Artist Rin Shares Insights On How To Stay Focused In A Multi-Faceted Career

In the series of our Sunday Instagram Live sessions, the badass brand strategist and fashion consultant Rin took the time to share some career advice on how to climb the fashion ladder coping with business slaps, staying true to your own style, exercising your creative muscle while creating your dream job.

If you missed the live with her then you can catch up here or otherwise catch the upcoming schedule for May right here

Hey Rin. So you often refer to yourself as a think tank. Can you tell us what that is?

Well, when you’re talking about a group of people it can literally mean a digital platform where different individuals, usually from different creative backgrounds, come together to pitch and discuss ideas. At an individual level you can expect someone with significant experience in all sorts of different creative tasks, to the point they become a single point of reference to a client or to a project. 

The worst rep people like that get is being perceived as ‘scatterbrained’ or a ‘jack of all trades’. You actually need to have the ability to zero in on the real task of a project and usually know enough about all aspects of it to provide a viable solution.

How did you jump start your career journey? 

I got accepted by the design university of my choice in the UK and four years later I graduated from St Martins with a Masters in Communication Design. I moved back to Greece for a year to work for one, if not the biggest, art collectors in the world; Dakis Joannou and the Deste Foundation. 

Then one day I got a call from Diesel asking me if I wanted to do a summer internship with them – effectively starting as of the day after the call. So I packed a backpack and took the flight to Venice. I spoke zero italian and was originally gonna stay for 2-4 weeks. I ended up staying for something like 10 years… on and off of course as I was on a continuous work transit between LA, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. 

I got to work with some of the people and companies I still consider as ‘creative landmarks’ like Renzo and Andrea Rosso, Nicola Fomrichetti, my friend Ben Pruess that at the time was the vice president of Adidas Originals, Marcelo Burlon, Vice, Arkitip and so on so forth. 

You’re a talented brand strategist and fashion consultant. How did you develop your skills and style with the vibe you have today and what advice would you give budding creatives who want to learn?

I think it might sound simplistic but the more you care, the more you’ll pay attention, and that way you exercise your creative muscle. If you’re doing something to just tick it off a list, chances are you’re never really gonna get great at it. At the same time, rest assured that your peers and your clients are hyper-attentive to your work too. Fashion is not a very forgiving industry, but it’s not as cutthroat as people love to make it to be. You’ll get your chance, but you better not fuck it up.

When you first started out, how did you stay confident with your work and the direction it was taking you?

The first day that I got to work with Nicola Formichetti, which was like a big thing to me, I walked in the studio and he took one look at me and said “Your clothes don’t match the weather.” I spent two weeks dressing exclusively in black, (it was January), only to walk back in the studio to accidentally overhear him talk about me to someone else saying “..I don’t know what happened to her, she used to come in so wild..now she’s just kinda basic looking.” The obvious (to me at least) take away from that is > If you stand out, eventually somebody is going to notice you. It’s your decision from there onwards to play it as a positive or a negative.

What’s your best advice for people who would like to kick off a career in fashion? 

  1. PUT IN THE HOURS

There’s unfortunately no two ways about this; For every task you can’t be arsed to do there’s always someone else ready to pick it up and deliver. Also, I understand that pulling clothes from a showroom or cleaning up print files is no one’s idea of a dream job, but if you can’t find some sense of gratification by being allowed to even walk on the court you might want to consider a different sport altogether.

  1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. 

Research the creative field that interests you to the point that it’s language and vocabulary becomes second nature to you. How should anybody care about your opinion when you rarely find the right words to express it? 

Don’t just talk to the people that you look up to. Learn to ask them non obvious questions. Find the things that you dislike before the ones you like and just admit that there’s always going to be someone out there that knows more than you do.

  1. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE. 

The likelihood of landing a ‘dream job’ lies in your capacity to see how your unique skills can carve out the perfect job-to-life role for you.

You’re on fire and always have so much going on – what are the hacks to juggle so many different job caps while staying sane?

So, staying sane is really what I like to consider as only ‘‘relatively essential“. You have to accept that the more creative outlets you’re willing to explore the more ways your mind will find to bend. The key ultimately is in learning to perform with two contradicting states of mind; One that is “I don’t have to finish this today” and the second “I better get this out there before anyone else does.” Any thought, person, or process that comes in between those two, usually just gets caught in the crossfire. Sorry.

What advice would you give creative girls who are starting out, have a strong passion but are not sure whether to trust their gut and follow through?

You don’t have to make a commitment to anyone other than yourself. The moment that something gets old or stagnant or is just not “so you” anymore you can walk out. You‘re allowed to change your personal narrative as many times as you want or have to. That’s a strength not a weakness.

What are some key things you’ve learned through your career?

“Not your every project needs to become a product.” The value of your output as a creative should not always be about a final monetized product or brand shout out. Do something that you like for the sake of it and do it as well, as you would for a client and you’ll be surprised how far it will get you in terms of creative progression. 

You’re an octopus when it comes to being creative! How do you go from an idea to the actual project or product? 

First off, I love the octopus term. I’ve been called a lot of things by a lot of people but never that! Eventually I believe that maturing as a’ creative’ means learning to let go of your personal hang-ups and learning to ignore the cynical art director in your head, that is never truly satisfied. The more you learn to let go of that control the more you can progress.  

Has it been possible for you to use your creativity in helping people in a charitable way?

Yes and maybe no. I’ve worked on a lot of projects via bigger clients that draw attention to minorities and various charitable organizations but I’m always a bit skeptical if this is truly the best way to be addressing some of those issues. A lot of these initiatives certainly raise some kind of awareness but again I’m not sure how far that goes in terms of alleviating a problem. I really find a charity for the sake of #charity quite counterproductive if anything. 

What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur and owning your own business?

Hitting the snooze button as many times as you damn like. And being able to get your friends a round down the pub on multiple monthly paydays.

And your least favorite aspect?

I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of patience for people that like to complain a lot. That includes myself. About two years ago I fought myself winging more than I’d like to on the job. I realised that I had to step back, take a break and realign my goals before having another meltdown. Burn outs are a real thing; it comes with the job and it can only be alleviated by your shift on your professional mind frame. Nobody is forcing you to take that extra client just as no client owes you professional satisfaction. 

And last but not least, what’s up with the gold tooth? It looks sick 😉 

Wah! I’m so surprised when people like it. I legit think it never looks ‘totally OK’ . I always point out to my boyfriend that it looks kinda ‘backwards’’ and to be honest with you he seems to agree. I ‘ve got a broken tooth under that front tooth anyway. Old snowboard injury. I just decided a few years ago to kind of put ‘a ring on it’ and make it official but getting myself a 18K gold cap. Who knows ? Maybe next year I can upgrade it to a 24K permanent one. 

 Thanks a bunch to Rin for making time for a chat in between juggling all the creative caps!

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