We chat to Designer & Co-Founder, Janet Pogorelc, of Fox & Fallow about becoming her own boss lady after 7 years of studio life. She shares some great advice about honing your skills in a design studio or ad agency, injecting your own style into a piece with hand painting/lettering, plus a few tales of epic printing disasters.
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs? I studied Graphic Design at the Queensland College of Art and my first “real job” was with one of my lecturers who had a small design studio. I worked for a few local design studios and small advertising agencies for around 7 years before I designed my own wedding stationery in 2012 and fell in love with weddings. We started Fox & Fallow as a wedding stationery and sign company in 2013 and launched our retail line in 2015.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do. Fox & Fallow is a stationery company based in Brisbane, founded by us, Janet & Darrell. We make paper and timber-based products for quirky, creative folk. We use only the highest quality materials are used and each piece is unique, beautiful and made to last.
We launched our brand at the New York Stationery Show in 2015 and we’re now stocked in around 300 retailers across Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada.
What have been some of your biggest disasters and how have you learnt from it? From our first batch of cardboard boxes which looked like they’d been printed on a streaky old inkjet printer to having a whole batch of calendars with ink bleeding through the foil we’ve had our fair share of printing disasters!
What role does digital design play in your studio in 2015, and how to you apply traditional graphic design skills in a digital age? Most of our artwork is hand painted or lettered then scanned and cleaned up in Illustrator or Photoshop. Everything ends up on the computer but I try to spend as much time away from my screen as I can. I think there’s a real hand-made resurgence at the moment which I’m loving! Hand painted and hand lettered artwork is your way to inject your own personal style into a piece and really help to set you apart.
What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate? Ideas comes first but execution is just as important. I love seeing portfolios that aren’t just trend based and have a strong concept and strategy. A good mixture of illustration- based and photography-based work is always great too!
What advice would you give students starting out? Gain as much experience working in a design studio or advertising agency as you can – you’ll learn to hone your skills, develop a creative process and develop a thick skin! When you feel ready to go freelance go for it, but wait until you’ve built up enough of a client base, before taking the big leap. Being your own boss is super rewarding but can be stressful if you’re not ready.
What’s the big goal in the next five years? We’re trying to grow our brand and get it in more stores across Australia and internationally so hopefully we’ll be able to make this happen. We’ll be releasing some new collections in early 2017 which is super exciting too!