16th November 2022

Who on earth is Nicola Cook?

by KOTA

Getting everyone together to film a Friends-style montage was proving tricky, so we settled on this: a series of candid interviews with our team members. Today we caught up with Nicola, one of our Digital Designers.

 

Who are you and what do you do at KOTA?

Hey, I’m Nicola. I work as a Digital Designer focusing on web, branding and social media design. I dabble in animation from time to time, too.

 

How did you get here?

Many moons ago, I studied a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design and worked in the industry for over 10 years as a Kidswear Designer. The job took me all over the world, from my hometown in Yorkshire to Paris and then to Australia and now I’m back in Paris, which is where I currently live.

After a relocation and a global pandemic, I was unemployed and struggled to find work. I first heard about Shillington, a Graphic Design school, when I was in Sydney. They offer short intensive courses that give you all the tools to become a graphic designer. I read stories from previous students who had successfully changed careers from completely different backgrounds, which I found really inspiring. Besides, I had always loved graphic design and kept hearing about UX, so Shillington really piqued my curiosity. I decided to take a leap by entering a competition to win a scholarship and I won – yayyy! I took this as a sign that I was heading in the right direction and I’ve never looked back.

I graduated in the summer of 2022 and started at KOTA in October, which has been the best first experience into the industry I could wish for.

 

Three favourite brands and why?

Aesop – I discovered Aesop when I lived in Australia and became a massive fan. Their products are on another level and then combined with their timeless, minimalist packaging, it’s just perfection. The shop interior design is exquisite too, which makes for a beautiful shopping experience.

Simuero – I’m a bit of a magpie and I admire this brand not just because of their beautiful, one of a kind jewellery, but also because they are a slow, conscious brand too. Every piece is made to order, they work with local suppliers and recycle the material they use so nothing goes to waste.

Posca I love to draw with their art markers. They’re easy to use, easy to transport and have a really diverse colour palette. They’re an iconic brand in the art world and have built a massive following, creating communities all over the world. They collaborate with artists too, giving them a platform as well as creating fun educational projects for kids.

 

Good web design is…

…when there are unexpected moments of surprise and delight combined with a seamless usability and a well considered layout.

 

What do you geek out over?

Abstract art. My favourite ever exhibition was “Women in Abstraction” at the Pompidou in Paris, where I saw some of my favourites from Etel Adnan to Sonia Delaney. They’re really bold in their colour choices and I love that. I’ve always been attracted to bright colours and I constantly take pictures or experiment myself when designing with unexpected combinations.

 

What’s something that usually surprises people about you?

I used to be a lifeguard.

 

Where do you live? What’s it like?

I live in the suburbs of Paris, so it’s quite peaceful but not too far away from the hustle and bustle of the city where there’s always something to do. I enjoy hunting down the best coffees, going to see an exhibition and trying to find some fabulous treasures in the vintage stores.

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