MEET #2846 LETA SOBIERAJSKI
Designer • Brooklyn, NY
Leta Sobierajski is a multidisciplinary designer & art director living and working in New York City. She combines mediums in design, photography, art, and styling to develop tangible compositions for both print and motion. She was recently recognized as a top 20 under 30 designer in Print Magazine's New Visual Artists issue in 2014.
1. How long have you been freelancing?
I’ve been freelancing for nearly a year now. It’s something I had wanted to do for a while and finally gained enough courage to take the leap—now I’m 100% sold! It is easily the best professional/career decision I have made. The studio life was not for me.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative / have the best ideas?
I primarily work from home, so many of my best ideas happen when I am sitting at my desk, taking a shower, or stepping out to pick up groceries. Taking a walk helps—a change of scenery is essential to bring out new ideas and feelings that are provoked from distraction. I used to be more of a night owl, working through most of my ideas in the wee hours of the morning, but I am slowly shifting my habits now that I am freelance. It feels satisfying to wake up early and immediately start drawing, writing, and sketching.
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
80% working, 20% recreation, ideally. I work a lot, and usually begin my day at 8:30 or 9 and end whenever Wade, my partner, gets home from work. I get restless when I’m not working on something, but a free week here and there is always embraced.
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
I think so. I’m an only child, so I’m very close with my parents. While they encouraged me when I decided to study graphic design in college, I think they had a different idea of what that actually meant, and they gave me a lot of pressure to apply for grad schools after I got my BFA. My mom was in college for 14 years to get her doctorate, so I think she was a little worried about my level of qualification, as well as my long term level of success (monetarily). Now that I have been out of school for four years, I think that they have learned more about what interests me and where it gets applied, so they have eased up a lot. I feel successful, not in a monetary way but in a creative kind of way. I think that they are learning that there isn’t a “cookiecutter” way of being a designer to make money, as there are so many different methods and opportunities to direct your abilities.
5. What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
“I fart in your general direction,” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what 3 websites would you take with you?
Runner up: Noisli.com, so that I can forget where I am completely and take a nap.
7. What do you do when Not Working?
For short term Not Working, I’ll usually go gallery hopping in Chelsea or visit an exhibit at a museum. Free time is usually devoted to catching up on art, film, and food, and of course, side projects. Traveling is my absolute favorite way to make use of my not working time, and I try to take advantage of it as often as I can. Our (Wade and I) goal is to make it to Australia and Japan this year for some serious not working time!
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I wouldn’t call this a talent per se, but i’m horribly clumsy. I knocked over a four foot cactus last weekend when I was in a shop. I drop things a lot, too.
9. Any tips or advice for fellow freelancers?
People give and get a lot of shit for saying this, but I think it’s very important to build your own projects to help direct your strengths and interests. If you do what you love, and if you do it well, then people will ultimately recognize you for this and hire you because you’re good at it.