Introducing our January Designer of the Month: Erika of Lara’s Digi World. Erika has been a part of our Studio team from the day I took over as owner back in 2008. This site would not be the same without her. She stayed and support me during that difficult transition, and she stayed all these years even while growing & adding to her own family.
Erika has continued learning & growing as a Designer too. Her eye for color is out of this world! Her palettes are always some of my favorites, especially her soft, light, bright ones. She makes those shine like no one else. As our industry has evolved, Erika’s style has evolved. She has a keen eye for new trends, and the talent to implement it in her work. I am constantly in awe of her new work.
I took a long moment to talk with Erika over email. After all these years, there are still new things I learned. Read along, and get to know one of our best Designers a little bit better.
Where do you live and who do you live with?
I live in Kosice, Slovakia, which is located in the middle of Europe. I live with my “husband” (we are not married yet) and our 2 kids in a maisonette located in the southern part of the town.
How do you balance designing & family?
I don’t think I have the right balance between these two things. Sometimes, especially before the deadlines, I don’t look to the right or left and the family goes a little sideways. And then there are the days when I get on my family’s nerves. This is when I am mentally exhausted, I have no motivation to design and I want to play games with children.
What do you like to do on your days off?
A few months ago I returned to reading. Currently, I’m just looking for my favorite genre, so you’ll find a mix of books on my shelf. I often go to the library or second-hand bookshop. In addition, I am a big fan of medical series. The Good Doctor and Dr. House are my favorite and these days I’m watching Chicago Med. I also like to watch the comedy series Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
What is your favorite thing to design?
I can’t exactly say what my favourite thing to design is. I like to design everything. I usually start with the artsy papers and then I see where they lead me. I love extracting foliage and flowers! It’s very relaxing for me. But I can say what’s my least favorite thing to design. It’s word art!
What does a typical day look like for you?
During the lockdown (from October 2020) I can afford to get up at seven because the children don’t go to school. I practice yoga, back and neck exercises and also some abs. If necessary, I quickly run to the grocery store. In the mornings I help Lara with her homeworks and I also try to do some housework in between so that I have some time for designing after our lunch. In the afternoon I check Jakub’s tasks. When everyone falls asleep I design or practise watercolor painting. Before sleep I read books.
What do you love about the Studio? Why the Studio?
I’m very honored to be the Designer of the month for January. Why the Studio? Simply because I love everything about the Studio. Truly. The owner Toiny, designers, customers, together we make a big family. And family first philosophy assures me I am at the right place. Even when designing monthly collabs I can create freely what I love, pick up any colors from the palette I like and mainly be yourself. I prefer this kind of job freedom instead of stepping out from my comfort zone.
I know you grew up in Slovakia. Do you still live near where you were born?
Yes, I still live in the same town I was born. I live about an hour by walk from my parents, by car it’s about 15 minutes.
How did you meet your husband?
I met my “husband” in August 2001 at the Jazz Club in my hometown. I accompanied my friend who wanted to go there because of a boy she liked and didn’t want to go to the club alone. And that boy came with my future “husband” who started to talk to me as soon as he saw me.
After his request, I gave him my phone number, just for fun (I didn’t believe he really would call me). But he called me that night. In February 2002 he went to Sydney in Australia and wanted to stay for about a year there. But he returned for Christmas, moved in and since then we’re together. We moved two times, but always within Kosice. We don’t think about getting married.
Tell us a little bit about your kids?
We have 2 kids, Jakub will be 11 in June and Lara turned 9 a few days ago. Jakub is a passionate collector of coins and banknotes. He is fascinated by the universe and at the same time by anthropological excavations. Each weekend he disassembles any broken electrical appliances, of course under control by his grandfather. He loves playing Minecraft, mountain biking and both skiing and alpine skiing. He swims very well, but he doesn’t like swimming training. He loves watching cartoons and also likes to philosophize about everything. Lara is a big fan of fashion. Sometimes she changes her clothes three times a day, depending on her game role which can be a dancer, singer, teacher or an artist. She loves dancing, reading and watching cartoons. She swims well too. Her biggest dream is to own a gallery and sell her artwork there.
Why did you begin designing?
Truly, I have no idea why. Somehow I fell into it after discovering digital scrapbooking. I used to have a friend at primary school and she was drawing all the time all over her notebooks. I remember I liked it a lot. Since I was a sportswoman and trained twice a day, I didn’t even think of drawing until my son was born.
What is your biggest interest outside of scrapbook design?
My biggest interest is watercolor painting and mixed media art.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
The weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten? I have a very weak tummy and little courage to try new unusual foods. Were they shrimps or oysters? Not sure, but I know both didn’t taste me.
She also has a wonderful freebie in her store, this is a great way to test drive her insane talents.