This fortnight, Brisbane editor Lani Pauli interviews creator and editor of Design Montage, Jenica Smith.

Name: Jenica Smith

Twitter handle: @designmontage

Works at: Design Montage

Where did your idea for Design Montage come from? Design Montage actually started as a project in my Masters course at University. I wanted a way to connect with fellow creatives, initially around Brisbane, as so many of us work independently at all hours of the day.

Where does your passion for the site come from and what keeps it going? I am constantly inspired by the people I meet and connect with through Design Montage. The drive to keep writing and constantly evolve the creative hub comes from the feedback from readers and a wider audience.

I love that someone who’s not a practicing creative, as such, can be inspired by reading about someone else’s creative journey. I kind of get a bit excited by it all and once I get talking, I’m a bit of a chatterbox!

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries? Monique Kneepkens & Jessica Huddart who run Seven with Another. I love that they are encouraging creatives from so many disciplines to collaborate and create something unique.

And, cannot forget! Loni Parker is a fellow graphic designer, turned writer who has created the gorgeous online interiors mag—Adore Home Magazine. She’s now attracting an international audience and has a massive following of readers for something she started at home in Brisbane, from her simple love of design and interiors.

What was your first job? My first job at 16 was burning CD’s and then deep-etching cars for the press adverts in the design studio of the Brisbane ad agency, Mojo. Initially, I’d make coffee, tea and even fetch the muffins—just to hang around the creative team.

What’s the biggest misconception about Brisbane? That you need to live or be in Sydney or Melbourne for the good opportunities. The creative and digital scene in Brisbane is growing and evolving. It’s so often now that I’m talking to fellow creatives about the wave coming to Brisbane. We are only on the cusp of it now. I’m SO excited for our future in the SE corner!

What’s the biggest opportunity and challenge for Design Montage? That Brisbane has so many talented people living in our awesome city! I love discovering a new creative’s work that I haven’t seen before. It’s like Christmas! Hehe!

As for a challenge, running an online hub, studying my Masters part time at Griffith University’s College of Art and working full time as a graphic designer. Time management is my constant battle!

I’d love more flexibility in my schedule to attend and also participate in more design events.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend? Semi Permanent brings a stack of awesome Australian and international creatives to our sunny city on August 30th. One of the biggest events in the designer’s calendar! Early bird tickets are on sale until the 5th July.

What’s next? After 18 months in the current format, Design Montage is beginning to outgrow itself. This is fantastic, but also daunting! The future for DM is definitely bright and an evolving one. The next 12 months for sure are going to be exciting!