Cool Friends: Carly Ayres

May 13, 2022

Meet Carly, a writer at Google using language to engage people in new and interesting ways, who is also one of the most creative and positive people we have come to know via the World Wide Web. Previously, Carly started 100s Under 100, a community of hundreds of creative people under a hundred years of age, and co-founded design studio HAWRAF. We caught up with Carly to hear how she began her career in design, what she loves about New York, and what’s inspiring her right now.

How did you start your career as a designer?

After turning down a summer internship designing toothbrushes, I came to Brooklyn to intern at CreativeMornings, a creative lecture series founded by Tina Roth Eisenberg. I had been studying industrial design, but also taking classes in woodworking, metalsmithing, printmaking, typography… a little bit of everything, and writing for various design publications. From my online vantage point, Tina had figured out how to blend several passions into a career, and I wanted to learn how to do that, too.

At the time, the lecture series was just getting its start so we all wore multiple hats. That summer we ran a Kickstarter campaign for our first website, and I enjoyed working with the design team who built it, thinking through that experience. I was swiftly immersed in the New York creative community, and met chapter organizers around the world. This proved invaluable once I started freelancing, and every opportunity since has been a continuation of those relationships.

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

How it is always changing. Don’t get me wrong—it can be disorienting to feel like you’re always trying to find your bearings and figure out what’s going on—but it’s also wonderful. Like many things in New York (and, I suppose, outside of New York), the only constant is change. People are coming, leaving, they’re moving to LA, studios open and close, technology evolves, venues shift… and space is created for something else to bloom in its place. And there is always a continuation of a few threads, familiar faces, ethos, ideas. It’s energetic, often optimistic, frequently critical, but always moving.

What's inspiring you right now?

I’ve struggled to stay inspired these last few years, but a few things that have helped a bit have been:

P.S. Happy birthday to my wonderful sister (and fellow subscriber) Elly. May it be full of cool stuff in NYC. 💐🥺 

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