We’re super excited this morning to welcome Laura to the blog! London-based Graphic Designer & Art Director, Laura Bertinelli, lives by her motto, ‘Do good, feel good and have fun’, and it’s served her well. Since moving to London from Italy back in 2013, she’s been on an exciting (though admittedly bumpy!) journey. From the Southbank Centre, to her current role with Paperchase – not to mention her many and varied personal projects – she’s gained a tonne of skills and knowledge, and she’s excited about sharing it all with the online design community, through mentorship and her work with Design Calendar and the mighty Design by Women. Read on to learn more about her curious nature, why she loves collage and how the concepts of home, belonging, and identity are impacting her life, and work, right now.
Laura, what’s your creative occupation?
I’m a graphic designer with a big passion for art direction and illustration, and in my career I’ve always tried to work in an environment that allows me to combine these three things (of course, that’s not always been the case – but that’s life!). Outside of my ‘day job’, I keep my creative spirit awake through collage work, silly illustrations and personal projects, and mentoring young designers. My motto is ‘Do good, feel good and have fun’, which is my way of finding that creative fulfilment which does not always come from your 9-to-5 job, but that can instead come from many other different avenues.
Where have you been?
I moved to London from Italy in 2013, full of naivety, big dreams and expectations, hoping to establish myself as a freelance designer specialising in brand design. The journey has been quite bumpy! Surprise, surprise, you need to have a network around you to be a successful freelancer, and I literally knew only 2 people in London at the time. In my first three years here in London I had a variety of odd jobs, all alongside a ‘regular’ job as a shop assistant. I was juggling too many things, and that helped me realise that freelancing wasn’t actually the right thing for me.
My first full-time role was a maternity cover in the design team at the Southbank Centre, and I loved it! Since then, I kept shifting around roles working in-house for small marketing teams, learning a tonne of different skills and how to wear multiple hats at the same time. My passion for art direction comes from my experience in marketing and branding; working with photographers, set builders and interior designers, and having the opportunity to learn from them while collaborating… it’s something that I find incredibly exciting!
Where are you now?
After 6 years working in marketing, in 2021 I decided that I needed a change. I joined Paperchase in the summer, where now I am part of the design team working on product ranges, prints and branded content. As you can imagine, it’s super fun! As soon as I started my new job I decided to put all my personal projects on hold to allow me to begin the journey with the right focus and energy. It’s now been long enough and I am now feeling ready to get back to making my own stuff! I have a couple of projects currently brewing in my head, as well as my renewed dedication to the online design community through mentoring.
Where are you going?
I’ll be honest, I don’t know! I am an incredibly curious person. I like trying out different things and learning something new. I get bored otherwise. Maybe that’s something most creatives have in common?! At the moment my job is giving me the incredible chance to work on illustration projects, and this is definitely something I want to carry on doing and get better at. I have always loved drawing and doodling, but I’ve never considered myself an illustrator. I also love working with collage; I find that tactile, analog experience of creating incredibly rewarding and challenging at the same time. It forces me to use my brain in a different way, and I like it! I would like to do more of it, and to see how I can take aspects of that ‘artistic’ creative process and apply them to my ‘design’ creative process. Lastly, and this is something I know for a fact, I am committed to continue working with the design community where I can, especially through mentoring, but also taking part in events and projects. Anything that allows me to give back where I can!
Finally, what’s occupying your thoughts today?
Oh, so many things. The current political situation is making me increasingly angry and frustrated, which is why after 9 years in the UK I’ve finally decided to begin the process of applying for British citizenship. It’s my goal for 2022! All of this is making me think about the concepts of home, belonging, and identity – all of which can be a lot to process at times, but in a good way. Life happens, and we never stop to reflect on such big topics. It’s not easy, but I am sure I will come out of it with a better understanding of myself, which will then, of course, have an impact on the work I do, and why I do it.
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