Hi Matteo and Tijl. Thanks for chatting with us! How are you both?
I'm good! It's been an absurd 2020!
I’m okay all things considered, enjoying some time off now.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative practice?
I'm a graphic designer focused on branding and visual identity. I've been working at Undesign Studio in Turin since 2015 as a senior graphic designer. I'm always trying to explore and combine different elements in my projects to engage and involve users. Research is one of the most relevant parts of all my projects.
I’m a graphic designer as well, originally from the Netherlands but now I am based in London. Day to day I’m a senior designer at Studio Parallel. Besides that, I do private commissions and projects alongside other creatives.
How has COVID-19, or 2020 in general, impacted your creativity and mental wellbeing?
It's been such a crazy year! Italy has been hard hit by COVID-19 in many ways, especially economically. Some projects were put on hold, but we were lucky that many others still needed design help and services to communicate themselves during these hard times.
Despite all of this, this period gave me the chance to break out of the routine I was living. I’ve used my creativity as a form of meditation – working on some smaller personal projects or for myself.
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for me. At first, it didn't feel too bad working on my own but after a few months, I really started to miss the creative buzz you get from working with a team in a studio.
In terms of mental wellbeing, it’s been interesting to a certain extent in terms of self-reflection but I've also realised how important social interaction and spontaneity is. I’m definitely ready for a bit of normality.
What have you changed in your life lately to make it more enjoyable?
I've imposed on myself a healthy balance between life and work. I've reduced the hours spent working on my personal projects to find new interests and enjoy life. That's a boost for creativity as well!
I’ve been making sure I regularly do physical exercise – it's so easy to get stuck at home.
During spring and summer, I spent a lot of time gardening which was an absolute saviour. I’ve also moved house recently so naturally had stuff to focus on.
As an industry, how do you think we can better support creatives and their mental health? How do we bring about Collective Hope?
It's a tough question that involves every single part of society, not just our industry. I guess that it's essential to support and be more inclusive of people. Also, let’s forgive ourselves and others if productivity is lower on some days.
Like Matteo says, it's our duty as a society to provide a safe place for people to talk about how they feel. I also think there is a lot of education to be done about mental health so people can understand what others actually go through. It’s one thing to acknowledge that there is a problem but the ability to provide the right support is a whole other thing.
Lastly, what has working on this project meant to you?
It's been very challenging but fun too. It's an incredible thing to create something with someone in a different country, especially in this time where travelling is difficult. It's been so cool to collaborate with Tijl!
It’s been quite tricky working out new software to create visuals in haha. Matteo was great to work with. Fun to work along with someone that you’ve never met or spoke to before!