The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Mariko Wolf: Mariko Wolf, 24, Graphic Designer / Interactive Designer / Master of All Design Mediums, Currently Self-Employed
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
MW: This is an interesting question in the sense that almost everything inspires me. Which is pretty cliché to say, but it's the truth. I wouldn’t necessarily call them hobbies, but I do a lot of things that bring me inspiration. Traveling or pretending I’m traveling by exploring different parts of the city is a big one for me. Outside has so much to offer and I try to utilize that.
I find inspiration through different social media platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr, also photos are really intriguing to me and there is an endless amount of inspiration to garner from other people. I love photography, I always have. I’m no professional by any means but I do like to go around to find different spaces or places specifically for the visual appeal. I like exploring different cities, art galleries and museums, especially modern art museums. I tend to find old art boring and new art super intriguing.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
MW: Absolutely. Working with clients is a challenging task. You want to have this balance of your own creativity and pleasing the clients, but that's not always the case. What usually happens is I have what I think is a great idea in the beginning and by the end of a project, it becomes not what I imagined... to a certain extent. Maybe I'm doing something wrong with how I approach the client, but this practice teaches me to have confidence in the work I make and to really sell my reasonings. I have learned to only show the clients what I think is the best, because there have been times where I present something that isn't my best work and that's what the like the best. So by eliminating that option, there can be a better discussion.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
MW: Haha, this is funny because back in school, I swear I was the most creative starting at, like, midnight; when we would stay up all night in the studio and during the day, I found I was a bit distracted. Now, I would have to say the late afternoons, after the morning has passed and I get into my flow. Mornings are hard for me, it takes me a while to get started, but once I do, I can work for hours and not know any time has passed by.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
MW: I'm starting to realize I want to work out of the tech world a little bit and work more closely with a group of creatives that share my same interests. I have been working as an interaction designer for a few years out of school and while I thoroughly enjoy that, I'm finding myself daydreaming about being in more of a creative space. I guess this is my goal just for the near future, to go back to what I am truly passionate about, which is branding and being more hands on with graphic design.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
MW: Not as of right now, which is really depressing to me. Hence why I only have a few projects to show. I've been doing some poster work here and there and I do treat my Instagram almost like a portfolio of my everyday life, so that has kept me alive a little bit. I've had this huge urge the past month or so to get back into painting, so I might do that. Also, I totally need to redesign my website, so that is next!
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
MW: I like plants a little too much. That is all.
You can check out more of Mariko's work, see some of her inspiration, and perhaps follow along with her redesign at www.marikowolf.com