Meet: Sarah Hart, Creative Director

 
 

Sarah is a brand & website expert with over 10 years of design experience, working with hundreds of businesses worldwide. After 5 years as a graphic designer in Halifax, she shifted her focus internationally and quickly became a leading thought leader in design thinking.

Sarah has also helped thousands of businesses create outstanding visuals & stand out from their competition by joining big brands on stage at speaking events, leading workshops all over the world and selling out her design classes.

Now as R&G’s Creative Director, Sarah is excited to work with sustainable businesses to bring their vision to life. We recently sat down to chat about how she got started in design, growing her own business and advice for people wanting to pursue a creative career.

sarahbig.png

☝ Sarah Hart


Hey Sarah! Can you start by briefly describing your role at R&G?

If I have to describe it briefly, I’d say my role is to take care of clients and help direct projects on both the design side and the strategy side.

How did you end up in this kind of career?

I’ve been a graphic designer since I graduated from NSCAD and I’ve always worked as a website designer and graphic designer. In the last 5 years, I’ve been building my own design agency and focusing on teaching as well. Through this, I’ve been invited to speak at different conferences and became a thought leader in design and design thinking.

nscad.jpg

🎓 Nova Scotia College of Art and Design

Teaching sounds really interesting. Where have you been doing that?

I’ve been using my own platform to teach using webinars. It’s allowed me to build a huge community and helped me work with clients all around the world.

So if I’m a student in one of your classes. What advice would you give me for pursuing a creative career?

I think number one is you have to let go of your own ego. There’s a huge balance between your creative vision and what the client wants. I think people need to also let go of their need for perfection. When people make a website, they treat it like it’s a piece of them and won’t launch because they think it will reflect poorly on them. They delay and delay because they want to be seen as perfect. Some people sit on an idea for over a year and they never get to the point where they can even test it. Your website and your brand is a moving, evolving thing, so you have to be OK with a little bit of messiness sometimes as you’re growing and learning.

What would you say are your strengths as a designer?

I think I’m good at getting things done. I still have a perfectionist side, but I’m more of a “just do it” kind of person who’s not afraid to try things. You can’t strategize the perfect answer in your head all of the time. Sometimes you need to put it out there—test and see how your audience reacts to it so you can adapt.

Have you always had the creative gene since you were young? What got you started in design?

Growing up, my family was very artistic. We used to spend the summer at our cottage drawing every day. We didn’t have any internet, no television—we’d just be drawing.

I think I started web design in junior high. Do you remember Neopets? I made a site about Neopets site using platforms like GeoCities and Angelfire. Also embarrassing, I used to make websites for the Buffy and Angel fan videos I made. What’s funny is I learned using programs like CorelDRAW and Photoshop, so when I went to school for design, I found out that I was already doing it.

Switching gears a bit, how do you feel about directing your strategy and design towards a focus in sustainability?

It’s been great. As someone who has had their own business, I definitely feel connected to the clients we work with. It can be hard to describe, but it feels good to know that you’re actually helping people and their businesses succeed while also making the world better.

Do you have any other creative outlets when you’re not working?

Painting. I do a lot of art and I have my place set up with a little paint room and craft area. I also do videos on platforms like Facebook Live where I teach about design and design trends. It’s like a chat show where we talk about different topics like “launching your brand” and different people come on. That’s something I’m really passionate about doing. I’m still excited about learning new things and checking out how the industry is changing.

How is the design industry changing?

The design industry has become more easy-going and is more concerned with making human connections over just having perfect polish. There seems to be a balance now between beautiful design and building a meaningful connection with your audience.

Thank you for your time, Sarah! Any final comments?

I have to mention my dog! I feel like it’s mandatory because everyone at R&G has one. Her name’s Juna and she’s a Pomeranian mix.

Juna.jpg

🐕 Juna

 

Thanks for reading! Do you have a question or want to work with Sarah and the rest of the R&G Team? Reach out and get in touch.

 
Andrew Chaisson