For(a)ging her own path

Ria and I met over seven years ago working at an exhibit design company. I think we struck a couple of common chords right away - in the way we work as well as in our love for the simple things in life: food, foraging, cooking and traveling. I admire Ria for stepping out of the 9-5 while many of us stayed behind (for a little while longer...) and forging her own path and putting herself out there - scary to do but completely fulfilling once you've done it!  Ria and I spend most of our time together out in the woods or fields collecting mushrooms and greens but I know her also as an incredibly talented graphic designer and couldn't think of anyone better to help us develop our logo and brand for our company.


Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A: I’ve always done artistic things, copying comics by drawing out grids and laying them out… but I probably wanted to be a princess at some point too.

Q: How did you end up doing what you are doing now?

A: When I was selecting my courses for university, my mom urged me to take classes that interested me – which was great, very supportive – but when I graduated I realized I had a miss-mash of courses and a ‘bachelor of F-all’… so I traveled to Europe, settled in London for some time and worked odd jobs, a florist and receptionist, and then came back to Vancouver, attended Emily Carr and took some courses with the direction in the graphic arts. When I graduated I started working right away – a bit round about but I got there.


Q: If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice when you first started your career, what would it be?

A: I would tell myself to not take things so personally. Graphic design is very subjective and some people that give you feedback [clients] have very strong opinions but don’t know much about design. On the one hand they know a lot about how the graphics are going to be used but not much about design – you have a lot to learn from them so it’s important to always consider their feedback, but don’t take it personally and stick to doing what you do best.

Q: How do you deal with professional mistakes?

A: I go through a little phase of realizing what the mistake was and feeling bad about it then realizing that it’s not going to kill anyone and then work to finding a solution – I’m very solution focused, very Virgo that way.


Q:What does success mean to you?

A: I didn’t know this at the time [of quitting my full-time job and going into freelance] but what I was looking for was a work-life balance. I love being busy when I’m busy but if I’m not busy I’m happy to dabble, make things – bread, concrete planters for my herbs and going out foraging with my friends. I get to do all the things that I want to do.

Q: Do you have a personal or professional motto?

A: You just have to do one more thing and then you can go make bread! I can’t say I have a motto, but I am task-oriented and getting through the tasks at hand so that I can go relax doing something else is often what gets me through my workload.


Q: Where do you love to travel, where is your favourite place to be?

A: I love to be in the woods, picking Chanterelles…I enjoy traveling very much, I don’t have a place in the world that draws me back over and over as I love to go to new places all the time, to have new experiences and see new things.


We enjoy working with you, Ria, (and foraging!) and we are proud to know such a strong, independent and talented woman as your self.

- Francesca