BEHIND THE BRAND: TESS ROBINSON OF SMACK BANG DESIGNS
Describe yourself in three words
Creative, strong willed, ambitious… and maybe a little bit stubborn.
How did you get to where you are today?
The love of family, support of friends, advice of mentors and a bloody lot of hard work.
Describe your creative style or angle in your work…
I’ve always had an obsession with aesthetics. My creative style is very much influenced by the world around me and I am forever looking to nature and my surroundings for inspiration. In everything I do, whether it’s a client project, our studio space, my own style or home, I aim to bring a sense of story and character woven in an understated simplicity.
What your studio/office is filled with…
Coffees, tunes, people and plants. Lots of plants.
What does your work wear “uniform” look like?
I was born and bred by the beach, so my everyday attire is reflective of my laid back lifestyle.
I have an easy-going aesthetic, relaxed style and like to keep things simple, beautiful and most importantly, comfortable.
Can you give us the low-down on your average day?
Each and every day is different and comes with its own to-do’s, but these days I’m the master of my own time and can choose how I want to spend my day which is very liberating. I usually start my day with some form of exercise (yoga or walking the dog) and try to have a morning dip in the ocean when I can. Then, cruising into the office I begin my day of meetings, emails, brainstorms, creative direction, emails, phone calls, emails, planning, and did I say emails?
I usually clock off a little early and hang out with friends or my man, and then clock back on of an evening if I have some juicy stuff to catch up on.
What kind of employment positions shaped you into what you are today?
To be honest, I’ve never really worked a ‘proper job’ before this one. I started my business straight out of University and fell hard and fast into career-mode. Without having stepped foot in another design agency, or any kind of 9-5 for that matter meant I had to learn fast and accept that there would be many hurdles and hardships along the way.
What goes into creating major and exciting projects for your clients?
First, coffee, then brainstorming, conceptualising, experimenting, refining and all the little steps along the way. The most crucial step is to distill our client’s story into something beautiful and eye-catching. I’m very lucky that I have the most committed, hard-working and downright talented team who can do this with their eyes closed.
What are your tips and tricks into branding yourself/business on social media?
2016 was the year of selfies and girls ironically claiming to be ‘authentic’ and as much as the cliche makes me want to rub vinegar in my eyes, I do think being authentic is truly the only way to brand yourself. There is something magnetic about a personality that is 100% honest and quietly calm in its own essence. If you’re pretending you’re something or someone other than yourself, your audience will soon catch on.
The best business advice you have ever been given…
Don’t waste time doubting yourself. If you have an idea or a passion you want to turn into something more, then just do it. The idea of starting my own business was a no-brainer and I knew I would never be satisfied if I didn’t give it a try. So, do it. Don’t be afraid of failure, because saying you tried is success enough.