Georgia Yates first fell in love with design making birthday cards as a kid, which ended up leading her to work for a bunch of awesome design studios, though recently has gone out on her own and has started – Kindly Studio, currently working from Berlin with some awesome clients, including a range still based back home in NZ.
Where did you study and what were some of your ﬁrst jobs? I studied Visual Communication Design at Massey University in Wellington. At the end of my ﬁnal year I put together a bunch of work I liked, brought a few imaginary projects to life and pulled them together in a short portfolio. I then sent it to a bunch of studios I admired around the world. I lucked out and got an internship with a design company in Melbourne called Swear Words. Which is still one of my favourite studios. I think I learnt more there than the 4 years I did at uni. That’s where I fell in love with hospitality branding and got a glimpse of the things I’d like to be involved in. After the internship I did a short stint in Auckland then moved back to Wellington to work for Inject Design up until recently when I decided to start a venture of my own.
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design? I loved making cards when I was a kid. Birthday cards, thank-you cards, all sorts. Every birthday my mum would take me to this card shop in town and I’d get to buy a new stamp, some coloured ink, glitter and some new paper. I remember feeling all the different kinds of papers and picking through the cut-out stamp makers. I’d be so excited to make a new card for someone when I got home. I still love making cards. I’m not sure what lead me to design, but I knew I wanted to be creating things and designing in some way or another so a design degree seemed ﬁtting.
What does a typical working day include for you right now? I’m currently living in Berlin with my boyfriend Logan who’s also a designer. We’re both freelancing over here, working on projects from home. Berlin really caters for people like us and most cafes have free wiﬁ. So we’ve been heading to cafes and setting up for the day. Today we’ve been working on a city map for a new hotel in Wellington, yesterday a new identity for a deli in Christchurch. Everyday holds something new and interesting.
Whats your take on internships? (do you take interns now?) The best thing you can do! Interning or working for someone in the industry you’re sure to learn a hell of a lot. I think I probably came out of uni thinking I knew everything and can take on anything. But I was wrong. There is so much to learn from the people you surround yourself with. I do think however, it’s important to choose carefully. Not that there seems to be too much choice, but working under people who’s values, morals or work you do not admire could drive you sideways.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way? That enjoying what you’re doing is the most important thing. We’ve all done some sort of shitty job or work that we don’t want to do which is ﬁne as you’re learning along the way. But after a while you realise that above everything, you’ve got to be happy.
What advice would you give students starting out? – Get involved with people you look up too and admire rather than just getting a job for a title.
– If you don’t enjoy what you do, then whats the point?
– Jump ofﬂine and expose yourself to other forms of creativity. Whether it’s going to an art opening or reading a food magazine, you’re sure to be opened up to new perspectives.
– Be humble. You aren’t the only one making cool business cards