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An interview with our storyteller, Ciara.

  • 17.05.2019

by Ciara Phillips

The entire ethos of Stories is built around collaboration, in everything that we do. We are strong believers in the power of teamwork and having a shared vision – together, as a collective, we make magic.

So, we wanted to let you get to know a very integral part of that collective; Ciara.

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” – Mother Theresa

Ciara, our wonderful designer, joined us last year on a freelance basis but quickly became fulltime with Stories in January this year. We had every intention of getting this interview posted within her first week with us – but between juggling crazy deadlines and an influx of the most exciting new projects known to mankind – we didn’t get around to posting. Anyway, here we are – better late than never!

What made you want to become a Designer?

I have an early memory at school with the class drawing self-portraits. At the age of 5, I doubt it resembled me but my friend said: “You’re going to be an artist!” I always felt happiest in the art department and that feeling continued to grow – my love for art soon inspired a love for design. Whenever I was swayed by beautiful packaging or wishing it was me who had designed it, I knew that it was something I needed to pursue.

How would you describe your approach to Design?

The first step for me would be positivity, and an open mind to ensure everything is done for a reason. Anything meaningful needs to have the groundwork of in-depth understanding. With knowledge of the project, I feel I can begin projects with the playfulness required to create concepts for something purposeful, considered and effective.

What attracted you to working with Stories?

I began following Stories on Instagram quite early on and really fell for their adventures and the work they produced. I felt a connection with the aesthetic, everything felt so authentic, delicate and thoughtful. Working with new brands to create something truly special really appealed to me – making a difference to a business whilst also having the freedom to genuinely explore creatively.  I got the impression that the studio really cared for their clients and the feeling of consistency in their content felt really encouraging too – it felt like somewhere I would really learn a lot and have a wonderful experience in doing so. And even more, seeing two young females work hard for a beautiful life is so motivating!

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?

In my final year at university, my first brief was to respond to a single word. It was daunting at first but also exciting – the endless possibilities and ideas you could think of! The abstract nature of the brief reminded me of the freedom in creating artistic concepts. Although there are restrictions in design, it is still possible to explore ideas, capture personality and join together those dots to tell a meaningful story.

What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?

I have always loved traditional processes; sketching with pencils, charcoal and paint – incorporating these into design always adds something a little special. When I started using my Wacom tablet, it introduced a whole new process into my visual world and helped uncover new capabilities. It has been lovely navigating my way through different brushes and textures. Consequently, I have been able to produce elegant hand lettering and loose drawings recently, with potential for further development. Finding new ways to think or work is so liberating, and always a challenge.

What are you passionate about besides your work?

I have always had a place in my heart for travel – seeing new countries, experiencing new landscapes, cuisine and cultures. With so many corners of the world left to see I am eager to explore wherever I can, slowly collecting new memories as I go. One thing I truly love is taking photographs – With a nostalgic and romantic heart paired with basic camera skills, I enjoy documenting the places and times I feel the happiest. Rich Stapleton’s book ‘Palm’, documenting Palm Springs, sits amongst my books, and I truly love the sense of calm about the soft, elegantly designed black and white pages. I aspire to curate my own collection of travel photographs one day – once I have a little skill on my side!

What have you learnt since working at Stories?

Oh, I really have learnt so many wonderful things. One of the main things has to be the infectious mindset that is instilled in the core of the company. Finding what you’re passionate about, and making it happen. The company itself is built from wild dreams, a zest for life and utter determination. I have learnt that when you find yourself practising what you love, the dedication comes naturally, and when your team genuinely care, the whole atmosphere radiates positivity. Even when work seems hard, or there is a struggle, if you feel supported you will get through it and learn from the experience.

What has been your best moment so far at Stories?

There have been so many magical moments so far, but one of my favourites has to be when I began full time. On New Year’s Day, I was invited out to Barcelona to meet the team. Two days later I found myself on my second official day at the airport on my own, ready to embark on my new journey as a designer for a company I had day-dreamed about for more than 6 months. I have to say that was the most incredible welcome ever. Between drinking rose with a team I get to call friends, working on the most beautiful projects imaginable, and being whisked away to Spain and Morocco, I think it’s safe to say I have well and truly been given the perfect opportunity.

(well and truly boarded the fun train lol) xxx

Tell us three websites you like to visit

Cereal Mag – Love reading the articles, usually travel, really beautiful photos paired with poetic writing

Die Line – Lots of considered design work and a vast amount of inspiration

Bert Agency – inspirational think pieces on design

White Space Mag – lovely to see snippets inside entrepreneurial women’s spaces

Are there any designers or agencies that you admire?

Cocorrina – experimental and fun

Glasfurd & Walker – Solid selection of projects – all varied and thoughtfully executed

Anagrama– Perfectly considered and a real diversity in projects

Alvin Diec – new on the list but so unique! And very varied with lovely handcraft feel

Irma Boom –Exclusively, her Chanel Book, this was such an inspiration for me at the beginning of my Graphics Journey, I just love no ink on white paper

So there you go – a little insight into the world of our Storyteller.

We are gearing up for another exciting week as we welcome our newest team member, Natalie. We will of course be sharing much more over the next few weeks, so we hope you follow along X