I discovered you through your IG account, The Venetian Pantry, but I believe your main job is graphic designer? Can you tell us a little about your background and journey?
Sure! I originally come from a small medieval town just an hour away from Venice. After graduating in Industrial and Graphic Design, I moved to London in 2012 to do a Masters's Degree in Graphic Design. I have been living in London ever since, working as a graphic designer in various design studios. In 2019, just before the pandemic hit, I left my last full-time job to set up my own graphic design practice (@commonkind), specialising in strategic branding. The same year, my husband Joe and I bought our first house together and went through a substantial renovation process. I opened The Venetian Pantry account during the second lockdown, mainly to document the evolution of our new space, but it quickly evolved into something more. I have always been into photography (my friends will tell you I have always taken a camera with me!) and food has always been another big passion of mine. It was such a joyful discovery to find an outlet where I could merge all my passions into one!
I moved to the UK when I was 23, on my own, not knowing anyone in town. Being enrolled in a University course definitely made things easier, and I adapted to my new life pretty quickly. I was always quite independent as a child and I have always wanted to leave my small town to go explore the world for as long as I can remember. As a teenager, I would go on weeks-long summer trips to Exeter with my school to improve my English – and those British summers are still among some of my fondest memories. It was my first taste of freedom, and the beginning of my love for this country. I'm sure there have been some lows over the past decade or so of living here (I remember when I was single and living by myself, feeling a little lonely at times), but my journey has been overwhelmingly a positive one. Meeting Joe and moving into our home together have hands down been the highlights so far!
Since I started working for myself, my days are very fluid – no two days are ever the same, but I really like it that way. I go through periods of more structured routines depending on how busy I am. I try to do some movement in the morning, either a walk in the park, a light jog (if I am on a fitness spree!) or some pilates. I tend to get easily distracted but I found that writing down to-do lists for the day/week really helps me to stay focused and organised. There is something so satisfying about ticking things off with a stroke of a pen! Work-wise, my days are split between my graphic design projects, photographic commissions and creating content for The Venetian Pantry. I also teach a Branding Course for an Italian University for three months a year. I tend to photograph in the morning, when light is at its best, and work at my desk in the afternoon. Joe (also a graphic designer) works from home too, which really helps with my routine – plus it's so lovely to have company throughout the day! I'll stop to cook us something for lunch and we sit at the dining table (or in the garden during summer) to chat about what we are doing that day. We'll usually stop working around 7 to cook dinner and unwind on the sofa.
I'm lucky enough to be able to manage my own time and schedule, so that really helps. There have been times lately – months, actually – when my work got so busy that I have struggled to dedicate any time to The Venetian Pantry. It made me a little sad as I genuinely enjoy so much creating content (which usually involves a good amount of pottering around the house), but I am also conscious that life sometimes takes over and that's ok. Creating content has always been a pleasurable pastime for me, and I never want it to become a chore or feel any kind of pressure to do it!
The Venetian Pantry brought about a lot of exciting opportunities for which I'll always be grateful. I started getting requests for product photography and recipe creation, and last year I took on my first Interior design project (not counting our home) – a ten-room Victorian end-of-terrace in West London. One thing I have discovered through all of this is that I really enjoy this creative mix – I tend to get restless doing just one thing for too long. I don't see it much as a definite career change though (I think I'll always want to do some graphic design), I just like to keep myself open to other creative outlets when and if the right opportunity comes along.
My first port of call is talking things through – with Joe, with my closest friends. Nothing beats a good venting session! I try to take little moments for myself: a hot bath, a pilates session on my mat, or if I'm feeling really low, a massage always does wonders to my mood. I find travelling also very reinvigorating – seeing new places, and experiencing new things always energises me!
Right now I am taking a little break after a long, busy year. Joe and I recently got married and are now enjoying some downtime together. The interior project I mentioned is coming to an end soon, and I am looking forward to see it all coming together. Other than that, I have been secretly working on something very exciting for The Venetian Pantry for the last two years. It's been in the works for a while and has taken me a little longer than originally anticipated (once again, life taking over!) but I can't wait to see it come to life to be able to talk about it. Someday soon!