The Heroine’s Journey of Andreea Kay

What is the best thing that I love about my work? It’s creative and dynamic. I love constantly creating new things and stretching the boundaries of my imagination. I could never do a job or work on something that is not creative in some way.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being able to make a decent living while doing what I love and being able to share it with family and close friends. It’s very important to me to have meaning in life, a lot of love and to know that I work towards something of quality – both on a metaphorical and material level. It’s not about the monetary value, it’s about quality, peace, beauty and enjoyment.
What is my greatest fear? I have a lot of subconscious fears, like the fear that I actually have no purpose on Earth (I’m useless), or that I don’t belong anywhere. But I think that the one that trumps all other fears is loneliness! There’s nothing that terrifies me more than the thought that I might end up one day old and all alone. I’m capable of doing hard things alone, and do them well; or I’m absolutely fine with being by myself and creating, but not for extended periods of time. To me having a strong support system made up of a few selected people is incredibly important; and when I don’t feel like I have that closeness, I suffer terribly and therefore my entire life suffers. If I feel that I have a tight circle and family to count on emotionally, I am so much more confident and secure – like I can withstand anything and move any mountain. When I don’t, I don’t even find a point in brushing my teeth in the morning.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? It’s funny because this trait is also a trait that I love a lot about myself, but it is very double edged: I am highly sensitive. I despise it because it makes the bad stuff overly amplified, but I love it because it also makes the enjoyable stuff that much more powerful and heightened. Another trait I deplore is that I also don’t react well under stress. When I’m under a ton of pressure I don’t even recognize myself anymore and I hate that feeling.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? David Kelley from IDEO for his amazing ability to unleash creativity in just about anybody. I also admire Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Lookbook for her resilience in face of adversity, for her innocence, charm and passion, and for her capability to create enchanting visual stories.
What is my greatest extravagance? Spending $600 once on my hair color and hair cut. It turned out the BEST hair I ever had, but that price tag though…
On what occasion would I lie? I used to lie as a kid because I was terrified of my parents, but as I grew older I learned that lies just lead to even bigger hurts and disappointments and complicate things for no reason. Truth always has a way of coming out in the end, so there’s really no point in doing it.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The fact that is subjective, therefore prone to endless modifications. I hate it when a project drags along forever! I also hate that is an unstable field, so you never know what’s going to be thrown at you next.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When I didn’t have to code haha. Slightly joking, but the happiest I was in my work was when I had flexibility and a great deal of say over the creative direction of a project without too much outside interference. There’s something that makes me work that much harder and better when somebody trusts that I will do a great job and I will come up with a good solution. Not saying I’m fail proof, but I do want my opinion valued because after all I am the professional, and I believe that skills and expertise should win over other things like seniority, age or job status. Even when I’m mistaking, I think there are ways to show me how I can improve without completely invalidating my skills or solutions.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I would be a bit less anxious and less pale. Since I was a little kid I struggled with social anxiety and it sucks! I know the pale thing is very superficial, but I do have difficulty getting and maintaining any color, I’m basically translucid hahah and because of this kids and people made fun of me all my life, so it has become a big complex for me – especially in today’s world where such a HUGE emphasis is being put on our looks.
What is my greatest achievement in work? Doing what I love while working for myself. I don’t think there can be a bigger achievement for me, even if I would get the chance to have a fancy job at some fancy company. Working for myself has grown me so much and in so many ways (not only as a professional, but as a human being as well) that I don’t think anything else could match it. Having the amazing opportunity to serve and collaborate directly with so many brands and individuals from all over the world makes my heart sing! At least that’s my view right now, who knows maybe I’ll think differently in 10 years. I am also quite proud and grateful of having the amazing opportunity to design for and do blogging collaborations with some bigger name brands out there and I hope I will get to collaborate with as many as possible in the future.
Where would I most like to live? Split half and half between Florida, USA and my hometown in Europe. I love Florida because I’ve always been obsessed with the Ocean, sand and tropical climates. But I also love the slightly slower European lifestyle and the charm of older cities filled with stories and romantic buildings. I truly love both worlds so much!
What is my most treasured possession? My laptop, my phone and my camera because without these I wouldn’t be able to do my work. I also have a little stuffed toy which depicts a fantasy character that I’m incredibly attached to and means a lot to me. Other than that I don’t have a lot of treasured possessions due to the fact that throughout my life I had to give up and leave behind my things so many times that I always end up with not much stuff to truly own.
