Antonia Anastasiadi aka tonitonita is a Berlin-based freelance designer, art director and entrepreneur to boot. As a freelancer, she creates visual identities for young brands and marketing material for companies like Pinterest, Polaroid Originals and LUKSO. In 2018 she founded Sister, a handmade jewellery and ceramics brand from Cyprus that aims to support the island’s craftsmanship. She’s also the co-founder of talmo, a colourful tech accessories brand stocked in over 50 design shops worldwide.
Antonia joined jovoto in 2016, keen to create, learn and share ideas with like-minded creatives from different design disciplines. Since then, she’s become a regular in our Invite Projects, where small curated groups of designers work on creative briefs and receive a fixed payment for a predefined output. At jovoto, we love sharing the stories of our creatives, so we got in touch with Antonia to give you some insights into her journey from Cyprus to Germany – via the UK, her creative rituals and more!
You are from Cyprus, studied in the UK and are now based in Berlin, can you talk a little bit about your journey, how you ended up here in Berlin and the different places along the way?
I loved growing up in Cyprus, but after a certain age, it can get a little small. I studied in the UK: I did my BA in Brighton and my MA in London, which was the perfect transition from island to big-city life! Then, I guess you could say Berlin “happened” to me as I was relocated here with my first job.
For now, I’m settled and happy in Berlin but never for too long at a time without a small break in between. One of the reasons I started to freelance was to be able to be more flexible with travel and working remotely. I’m also able to spend the cold winter months in warmer climates every year, something I’ve been doing for two years now. As long as I have a good internet connection, location doesn’t really matter.
You work as a freelance designer and have (co-)founded two brands in the last 3 years, can you tell us a bit about what a typical day looks like for you? How do you juggle/balance your different projects?
I once read somewhere that the beginning of the day is when you are most creative, but for me, it really varies. Planning my day often has a lot to do with my mood. That’s another advantage of being a freelancer, you can have control over your own schedule. A typical day either starts or ends with packing orders and preparing them to be shipped. If I’m working on a freelance project, then client work comes first. Then I can focus on Sister and talmo.
Large client projects sometimes don’t allow time to focus on the two businesses, so I either make sure to compensate for that by clearing my schedule the following week. I also sometimes outsource work that I know someone else can do faster and better than I can. I’ve learned that you simply can’t do it all, and you also can’t be good at everything. I love that through my freelance work I can also finance small projects that my business needs, for example, photography, coding, PR etc. and this way, I also contribute to the freelance ecosystem.
So, you keep yourself busy! How does jovoto fit into the picture?
I came across jovoto in 2016 when I heard about the Victorinox Crowdstorm. Since then, I’ve been working on many “Invite Projects”, where a limited number of creatives are chosen to work on a set number of ideas. For me, the projects are mainly brand and packaging design, often in my favourite category; beauty. So it’s hard to ever say no! This year, jovoto may actually be my biggest client, as projects have been coming in consistently. What is great is that I’m able to work on projects for big brands I would normally not have access to. And it’s always nice to hear great feedback from those types of clients! 🙂
What it’s your favourite creative ritual? Is there one thing you do for every project?
I always use pen and paper to write things down or sketch out some initial ideas. Even if I end up redoing everything digitally, the analog process somehow helps me understand and fully embrace a brief by writing out the keywords I’ve picked out. Then: music, coffee, moodboard.
What advice would you give your younger self, or other people starting out in the creative industries?
Don’t be afraid to ask. Find mentors who can guide you and inspire you. And don’t be afraid to find your way within the industry, even if it’s not what you expected. I’m an interior designer who is now a brand designer.
What are you kind of obsessed with these days?
Lately, you’ll find me listening to My Favourite Murder (a true-crime comedy podcast) – whether while working, running errands, cooking and sometimes even to fall asleep to. MFM is a crime comedy podcast hosted by two women comedians. They recount true crime stories, mostly from the US, which equally terrify, intrigue you and inappropriately make you laugh. Warning, do NOT creep up on me these days.
Whether or not you are busy juggling different projects like Antonia, if you are a designer looking for new clients and exciting projects to sink your teeth into, then join jovoto now! We connect our global creative community with big-name brands and NGOs to ideate, iterate and innovate together! We take care of client relationships and logistics. You can focus on your creative work, whenever and wherever you want. Sound good? – find out more or sign up now!
Check out more of Antonia’s work on her website: www.tonitonita.com