Anna Haury: Don’t be afraid to get inspired | Design

Anna Haury: Don't be afraid to get inspired | Design

This interview is a part of the Austria Design Map – a project that tells stories of the Austrian Design scene.

The project is done by Brainster Alumni as a part of the Brainster learning-by-doing curriculum. Through this hands-on approach, students get real-life experience from working on products that come to life.

Meet Anna Haury!

Brainster: Hi, Anna thanks for joining the project! First of all, can you tell us a bit about your current focus? What are you working on right now?

Anna: Hi, thanks for having me! I am currently working on redesigning a big winery in Styria, Austria. It was my job to do both the art direction and the graphic design execution, so there are heaps to do. It’s a demanding job, but I also love that it is my design, through and through. Besides that, I am very focused on illustrating and painting right now. I’m just in awe of how telling and characteristic illustrations can be, and I’m naturally integrating it into most of my graphic design work. Also, I have a few fun side projects for which I’m doing the illustration part only. Actually, it’s becoming more and more a part of my professional identity, and I’m not mad about it!

Brainster: Can you share with us some of the projects you are most proud of, and why?

Anna: I’d love to!

The „Schiffsmesse“ (Engl.: ship fair), actually an optician fair, got its name from the place where it first took place years ago – a ship in the port of Hamburg, Germany. I was commissioned to give it a new look, and I love how it turned out. The logo is a liaison of a wave and glasses, and the whole design is minimalistic and intense with the use of the pure RGB blue. Sadly, this event was canceled due to Covid-19 but, fingers crossed, it will take place next year!

Anna Haury: Don't be afraid to get inspired | Design

Anna Haury: Don't be afraid to get inspired | Design

The winery, Krispel, is definitely my biggest project so far. They are a young, innovative company and I really appreciate their openness towards design. My granddad also loves their wine and is always happy when I send a bottle, haha!

Anna Haury: Don't be afraid to get inspired | Design

Treemates is a project I was very passionate about, as it is a non-profit organization that focuses on planting trees with a simple plugin for webshops. I got a lot of good feedback on the illustrations, and it’s a wonderful feeling to work for something that tries to impact our future for the better.

The illustrations I did for a midwife are one of my most recent works, and I loved her visions. It was very important to her to show female power, non-perfect bodies, and a lot of natural boobies! I was all in for this project from the first few minutes we talked.

These are 2 initials I drew for a wedding. The idea was to mark the beginning of a new story, visually and metaphorically. To make it look authentic, I did a lot of research on old fairytale books (for which I have a soft spot anyway), and I enjoyed that very much.Anna Haury: Don't be afraid to get inspired | Design

This is a newspaper that is published every few months, and I am very free regarding the design. I also worked closely with the author of the articles. It’s always fun and also always VERY stressful during the week of the deadline.

Anna Haury: Don't be afraid to get inspired | Design

Brainster: What are your favorite industries/market segments/brands to design for?

Anna: I feel like it is not so much about the industry or market segment you work for but more about how open a company is to design, how brave they are about taking new steps, and how much they value the arts! Nothing is more taxing for a designer than clients who don’t dare go for a bold design. But if someone appreciates your work, nothing can be more fun and uplifting, no matter which market segment it is.

Brainster: Do you admire any Austrian designers, if yes, why?

Anna: I’m honestly such a fangirl when it comes to good design. Despite Austria being a small country, we have loads of great agencies and talents, and I feel like there is a small common thread that runs through Austrian design, even if I can’t put my finger on it. And not to forget, there is Stefan Sagmeister, the world’s most famous designer, who is Austrian. I love his charismatic and easygoing personality, these traits really breathe life into his work. Also, I get inspired by all the designers I know personally – my work colleagues, old school mates, and friends I made, and professionals I met along the way. I love to have nerdy design chats with them and see what they are working on, especially if it’s experimental, free-spirited work.

The design world is one big community of interconnected creatives. How has the design community contributed to your career (knowledge, opportunities) and vice-versa?

Anna: Well, I have to admit, I am not the type of person who establishes a lot of connections during a design event or anything similar. But it is definitely something I am working on to get better at. There just lives an inner child within me, which doesn’t want to “force“ business and wants to continue to do it all for the sake of the arts and the fun.

Many of the former connections I made were rather coincidentally, and I really enjoy that – the flowing with whatever life has to offer. It gives the whole thing more of an easy-going vibe and doesn’t feel much like a business. Something that has accompanied me through my career though, for sure, was going online and basically diving into all these wonderful design websites, such as „Behance“, „Its Nice That“ and many more – sometimes for hours.

Instagram is a great tool to find and engage with designers too. I remember, when I started designing, I sometimes reached out to designers I admired and asked them for advice and I always got lovely helpful replies. Don’t be afraid to ask! I also enjoy encountering people who don’t actually intend to be designers but have a natural gift.

Brainster: Can you give us a free tip for our junior/entry-level designers? How to create amazing work while paying the bills and making career advancements?

Anna: First of all, don’t be afraid to get inspired. I feel like, a lot of young designers don’t dare to look beyond their own horizon, for the fear of doing rip-offs. But it is fundamental to find out what you like and what you don’t like. Don’t steal or copy, but make a mood board; stalk your favorite artists online; ask others for their opinions, find people who inspire you. I literally sometimes spend days doing research for a new project, and I promise you, this will absolutely change your work for the better.

Also, something that has helped me a lot, was learning about my client. Sadly, very often in agencies, communication is handled by management, and designers are left in the dark about what their clients actually want. So, ask questions. What is their personality like, what kind of artworks would they hang in their apartment, what kind of book would they write for their company, what kind of people do they want to reach, what’s their philosophy, etc. It will make work so much easier for you.

And, most importantly, don’t force anything because everything will come with time.

Your personal style doesn’t have to be settled from the very start. Your design field doesn’t have to be fixed. Personal art can be different from the design work you do in your day job. Even if you feel stuck at one point, it doesn’t mean you don’t evolve. Your path will unveil itself. Just keep moving and people will start to see you.

Anna Haury: Don't be afraid to get inspired | Design

Discover more designers from the Austria Design Map and learn how you can transform your career with Brainster and master UX/UI Design.

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