Katarina Matic

Art Director, designer, advertising creative

Katarina is a Designer turned Art Director with a Political Science degree. Over the last six years she has worked on nationwide campaigns for some of Australia’s most well known brands like Honda, Mercedes-Benz, 7-Eleven, Bonds, Pringles and Jay Jays. Katarina’s work has resonated with audiences on a national and global scale, and has been recognised at major advertising awards shows in Australia and around the world. She currently works at the Melbourne independent agency Bullfrog.

Why is Locker Room Talk important to you?

What I love about Locker Room Talk is the safe space it aims to create for voices and stories to be heard that might not otherwise be heard. Not everyone has the confidence to say what they want and how they truly feel all the time. Making a space where women feel comfortable to voice themselves is empowering.

Is there a topic or issue that you wished we all talked about more openly?

I wish we all talked about emotions more openly. I think generally, especially in the West, we treat thinking and our intellect as the be all and end all. But there is so much to learn from tapping into your emotions and really listening to the feelings in your body and gut. The messages your body sends to you is a form of intelligence, it gives insight into who you are, what’s ok and not ok for you, when it’s time to let go, when you’ve done something well, or when to be wary or cautious. If we were taught emotional intelligence at an early age how would the consent conversation change? Mental health conversations change? How would relationships, personal and professional, change?

What does success look like to you?

Success, to me, keeps changing as I keep changing. At the beginning of my career in advertising, I defined success by how well I was performing and progressing in my job. Working in a large global agency, success was creating award winning work that was recognised not just here in Australia but around the world. I achieved this level of success, but at a price. I burnt out and was physically and emotionally exhausted. When I realised I wasn’t sleeping right, eating right, taking care of close relationships, or being present around the people I loved, I asked myself - how is this success? Success to me now is not solely about my career, but more about my life holistically. Success is taking care of my health and wellbeing so that I have the energy to give, not only to my work, but to other important aspects of my life. Balancing life is difficult, I feel a great sense of achievement in what I’m working towards right now.

Can you talk us through one of the challenges you’ve faced during your career?

Tying my self worth to my work is a challenge I have faced during my career. Being creative is so subjective. There’s no definitive right or wrong answer to a creative brief. There’s just me, the creative, putting forward what I personally think sounds interesting and looks amazing. It’s a culmination of my personal taste, how I see the world, and how I anticipate others will interpret the work. When you tie your self worth to your work a criticism or challenge to the work feels incredibly personal. It’s not just the work that’s not good enough, you’re not good enough. I think I’ll always feel a personal connection to my work. Some of my favourite work I’ve done has been so personal to me and my experience. The challenge is to not use work as a form of self validation. Validation should come from your own self and not somewhere external like your work, or even other people’s opinion of you and your work. Self worth comes from within.

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Creative panel

Wednesday 29 September