Meet ORCA's newest recruit, design intern Leah

So Leah, welcome to team ORCA. How have your first few weeks been?

They have been loads of fun, I’m definitely learning loads which is great.  

When did you first get into design? What inspired you to get into the industry?

For a while I was really interested in photography. I went on to do an art foundation in Bristol with this in mind, but it was during my art foundation that I started to really focus on design and realised I wanted to study it at university.

What would you say is your strongest design skill?

I think my strongest skill would probably be being able to think creatively and differently about design solutions and options. Whether the vision actually comes into fruition and works visually is a different story but I think I will always try and test out lots of different stuff.  

What type of brief do you enjoy working on most and why?

I will always enjoy designing for print and other tangible outcomes but further than that I like something which has a really strong narrative or values that can be explored and visually interpreted.  

Who or what has had the biggest influence on your way of creative thinking?

In terms of my creative process today, I think Jean-Francois Lepage’s surrealist collage work was something that got me to think differently about what I was creating at the time when I was working with a lot of photography and imagery, thinking about how I could push creative concepts further.  

Do you have any fun side projects you’re currently working on?

I started off Girls Design whilst I was at university in my final year with two of my friends, Girls Design aims to highlight and disrupt the gender inequalities within the design industry. I think it has real potential so we are currently in the process of figuring out how to bring this forward.

What other agencies are on your radar at the moment?

Yea I really rate Specht Studio’s work, they're based in Belgium. I have to mention the Office of Craig from Manchester.

And any other designers, illustrators or creatives you’ve been following recently that you really rate?

Egle Zvirblyte is an illustrator whose work I love, they're just immediate good vibes.  Also DR.ME their design style and aesthetic *chefs kiss*.

You went to Uni in Manchester, got any tips on where to go?

Okay so I have a few, mostly based around food and drinks. Firstly Haus has to have an honourable mention. I lived on the same road as Haus for two years and I must say it did provide the goods, whether that's pizza, brekky or a couple of espresso martinis i'm sure you can find it here. Leading me on to Nest, Haus’ sis down the road in Fallowfield much of the same good vibes, maybe more of an evening spot.  

Next up is YES, YES will forever have my heart, located just off Oxford Road they always have some sort of two-for-one on cocktails or pizza slices and a bloody lovely rooftop terrace.

Friday nights at The Vic, I guarantee you will have a laugh, all that needs to be said is at the end of every Friday night the owner jumps up on the table and serenades the entire crowd with Mysterious Girl, if that sounds like your cup of tea I will see you there.

If you fancy stepping out of Fallowfield and student living for the afternoon, Chorlton has some lush restaurants to stop into and wander around.  

What’s your personal motto?

Girl bosses always win.

Do you have a favourite pair of trainers? What are they?

I know some people at ORCA are gonna assume that my fave trainers are my Air Jordan 1s and they're half right cause my green pair are defo up there. But it would also have to be my personalised 90s. They're red pink and cream and have my name and birthday on.

Written by

Max Harding