What is my most marked characteristic? My sensitivity and the depth of my feelings. Physically would probably be my eyes, if I had to guess.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? This is a tough one, because there are so many inspirational places I love!! In Sarasota (where I live at the moment) would be the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (because I love being surrounded by plants and wild life), the Ringling Museum and of course the beach. In Iasi (my hometown) would be the National Opera and the Palace of Culture.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? My home hahaha!! I love cooking, inventing recipes and sharing delicious meals with people in my life. But besides that, I do have a few favorite restaurants. One of the hidden gems of Sarasota is Harry’s Continental Kitchens, their food is simply amazing! My second favorite restaurants are Mediterraneo Italian Restaurant and The Capital Grille.
What books influenced my life and how? Wow this is going to be a long list haha. Every book that I read influences my life, even if it’s in the smallest of ways… A major impact on my life was “The Confidence Course” by Walter Anderson which I read 10 years ago and really made something “click” inside myself. I will never forget that book! Another one (together with the movies) was Harry Potter series which offered me incredible support and courage when I needed it the most. “Creative Confidence” by David & Tom Kelley is also a book that I keep going back to every year. And then there is my art book collection of famous painters that provides me with inspiration and shelter when I need it.
Who are my favorite writers? Just like I don’t have favorite painters, I also don’t have favorite writers. I know it might sound weird for someone who loves the arts so much, but it’s because there’s something I love or find interesting in the creations of many many writers.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? A combination of old time Christmas songs, classic jazz, soundtracks, Isaac Hayes, video game music, ATB and The Prodigy.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Harry Potter 🙂
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? First and foremost my parents for raising my brother and I to the best of their ability despite the many limitations, setbacks and lacks they experienced in life. They are seriously AMAZING people! Also Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Lookbook for overcoming her difficult past and creating a beautiful life for herself; Emma Watson for embodying not only elegance, charm and femininity but also being unapologetically strong and smart; Cate Blanchett for her ethereal confidence, intelligence and beauty and I guess Steve Jobs for changing the world. And I only say “I guess” because there are parts of his character that I don’t think are completely admirable, but then again, nobody is perfect!
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? A Beautiful Mind. And a bunch others… I’m a big movies fan!
What role plays art in my life and work? A very important one, as I am and always will be an artist at heart. It’s very easy to lose sight of the importance of art in our lives when it seems like nowadays everything is about money or fame, and less about what makes us truly happy and fulfilled. Art for me is the biggest inspiration and refugee from the world, and the older I get, the more I crave a life in which I live solely through my art and I don’t have to be focused on things that take me away from it.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?  I’m not really sure? I have many amazing people in my life that I treasure and that support me and without whom I couldn’t have made it so far. So I think it would be unfair for all the other ones if I’d pick just one.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018? Burberry, Michael Kors and Vita Liberata! I would really love to be an art director and blog partner for all of these brands, to participate in campaigns, to shoot looks, to make illustrations, to design sets and to create visual assets for every facet of their business. I really love fashion and I think my skills and talents would match and be such a great complement to the endlessly creative fashion and art world.
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2018? Tobias van Schneider (Designer & Creative Director), Kyle Christopher Van Loo (Senior Art Director at Michael Kors), Tom and David Kelley from IDEO, Aimee Song from Song of Style and Wendy Nguyen from Wendy’s Lookbook.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? I have nothing concrete yet, but I would really really REALLY love to work on a complete branding project for the Moscow Ballet.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? As always, my biggest “playground” is online. As a tiny technology nerd at heart, I love being active in the digital space, so consequently my work – together with myself – is mostly found there. So keep an eye out on as well as and my Instagram.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Well to me passion means everything, so I think that as long as live I will strive to bring passion and love into every single aspect of my life – from the smallest to the biggest. Whenever something doesn’t “jive” anymore, I like to move on to the next thing that makes me feel passionate again and constantly learn new things. That’s why I think that passion never truly retires, because even though let’s say you don’t do things for money anymore, but there are still going to be so many amazing things to dedicate your time and brain to.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Can you please try to get Emma Watson? That would be awesome! Also, even though I’m very familiar with her story, I think the world would benefit a lot by reading about Wendy Nguyen’s (from Wendy’s Lookbook) journey.
How can you contact me? I’m the ultimate fan of the email. Even before being such a thing as email, I used to write hand letters (ancient, I know!!) but I just love to write. My life would be destroyed without this wonderful tool. So feel free to reach me anytime at: 🙂

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