Interview with Katie Treggiden of Fiera Magazine
My admiration for those who can write about sense-based subjects (like food, wine, art, music…) and do it WELL is limitless.
Design is one of those subjects for me, and when I found Confessions of a Design Geek I knew I’d found a writer I could look up to in awe. The writer?
That would be Katie Treggiden, design journalist as well as founding editor of Fiera Magazine.
Of course, I had to get in touch to find out more about where the genius comes from – and despite her busy schedule with the release of the third edition of Fiera, I got my interview!
Grab a coffee and dig in…
1) What was your first big break in your career/when did you feel ‘yes! this is working!’ first?
I had two breaks early on: one was when my blog won Best Interior Design Blog in Great Britain just five months after I started writing it, which was a bit of a shock!
The second was when Design Milk commissioned me to cover the London Design Festival. Both happened while I still had a full time job in my previous career, and gave me the confidence to make the leap into full time writing. But I don’t really think there is “one big break” where you know you’ve made it. I’ve had hundreds of little breaks since then, and there are days when I feel “yes, this is working” and days when I wonder if I should give it all up and go back to having a “proper job”!
I think this year is the first year I’ve really started to feel confident in what I do – confident enough to say “I’m a journalist” when people ask me what I do, instead of stuttering something about trying to make a living as a writer!
2) Do you have any morning routine you can share?
One of things I love most about this job is that, no I really don’t! I get bored of repetition quite easily, so the fact that every day is genuinely different is on the things that appeals to me most about running my own business. I often don’t know week to week whether I’ll be visiting a design fair in a foreign city, meeting inspiring people in London, or writing quietly in the studio at the bottom of my garden. My morning routine does always involve coffee though – that much is guaranteed!
3) Where do you look for inspiration?
In terms of things to write about, I am really inspired by passionate, hardworking people who use design to improve people’s lives. I believe design has a tremendous power to do that and I love nothing more than writing about the people making that happen.
In terms of inspiration for running my own business, I am a bit of magpie – I surround myself with inspiring people doing their own thing, read a lot of books and blogs, and sometimes just have to stick certain songs on really loud until I believe I can do something.
4) Who are your mentors?
I stayed in touch with one of the directors of a company I worked at my previous career – an amazing man called Matt Long. He’s someone I always turn to when to going gets tough.
I was really lucky to have a year’s mentoring from Tom Lynham through creative writing organisation 26 – he was incredible!
I also have a very good friend in designer Jo Ham, who I bounce things off regularly. I think mentors are incredibly important.
5) What books have made the biggest impact on you?
I devour books like a crazy person, so probably too many to mention. Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is one of my favourites in terms of storytelling and clarity of writing.
Design Like You Give a Damn by Cameron Sinclair really inspired me – it made me realise that I’m not the only one taking risks with my career based on a belief in the power of design. And I’m reading The Craftsman by Richard Sennett, which is an absolutely awesome book on so many levels.
6) What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?
Keep going – it’s all going to be just fine, better than fine in fact. It’s going to be more incredible than you could possibly imagine.
Thank you so much Katie! I’m adding The Craftsman to my Christmas wishlist as soon as I’ve written this – I hope it’s not too late to get the message to Santa 😉
You can also connect with both of us on twitter to let us know what you thought of the interview: @katietreggiden and @catrosedesign
Pssst! I’d love to know your answer to one of the above questions! Answer in the comments below.
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