Original Interview: February 2017

Marianna Fierro

We chat to Hyperakt designer, Marianna Fierro, about tough clients, combining nutrition and design, and an interesting idea – students contributing to real life work instead of responding to those fake assignment briefs!

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
Ciao! I’m Marianna, a graphic designer and photographer from Udine, Italy living and working in Brooklyn, NY. I currently work at Hyperakt and spend the rest of my time exploring side projects, cooking and walking a whole lot, possibly all at the same time!

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?
Trust your gut, do what you love to do, and know that you can always reinvent yourself. If 5 or 10 years later, you’ve changed and what you want to do has as well, it is not the end of the world, always follow your passion.

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What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
I’m still at the beginning of my career, but I’ve been trying to be mindful of even the simplest learnings. Here are a few that I have found to be useful reminders:
1. If your job does not satisfy you creatively, there are always side projects and freelancing so don’t give up.
2. Tough clients make you stronger.
3. When it comes to inspiration look beyond design. Nature, recipes, literature can trigger innovation and creativity in unexpected ways.
4. Work smarter! I recently set myself up to learn a new Sketch keyboard shortcut everyday and now my workflow is way faster and easier.

What advice would you give students starting out?
Work hard, put effort in having a real human connection with your colleagues, at the end of every day think about what you have learnt (it could be the smallest thing, but it will make you feel better even on boring or bad days) and walk in every morning with a smile on, setting up a positive environment is key!

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Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?
I am hoping to soon release a project that combines three of my passions: healthy but yummy food, fun typography and photography! I would love to explore more ways to tie nutrition, wellness and design together.

What do you think the design community could do more of to give back?
For a moment I want to think about what the student design community can do actually! Most of the time in school we are given fake briefs. But especially at this time in history, there are a lot of organisations and people out there supporting important causes who could use some design help. I see opportunities for teachers and students to contribute on real work as part of the learning experience.
Website: mariannafierro.com
Instagram: @mnnfrr

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