Behind the Biz: Lara Scarr
Welcome, friends, to the first of many Behind the Biz interviews! We wanted to create a space to showcase both our clever clients and the many wonderful creatives we’ve found on the net. First up is Lara Scarr, of Lara Scarr Creative, who we think you’ll like very much indeed!
Who’s That Girl?
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Lara Scarr. I was born and raised in the amazingly beautiful British Columbia. I’m a design nerd, art lover, fashion geek, cat fan, tea drinker, home body, and nature lover. I like all things pretty, I’m like a crow collecting shiny things.
How has 2018 been for you so far?
Busy. The good kind, fortunately.
What’s it like living on the west coast of British Columbia (because it sounds amazing!)?
It is as amazing as it sounds! We live on an acreage on Vancouver Island and are surrounded by creatures of all kinds. The west coast is rugged and has a natural and very inspiring presence. Every corner of British Columbia looks like another world, let alone just one part of one province. You can find a wide array of natural phenomena, it’s quite incredible; I have yet to become bored of this place – I say that knowing I’m biased but not blind. I love it here.
What is home to you?
Home is wherever I land, with the love of my life and our two cats.
What was your professional background prior to launching Lara Scarr Creative?
In 2005 I decided to work towards a degree in visual art and psychology with the intention of moving on to finish with a MA in art therapy. I completed my degree with a double major in FA and PSYC but then life took a turn and I decided to give my fine art career a go. I dedicated 3 years to it and by the end I had participated in over 40 exhibits with my mixed media/textile pieces but it hadn’t gone as far as I would have liked so I refocused my plan, moved to Vancouver and completed a degree program in digital design.
Did you complete any formal studies or are you self taught?
What inspired you to choose a path in design and branding?
I just sort of gravitated to it. You know when you first dive into something and you try to take on all facets of that hobby, passion or career but find your strengths as you progress – that’s where the progression took me. Plus, I love turning someone’s vision into a tangible thing. It’s my geek rush.
What are the elements of a great brand?
Something that speaks to people or breaks new ground while being relevant and accessible. Digital art and design exists to create new ways of effectively expressing to the public. Design is the spoon that feeds the customer or audience whatever that product or idea is and the more effective the design, the more appetizing that product or idea is. That being said, I’m just a girl working from home, what do I know? Sometimes I don’t brush my teeth until 4pm.
Do you have a favourite/most memorable project?
All of them! Seriously.
What was it like launching your own creative studio?
Honestly, super tough – the term “feast or famine” exists for a reason (winky face but not really). You really have to want it and be willing to put yourself out there. It’s been a challenge but also incredibly rewarding. You are your own boss, you set your own hours and really come to understand what you’re capable of as far as work ethic. I wouldn’t change it.
What is your point of difference from other designers/studios?
I have fun with it all…not to say others do not. I strive for it in my personal attitude and through my work. I like to think my strength is my ability to listen to and read people, which helps a lot when turning someone’s undefinable or indescribable idea into reality. I have fun and I listen carefully. Again, maybe that doesn’t necessarily set me apart but it is a difference to many.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out in the design industry?
Do. Not. Give. Up. Give yourself time to work out the kinks and try not to take it personal when your work or company doesn’t take off right out of the gate. It’s a process and it requires time and dedication.
What is the best part about running your own biz?
I do what I want. Actually, I don’t (again, winky face but not really).
The best part is working in my pjs at home all day or on a beach half way around the world. Incidentally, that can also be the worst part. If you decide to take on the life of freelance work, make sure you get out there into world sometimes or your social skills may whittle away into cave man grunts. The sweet and the sour, it makes for an interesting and wonderful life.
How do you use/interact with copywriting in your day to day business life?
I make it up as I go along. I could definitely use some help at some point…maybe I’ve come to the right place??
What’s something that people don’t see/realise that you do (the nitty gritty, behind the scenes stuff)?
I end up spending almost more time on administrative work than creative design work. Get yourself some software people! Also, I make sure to take time to re-charge the creative corners of my brain…it’s critical. Does that answer this question? I’m not sure..
Did you design and develop your own brand and how was the process?
It was surprisingly challenging. Imagine your pickiest client and times that by 1000 – the end was really rewarding though. You’ve reminded me, it’s actually time for a Lara Scarr Creative brand re-fresh. I’ve been putting it off but I really need to step to!
And of course: what inspires your Instagram feed?
Other Instagram feeds. There are some crazy talented peeps out there. I also love to cruise Behance, Dribbble and Pinterest. There are about a million amazing resources out there.
How do you take your tea (or coffee)?
Never tried coffee. Tea all the way. Any kind of black tea with a dash of cream and a generous helping of sugar (I’m not sweet enough).
Fave coffee shops/cafes at home
My kitchen – there are barely any around here. I live in the boonies!
Go to outfit
I’m minimal. Ripped skinny jeans, oversized T/sweater and boots/sandals. No colour or pattern to be found anywhere.
Movies, junk food, cats, wine. I’m a stereotype! I’m OK with that.
Stand by Me
Ultimate travel destination
New York or Croatia.
We hope you loved this interview with Lara and enjoyed getting an insight behind one of the many amazing creative businesses we all adore online. Stay tuned for the next installment of the series, and be sure to send us a message or comment if you have anyone that you’d love to hear from!
Until the next brew,
What we do
Rust Creative write and manage words for creators. We work with clients to create authentic, engaging copy to use across their websites and social media channels. We also offer brand voice development, exploration sessions, blog writing and complementary cups of tea.
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We love working with small businesses and freelancers to define their voice and showcase their identity through words. Whether you're after a website copy refresher or in dire need of someone to take the reins of your blog - Rust is ready and waiting to help you out.