis.

The team, led by Creative Director Mario Stipinovich, has collectively been the brain power behind award winning and acclaimed projects such as the OFFF By Night '2016 Title Sequence', the We Are Giant 'Titles and Graphics' and Motion Poems’ ‘Wayne The Stegosaurus’. 

In this blog post, we meet the team and find out what inspires them and how they came to be designers.  

Anais Larocca Blog Saveforweb
Anais La Rocca, Photographed by Olivia Burke 

Anais La Rocca, Art Director

How and why did you get into design?  
I accepted a scholarship offered from The School of Visual Arts for Graphic Design. I realized design created a space where many different creative mediums could be channeled. I didn’t want to do graphic design, but instead I wanted to create films, animations, posters, photography, illustrations and furniture building on weekends if I felt spunky. This is design and this is why I liked it because I didn’t feel limited to one medium. 

How would you describe your design style and aesthetic?
I’d like to think that I don’t have a style, but I suppose over time there are things I keep coming back to that fall within a certain aesthetic: I enjoy creating color palettes. I find that color gives me structure, so consequently my work becomes very lush with color. Desaturated is not a word I know well. Mixing different mediums is also reoccurring in my work. Finding how to tell a more elaborate or intimate story by merging photography and animation, or photography with illustration has always been something I love to do. In short— my work is usually colorful and layered. 

Who or what inspires you?
Childhood • current events • Olaf Eliasson • the colors of the city of Rome • Daniel & Daniel • Olympia Zagnoli • Maurizio Catalan • Coffee • Rothko • flea Markets • the paint aisle in Home Depot • Jenny Holzer • sketch comedy at UCB • people who perform in the subway • every color except florescent lime green • Ai Wei Wei • protests • scenic backdrop painters for opera • neon tube lighting • my grandmother and aunt • traveling and seeing new things • my collection of gauche • TedTalks • science 

One piece of advice to a budding designer?
Don’t make things in a vacuum: it's important to understand the history and context to everything we make and how it fits into a larger creative narrative and culture. Also, don’t be scared. Have fun. 
 
An interesting / fun fact about yourself.
I’ve never considered myself a designer. At least, I should say, I’ve never been at a party and introduced myself as a designer. I usually say something more along the lines of, “I make things.” 

Kinda Akash Saveforweb Blog
Kinda Akash, Photographed by Olivia Burke

Kinda Akash, Art Director

How and why did you get into design?  
My father was a magazine editor as I was growing up and is now a writer; my mother, a literature professor. So, as a 16-year-old, when I mentioned that I wanted to become a pediatrician, they were very surprised but nonetheless supportive. Thing is – all those years of watching my dad work on blue grid camera-ready layouts and being fed all kinds of strange literature by my mom eventually manifested itself in an affinity for design. I went to college for biology and pre-med, but after a miserable time working in a hospital, I went and pursued a second bachelor’s degree in graphic design at CalArts. From there, I kind of fell into motion graphics and the rest is history!

How would you describe your design style and aesthetic?
I like to think my style is quite restrained and minimal: I like grids and systems, black and white. But the truth is, I like disruption. I come from a loud family and a vibrant culture, so the intersection of order and chaos is of particular interest to me.

Who or what inspires you?
Fiction, experiments in creative coding, Persian rugs, and music with repetitive structures.

One piece of advice to a budding designer?
Seek inspiration outside of design. Consume as much as you can: read, watch, listen to everything. I wish I’d spent more time drawing when I was younger, but I’m trying to make up for it now!

An interesting fun fact about yourself.
I lived in three different countries and moved eight times by the age of 16. Scared to count how many more moves since! 

Oliver Davies Savefroweb Blog
Oliver Davies, Photographed by Olivia Burke

Oliver Davies, Art Director

How and why did you get into design?  
I always wanted to be an artist. Then I always wanted to be an architect. Then a cricket player. Then a guitarist in a rock band. Eventually, I found my way into design and realized I could do all those things and it might actually help to have such varied interests. Granted, the Cricket hasn’t really helped me much, yet.  
 
How would you describe your design style and aesthetic?
I never really discovered a particular style within my work so now I actively try not to have one. I'd like to believe I come at every project with an open mind. A lot of my work has revolved around trying to create a certain feeling or atmosphere to a live audience. Often I will reference something that a lot of people can recognize or understand like nature or the weather. But I also believe memory, expectation, even time itself all play a big part in my thinking. 

