Hi Tess, thank you for chatting with us today, we're so excited to talk all things creative with you, but before we jump into it we’d love you to tell us a little about yourself…
Aboveall I’m mum to my daughter, Dylan and son, Marlo. On top of that, I’m Creative Director and Founder of Smack Bang — A creative agency that specialises in branding.
When not catering to small humans or a never-ending to-do list though, you’ll find me at the beach, enjoying a wine and whinge with my girlfriends or at home tinkering with paint brushes and many, many unfinished canvases.
What does your design process look like? Where does it all begin?
I’m a compulsive brand analyser and devoted storyteller. So for me, I am constantly scouting and obsessively identifying brands and their ‘could-be’ potential. Pondering the ‘what ifs’ and ‘what could bes’ are where it all begins. From there, it’s a matter of curiosity, exploration and experimentation.
On that note, do you have any go-to resources for inspiration for a project?
My sources of inspiration are forever evolving, but one constant is looking to different industries for ideas and influence. I start by looking across categories, as opposed to looking at direct competitors. I find this helps expand my thinking and ensures I’m constantly innovating outside of the common parameters.
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome, if so how did you overcome it?
Absolutely. Most days, in fact. But I do find that the more I ‘stay in my lane’, the less I experience it.
I overcome it by staying true to myself, creating with authenticity and doing my best to keep the self-talk positive. Also, not looking at our competitors, and simply keeping my head down and creating from the heart, I’m better able to produce work that feels exciting and fulfilling. It helps that I’m surrounded by a community of extremely supportive cheer-leaders who constantly pep me up and recognise my hard work and achievements.
Advice for getting your mojo back when you're feeling burnt out?
For me, it’s getting out into nature and having space and time to myself. I’m an introvert at heart and find without this solo time, burnout is a much more regular occurrence. As a working mum of two, it’s almost impossible to find this time, but I feel so much creative, content and confident once I’ve had a good dose of it.
Your top 3 tips for harnessing your creative potential.
1/ Find what lights you up. This means experimenting with a range of things to find the one thing that feels unique & fulfilling to you. Then, stay in your lane and work from the heart, regardless of what other people are doing.
2/ Commitment to the sentiment that ‘done is better than perfect’. Eliminate procrastination by first eliminating perfectionism, as momentum is the key to harnessing any kind of potential.
3/ Set your horizon. Get clear on your goals and chase them down with unwavering commitment and focus.
The most helpful advice you’ve received since starting Smack Bang.
The old adage ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ has transcended generations for very good reason - there is nothing more powerful than a great reputation and a loyal network. As a world-class introvert, I often find the ‘people’ side of running a business quite exhausting. But, I do realise that no business can be successful in a silo. And to tell you the truth, the only way I’ve managed to build Smack Bang into the business it is, has been through meeting extraordinary people who’ve come into my world and changed it for the better. As a business owner, it is critical to create a community within your business and a support network for yourself.
ABOUT TESS ROBINSON
Tess Robinson is the Founder and Creative Director of results-driven boutique branding agency, Smack Bang. A considered communicator with over 10 years experience, Tess’ passion for the planet and penchant for a challenge sees her frequently gravitate towards meaningful projects purposed for positive impact.
SEE MORE FROM THE TESS & SMACK BANG:
website | smackbang.co