How This Designer Is Staying Inspired From Home

Angela R. James

Need a little more color in your life? Then you’ll love the designs of Anna Brettschneider. This multidisciplinary artist has a keen interest in textiles—especially in the form of bold prints and unusual color combinations. “For me, I’ve always been drawn to this kind of design,” she says. “Color is so fun, and people shouldn’t be so afraid to use it.”

And while most of Anna’s days seem like a creative dream—including wandering around her Brooklyn neighborhood with a camera to take photos for inspiration—a lot of her work is rooted in digital tools. “I couldn’t do my job without a lot of the tech I use day-to-day,” she says. Ahead, Anna breaks down how tech and creativity merge in her life and how she manages to stay organized and inspired.


Finding Inspiration

I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with my boyfriend, and we just moved into this new apartment a couple of months ago. I put a lot more effort into it this time around than I did with other living spaces, especially because we’re working from home now. I usually have a lot of fresh flowers around for their color and inspiration.

Believe it or not, I work on the computer most days, which is why tech is such an important part of my creative process—especially now that I’m working remotely! Sometimes I’ll have creative days where I’ll paint or brainstorm different ideas for clients. Even then, I like to organize my ideas in Microsoft Excel so that I have a hub for all my ideas and so that I’ll be able to go back and execute all of them eventually.

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Anna Brettschneider

Constantly Collaborating

I’ve always loved the way you can change a space when you play with color, prints, and patterns. After school, I started working at an NYC-based luxury rug company, which is where I still do a lot of my work today. We mostly collaborate with interior designers on custom pieces, so communication and organization are central to what I do.

Working so closely with our customers means we have to be in tune with every aspect of a project, so I actually use tech a lot more than people would expect in a creative field. To make a physical project, you have to have a digital reference. I’m essentially making a guide for the weavers. So we rely on things like Microsoft Excel to fully plan out a project at every step. We’re able to track the details of a piece, like the materials and the technique, and when it’s being sent to the mill. It’s so cool to create a design that then gets made in around the world. That wouldn’t be possible without technology and the Microsoft 365 apps that keep things organized.

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Anna Brettschneider

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Anna Brettschneider

Staying Motivated

I’ve been working on projects for private clients too, which means I have to be even more organized outside the office. For independent projects, I’m constantly putting together presentations on Microsoft PowerPoint that help me walk new clients through an idea when I can’t be there in person. Having a project that’s completely my own is so motivating.

As a designer, it’s really important to have a place where you can share your work and interact with other creativeness outside your usual circle. I love to use social media to share my creative projects, and I find that LinkedIn is an especially great place to post ideas and connect with new clients. My apartment was recently profiled for an interior decorating publication, so I shared that article on LinkedIn. The platform enables me to showcase my work to a relevant audience and then helps me connect with other people in the industry to work together. It’s used in most creative fields to help communication and organization. There’s this impression that creatives only work with their hands, but it’s really all about balance.

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