Women Who Create / Cara Holland

The WWC Interview Series is the longest standing part of this community and platform. A collection of interviews with inspiring creative women in business. In this weeks installment I have the pleasure of introducing you to ‘professional doodler’ Cara Holland as she shares some behind the scene nuggets from her awesome business Graphic Change.

1, Tell us a little about your background...

Although I was creative as a child, I spent the first 15 years of my career working in social care, mainly as a manager. I found I was using more and more visual techniques to communicate and engage with teams and individuals, so it seemed like a natural step when I eventually set up Graphic Change. That was in 2006 and the business has gone from strength to strength. The bulk of our work falls into two areas: We capture organisations conversations and ideas into visuals, often live in meetings and at events, and we train individuals and teams how to work more visually themselves through the Graphic Change Academy.

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2, Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focussed and happy?

I like a tidy desk. Mostly I’m not a tidy person, but the act of clearing my desk or my drawing table before I begin is very calming. When I’m working live at an event I like to grab 5 minutes to sit peacefully before I begin to help me focus.

3, What three things can't you live without?

My wife, my coffee machine, my pens : )

4, What is your biggest source of inspiration?

I get inspiration from everywhere. Books I read, content I see online, magazines, conversations…

5, What is the meaning of 'creativity' to you?

For me creativity is about freedom. The freedom to make design choices rather than just deliver micro managed briefs. The freedom to experiment and fuck up and evolve your practice.

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6, If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone... who would it be & why?

I’d like to draw a conversation with Grace Bonney who I think is using her platform to say some valuable things about inclusivity in design.

7, Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

I try and spend as much time with pen and paper as I can.

8, What is the best thing about running your business?

Freedom. Now I’m several years into my business I’m lucky enough to be able to say no to projects that don’t suit me.

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9, And what is or has been the most challenging?

In the early years the money was tough.  Also feeling overwhelmed with work with no down time or holidays to offset it was stressful.

10, What is your proudest creative moment in the journey so far?

Having my first book Draw a Better Business published last year was pretty special.

11, What does your support system look like?

My wife Natasha is, and always has been, incredibly supportive of my choices. I also have some good friends to share a cuppa with.

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12, What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business/creative journey ?

Be braver than you feel, and keep your eye on the bottom line.

13, Where is the best place online/in person to find you?

Graphicchange.com // @graphicchange