Tash and Zoe, Eskimo
Today we are talking with the amazing Natasha Hasemer and Zoë Pollitt of creative agency eskimo. These ladies support Make Nice and are a BIG inspiration. Tash is Co-Founder and Director Zoë is Executive Creative Director, Co-Founder and Director - meaning they both juggle a lot of responsibilities and have a some amazing experience and knowledge to share with us. Read on for some gold!
Tash – Co-Founder & Director
Zoe – Executive Creative Director, Co-Founder & Director
What do you do?
eskimo is a creative consultancy. We deliver strategic design and art direction for pioneering, design lead brands. We are built on the belief that considered, aspirational design builds commercial advantage. We believe that great design moves people. We strive to deliver exceptional thinking, design and execution for brands in the premium market and those aspiring to it. Our vision is to be the market leader in brand and communication design for the fashion, luxury and retail sectors.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
‘Fall in love, not in line’
OUR VALUES: Truth + Spirit + Love + Vision
What places are important to you?
Tash – I am inspired by being in nature, I love being by the water. There are 2 places in Australia where I feel my best self. The Black shack at Mackerel Beach and Ocean Farm on the Kiama Hills. Japan and its culture also inspires me greatly.
Zoë – The beach. Anywhere. Similar to Tash, Tokyo is my favourite city in the world. The culture clash, the visual overload, centuries of beautiful rituals and design juxtaposed with a bizarre obsession for technology and all things new. I feel like anything goes there.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
Tash - ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get!’
Zoë – if it’s not uncomfortable or a little bit scary, you’re probably not challenging yourself enough. And trust your gut. Trust your gut. Trust your gut ( I still make the mistake of not following my intuition sometimes...)
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
The eskimo work environment has always been incredibly supportive and we nurture this culture with all the people we work with. Our team is mostly female, not by design, but I guess we’ve attracted like minded females. Mentoring and nurturing female talent has always been extremely important to us. We’ve created a little network of female leaders in the design industry, and we are all very supportive of each other. We really try to support mothers coming back to work as we know the tough balancing act of being both successful in your career and being a mother.
Can you share a creative experience that you have found defining?
Tash – the most recent experience for me was seeing the incredible visionary work of architect Antoni Gaudi last year in Barcelona and how one man could have such an exceptional creative contribution into defining a city and how contemporary and mind-blowing his vision was and is even to this day (over a century later). I also love it how so much of his work was inspired by nature.
Zoë – Studying at St Martins in London was a pivotal turning point for me. I learned there that creativity should break convention, and design and beauty is key to everything. Kenya Hara’s book Designing Design is something that I always refer to. And MONA... need I say more.
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
It would be so great to see more female leaders in the creative industry, and a shift in the way we access or can be inspired by these leaders. The existing conference formats are not condusive to how females generally operate which is more collaborative as apposed to being singled out. More celebration of females in design at awards, industry events, exhibitions. It’s starting to change but not fast enough. Seeing more females in the boardroom – can’t tell you how many times we hear this!
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
Tash – reading Tim Winton’s ‘Island Home’. Going - Ningaloo reef, WA. Inspiring me - Lachlan Bailey, Annemarieke van Drimmelen, Zoe Ghertner, Julia Noni, Hannah Scott-Stevenson. Spaces - Studio KO.
Zoë – Watching: Abstract: the art of Design on Netflix, Reading: Experience Design. A framework for Integrating Brand, Experience and Value by Patrick Newbery and Kevin Farnham. Listening to: Invisibilia...there’s some weird, crazy stuff going on in the world! Endless inspiration: Sydney Dance Company
What do you want to be asked about that no one ever asks you?
‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ ‘Why did you get into design?’ ‘What really matters?’
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
As a business partnership;
Attending St Martins College in London together
Working as Art Directors at Vogue together for 5 years
Believing in each other and balancing / supporting one another for the last 20 years, becoming mothers somewhere in the middle to 2 kids each.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Working with Aussie startup and ‘it-bag’ State of Escape has been really exciting as the two founders are brilliant creative women and their business has been going from strength to strength. They now have global distributon through Mode Sportif as well as Sazaby in Japan and Ron Hermann in the US. It’s so exciting to be part of something that’s growing. We’re also turning 20 next year, so we’re planning something epic for that.
What is your dream project?
Tash – Working on a perfume line. I love the way scent can instantly transport you and trigger a memory to a certain time, person or place. Designing everything from the scent and name to the entire brand image including, logo, packaging, tone of voice and imagery.
Zoë – My dream project would be to work on an ethical fashion based brand something that breaks all the conventions of retail, fashion, consumerism, art and the way we express ourselves with clothes.
What’s something surprising about you, that we might not know?
Tash – My first ever shoot at Vogue in 1992 was with a recent Nida graduate by the name of Cate Blanchett.
Zoë –I’ve climbed over the arch of the Harbour Bridge with Brooke Shields and a photography crew (before there was Bridge Climb) on one of the first shoots I Art Directed aged 23. The other perhaps surprising thing is that I fear very little other than public speaking.