Nina Hans, Creative Director
As the creative director and co-founder of Weekday Studios, Nina Hans is a mastering the balance of business and design. Her five values are such a great insight into her work and approach - we're all for learning and listening! Thanks Nina.
What do you do?
I’m the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Weekday Studio. This means I do a lot of everything since we just launched - everything from proposals and pitches to designing and managing projects and designers.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
Weekday Studio has 5 values that we do our best to live by:
Improve through design / Our yah is yah & our nah is nah / Live balanced lives / People first, design second / Keep learning & listening.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Right now we we’re branding restaurants, coffee companies, an ethical clothing line, and a nail salon!
What is your dream project?
A boutique hotel. I love staying at hotels and thinking about every little detail that makes a guest feel special and welcome.
What’s something surprising about you, that we might not know?
I can watch slime videos on instagram all night long.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
Not in my field, but I’d say that I do have an amazing supportive female network as a whole. LA can be a lonely place for so many people, so I do feel extremely fortunate to have women in my life who support each other and help each other grow in whatever we are trying to accomplish.
Can you share a creative experience that you have found defining?
YES! 2nd grade, Mrs. Morrison’s class. She shared Steve McCury’s “Afghan girl” with our class and I cried. I had never been moved by art till that day and it has forever effected the way I see humanity, art and design.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service
“Design your day” by Claire Diaz Ortiz
“Design your Life” by Vince Frost
“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
Design business mentorship! Starting a studio is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I spend 90% of time on things outside of design itself which is challenging. I’ve found its hard to find a mentor in this industry if you haven’t gone to a big school, or work within a larger firm.
How can we find our more about your work?
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
01. Los Angeles
LA shaped me in a a major way. While I grew up in Hawai’i (and will grow old there), I became an adult in LA. The friends I’ve made here in LA are one of the biggest impacts of my life. My friends are the most inspiring, talented, and encouraging people I know. I think having a group of people as talented as my friends may be somewhat common in LA, but ones that are as talented and encouraging and loving as mine are… I think that's rare.
I was the Art Director at a design-build firm and while there I learned too many lessons to count. I was fortunate to work on projects with some amazing clients, from big corporations to hip little start ups. I was able to learn the ins and outs of building brands, client services, and working a wide variety materials (which I’ve found to be rare for a designer, as most designers work solely in digital mediums or paper). These expereinces have proved to be valuable lessons we’ve been able to transfer over to Weekday Studio.
Taking the jump to freelance was intimidating, but I just said yes to nearly every project that came my way. Even if I didn’t know how to do it, and just youtubed my way through it, learning along the way. This taught me to think on my feet, expanded my creativity and design experience, and allowed to me learn my strengths and weaknesses pretty quickly. Freelancing also helped me to see what types of design just made me happy, which has really informed my choices when starting Weekday Studio.
If you could choose to hear from any female contemporary at a Make Nice event, who would it be and why?
I will always love hearing from talented designers that have great taste, but I think there’s enough opportunities for that these days. I would love to hear from more women who have learned to grow a business, manage employees and clients, and be a strong leader.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
Emotional Intelligence is just as important as any other form of knowledge.