Victoria Stefania, a renowned designer, shares her insights in our latest designer Q&A. She reveals her evolving design process and the power of rest in creativity. Learn how she draws inspiration from everyday life and overcomes challenges, including her own perfectionism. Here is her unique approach to design, from starting projects to using creative resources like Stills. Explore more of Victoria’s work here.
Question: What is your design process like? How has it changed as you’ve evolved in your career?
Victoria: So, whenever I start a new project, I usually start by doing some sort of initial research, depending on what project it is. If it’s for personal use I really just start by looking for inspiration on Pinterest, in some of my design books, or I might have had an idea for a long time and then I just start.
I like to sketch with pen and paper first if I feel like I need some help with just getting the idea out of my head, but mostly I start immediately inside a design software. At the beginning of my career I always did everything according to what I learned at university; do tons and tons of research, mood board everything before you create, sketch with pen and paper, ideate multiple times, etc. Nowadays I usually just start. I feel like I’ve gotten more of a sense of what my clients want, and I’m much better at asking the right questions so I can understand what they want quicker and with less of a fuss.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration?
V: Mostly in life in general. For example, I take inspiration from different interior designs at restaurants when I’m out with my boyfriend, from bathroom stalls where people have written their signatures, from graffiti in the city. I think there’s a lot of inspiration we can take from our daily lives. I’m also an avid user of Pinterest.
Q: How do you get your head back in the game when you’re feeling burnt out?
V: Rest! It’s taken me years to figure out and understand, but resting is part of being productive. No one can sit by a computer and just create amazing work all day, without taking proper breaks and stepping away from our work.
Q: If you can share, what do you think is your secret weapon when creating? Please explain how you developed this skill.
V: I don’t feel like I have a secret weapon, but maybe it’s the fact that I’m really good at structuring my day-to-day life so that when I have the time to create I can do so without distractions. Or maybe it’s that I’m hyper-aware that I don’t know everything and that I’m always eager to learn about new ways to create, which means that most creations involve a learning process for me.
Q: Looking back, what are some hurdles you had to overcome personally that impacted you? They can be big or small.
V: Definitely my perfectionism! I still struggle with this, but I work on it every day. Being a perfectionist as a designer makes work super difficult because, at least for me, I often don’t feel fully satisfied with the work I create. And since I want to always produce my very, very best, it’s kind of hard to have to leave work at a certain state where it’s good enough.
Q: What do you think about Stills? How is it a good resource for designers?
V: Stills is amazing not only because they have an incredible library of beautiful images to choose from, but also because they work with hand-picked photographers that are some of the best in the world. It’s not just your regular stock photography, but artistic work that feels way more powerful than that.
It’s also so easy to find what you’re looking for thanks to the many filters you can use in your search!
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License the cover image via Daniel Johnson.