Who or what inspires you?
I read a lot of fiction so ideas often come from the thing I happen to be reading at any given time. Other than that, I’d say my long term memory is weirdly good – sometimes even I’m a bit surprised by what surfaces to the top. Just don’t ask me to tell you what I did yesterday.  

One piece of advice to a budding designer?
Listen carefully to others but trust your instincts.

An interesting fun fact about yourself.
I’m a bit of a pyromaniac and twice set my house on fire growing up.  

Pierce Gibson Saveforweb Blog
Pierce Gibson, Photographed by Olivia Burke

Pierce Gibson, Senior Designer

How and why did you get into design?  
Design drew my interests because it's multifaceted in ways that's rare in a lot of other industries. Every project is a new chance to explore and seek out new methods and disciplines as a means to tell a story in an inventive and exciting way.
 
How would you describe your design style and aesthetic?
I try not to get too pre-occupied with any specific style. My thinking lies a lot in trying to figure out what the emotional takeaway is supposed to be for any given project. Whether it's something that's deeply thought provoking or hilarious- something that emotionally resonates with the viewer is what is important to me.
 
Who or what inspires you? 
Music is key if I'm ever stuck or searching for an idea. Rhythm, timing and mood generally informs a lot of my creative thinking. Each project usually ends up getting its own soundtrack.
 
One piece of advice to a budding designer?
Stay true instinctively to what appeals to you as a designer, regardless of trends. Investing time in projects that you feel passionate about will help you hone your voice as well develop creative integrity along the way. 
 
An interesting fun fact about yourself.
I don't know if this counts, but I was an extra on Gilmore Girls once. 

Sally Reynolds Saveforweb Blog
Sally Reynolds, Photographed by Olivia Burke

Sally Reynolds, Designer

How and why did you get into design?  
From a pretty young age, I always wanted to do something creative. I was obsessed with drawing and planning spaces but in some fairly career-formative years, life took an unexpected turn and I ended up taking a job in private wealth management. Once you realize the favorite part of your finance job is when you get to lay out the monthly newsletter, you know you’ve chosen the wrong sport. Fast forward a few years, serve a few thousand coffees, and voila! A designer. [sarcasm]

I still very much enjoy planning spaces and obsessed with drawing. I’m still a battler, but that little kick of satisfaction every time you improve is addictive. Creating things, whether it’s digital, physical or conceptual thought - often provides a euphoric journey, I find. 

How would you describe your design style and aesthetic?
Work in progress!

I wonder if this is something that I decide or that develops organically, out of my defined control. I’m hoping the latter. My style so far if I had to define it, is two-fold in two different territories. My graphic style is usually minimal. My illustrative style is fairly detailed - I get addicted to details and it can be painstaking.

When I visit galleries, I love work that doesn’t try to hide its happy accidents. My weakness in creating art is allowing the happy accidents to grow legs and do their own thing. To my detriment, I tend to try and reel them back in. 

Who or what inspires you?
If you were to ask me my ideal holiday, I’d say ‘anywhere that involves wilderness’. I am addicted to science podcasts, and podcasts about adventurers. I love learning about other living things -- there’s so much to be inspired by in nature and science. I grew up on a farm surrounded by animals and solitude, the desire for that still runs pretty strong. 

Shout out to my colleagues. I’m surrounded by totally courageous, rule-breaking geeks. I’m awed by walking past other people’s screens every day. 

And in the interests of your time [reader], the ever-shifting artists on my mind this week - include Nick Cave, Jack Vanzet, Romain Lenancker & Juz Kitson. Strong on the Aussies still. 

One piece of advice to a budding design artist?
I’d advise them to stop thinking about the answer to the brief. Go start making it. Stop trying to figure out the answer. The answer will evolve only after you get your hands dirty. 

I’ve seen a lot of aspiring artists get completely flawed by a [hypothetical] blank canvas, there’s always a lot of talk around a blank canvas, that then tends to instill this force-field preventing them from ever actually picking up the pencil and drawing the first line. 

An interesting fun fact about yourself.
I’ve stood in on a brain surgery once. That was wild.