What advice would you give to someone who is struggling in the lighting industry right now?
My first step is to be honest with yourself. This is a really hard step for many people: don’t be afraid of describing how you feel in detail to yourself. Saying your thoughts out loud or writing them down is a really helpful exercise to understand why you feel the way that you do.
Secondly, find the appropriate channel to then let those feelings out further. Make sure to find someone to speak to, who is in a position to be able to take on the information you’re about to tell them. Setting boundaries is an important part of being able to share in a healthy way; naturally, professional therapists will provide this but friends and family can also be your cornerstone. Finding the appropriate channel to speak to is so important.
In summary, be honest with yourself and know where to look for help. The resource section on the Designers Mind website aims to guide you in the correct direction, including organisations such as Mind, Calm, and Samaritans.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to lighting?
For me, the most rewarding thing about the design process is the collaborative process we go through with the design team. I really enjoy the nerdy in-depth discussions with architects and designers; I learned how to design with pen and paper, sitting around a table and throwing out ideas.
I’m incredibly passionate about the small details. To care about the minutiae makes all the difference. It teaches you how space works together holistically, so the end-user appreciates everything that you’ve done. In my mind, a successful design is like a jewel box – while it’s about the whole space, the individual pieces within it are all unique and special, and it all needs to be beautiful to work in harmony.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your lighting career?
At 28, I sometimes don’t get taken seriously because of my age; I even get called the ‘lighting girl’ a lot. People look at me and assume that I am inexperienced which is frustrating.
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my personal life over the last five years which has definitely helped to break the ice with new collaborators; a couple of grey hairs and an ex-husband makes you more relatable, I guess! But the stigma when I—a young woman—walk into a room primarily full of middle-aged is still there.