Original Interview: December 2013

Laura McInnes

Laura just graduated with a Bachelor for Visual Communication at Billy Blue College of Design in Sydney. She decribed it as: “three of the most wonderful, scary, amazing and crazy years where to think [she] consumed about 1000 coffees…” She chats to us about networking what’s happening within design in her home abode of Sydney…

What extra curricular activities have you taken part in, whilst studying, to boost you work experience/networks?
Extra curricular activities include being the over enthusiastic member of the student council at BBCD, going to as many talks/events/exhibitions as humanly possible to remind myself how lucky I am (arghhh I’m so lucky!). Being apart of amazing communities such as TDK, the Threesome Sydney and inspiration hugging with a lot of my peers, but not just within the creative industry. This has really opened my eyes and allowed me to meet the best people from all sorts of places. I make sure I keep my other interests up such as music, nature loving, NHL ice hockey fan-girling and James Franco appreciating. During the week I always make time to do some free thinking art in my lounge room painting with inks and watercolour (on white carpet because I like to live dangerously) but this helps me to experiment and relax. Cups of tea and checking in with friends is also compulsory.

What’s your plan for when you finish?
Now that I’ve finished my aim is to save my butt off, put on the adventure boots and do some travelling. I want to be inspiration gluttonous and open my mind more as in the long run it will make me a better creative. My real passion is in the field of pattern, print, product and homeware design so my very very unplanned plan will go within something to do with that. I know it’s the right path as even when I think about it I start grinning like a total dork, but I am grateful to all opportunities.


Where do you go for inspiration? (online and offline)
I try to be offline as much as possible when it comes to “inspiration gathering”. I find that way it makes my ideas more unique and original. It’s what you come across randomly day to day so i always take photos or sketch what I find. I love the markets, looking at old furniture and bric-a-brac taking in the shapes of objects, getting into a bit of nature exploring away from the city in the bush or the beach or even just observing your surroundings and people. Online I follow random design blogs from fashion to fine artists. I always check on Mitch Rev’s happenings (www.mitchrevs.com), Brandon Boyd (www.brandonboyd.me) regularly, or follow my absolute idols Emily Wright from Nancybird (www.nancybird.com) and Citta Design from New Zealand, (www.cittadesign.com). They make me so happy because these are people who do what they absolutely love and I don’t think it gets much better than that.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be/do?
If I wasn’t a designer I think I would be the kooky school art teacher. You know those ones with the crazy hair and glasses and wear clashing prints from different eras… it’s seriously me! I remember in high school I had three great art teachers who really pushed me, gave me the freedom in my ideas and helped me realise that Billy Blue was where I was meant to be. To be able to inspire young minds and nurture a creative spirit would be awesome, so I really thank them!


Give us 5 fun design things to do in your city!
1. Markets – I personally don’t think there are any bad ones in Sydney, each have their own little personality and is filled with the most amazing designers who are so passionate and happy with what they do. I like the markets in Glebe, Paddington, Rozelle and Kirribilli.
2. Etsy Pop Up Shop – I do enjoy shopping, and quirky cushions the most especially from emerging designers and artists
3. Life drawing – to get away from the computer screen for a little while. Joining the Sydney Life Drawing page lets you know where there are classes happening
4. Typography workshops – Gemma O’Brien from time to time has the coolest workshops.
5. Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney – the ideas you will get when you look at the colour palettes, patterns and textures that are amongst nature. Mother Nature is the best designer! Actually, this one should go first on my list!