Cool Friends:  Annika Hansteen-Izora

Meet Annika, an NYC based art director, designer, artist & poet, who in their own words, “explores the intersections of culture, design, art & technology”.

How did your career as a designer begin?

In stacks of American Girl magazines as a kid. I’ve loved storytelling, art, and tech for as long as I can remember, and was always getting my hands into any medium I could find it in, whether drawing zines for friends, making jewelry, or playing video games. I never set out to be a designer, but as I look back, it’s always been a part of me. I ended up taking the career route as a UX researcher and strategist, and worked on digital experiences for big companies like Intel, HP, and Samsung. But on the side, I was always designing posters and websites for local artists across the country. I eventually took a good look at my path and realized, “What am I doing here?” I made the full switch into creative, and haven’t looked back since. 

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

How wide and expansive the Black and POC queer creative community is. It’s incredible to see how collaborative folks are, how people are always building and co-creating with one another, and investing in each other’s creativity.

What's inspiring you right now?

During COVID, I’ve watched how so many Black and POC creative collectives have pivoted in such beautiful and extraordinary ways. There’s endless examples, from Papi Juice’s virtual parties benefiting queer funds, to Black Trans Femmes in the Arts creating an artist and resource directory for Black trans femme artists, to Press Press creating toolkits for collaborative and cultural work. It inspires me to think about how my role as an artist and designer can always be used in service of the community, as a point from which we can decolonize our understandings of self and each other, and space from which we can dream up new collective futures.

Follow along:
@annika.izora on Instagram

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Made in Brooklyn, NY