Viktoria Lange: We Contain Multitudes
by Elizabeth Lavis|
10 Nov 2023
Viktoria Lange, Junior Graphic Designer for Nestig, is a doodle, shape, and color aficionado with roots in New York City and Philadelphia. She credits both metropolises for challenging her to be uber-creative and push the envelope in her work. Lange also derived some inspiration from across the pond, rounding out her ultimate vision and style. “My family is German, so spending a lot of time in Europe has also influenced how I understand visual language,” she says.
Lange’s design and personal philosophy is that we are the jubilant result of our lived history. “All of your experience has led you to this moment, and you contain multitudes, so trust that,” she says. The idea of ever-evolving and trusting oneself leads Lange to dismiss a commonly-heard design advice. “The worst piece of advice I’ve ever heard is that you have to ‘work on yourself’ before you can make progress,” she says. “That implies that we, as humans, reach a point where we are finished products, which we are not.”
Lange’s road to design took her into the teaching and performance art space. “My initial goal was to become a theater professor at a university, but I pivoted into design last year,” she says. “When COVID hit, I decided I needed something still highly creative and collaborative but a bit more pandemic-proof. I have no regrets.”
Despite the recent discovery of her design chops, Lange feels her love for design is intrinsically built-in. “I think it was always there, despite the fact that I wasn’t always a designer,” she says. “Being a theater person, I was constantly thinking of structure, storytelling, and how moments were perceived by an outside eye.”
"Hound Will Travel", Viktoria Lange
Lange’s advice for up-and-coming designers is simple and actionable. “It sounds cliche, but go for it. It will feel very messy and cringey at first, and that’s okay,” she says. Lange considers design a superpower that opens up dazzling new worldviews, and this thought process allows her to realize that her new perspective is valuable and worthy of confidence.
Working in design requires Lange to establish rapport and trust with her clients, which she does through active listening and intense research. “Listen to their language, and reflect it back when talking to them. That way, they’ll know you understand the culture they’re putting forward,” she says.
When harsh criticism comes, as it does for all designers, Lange focuses on her breathing and tries to separate personal and professional critiques. “If it’s professional, I can attach it to wanting to get the job done well, which is ultimately what everyone wants,” she says. “If the line is crossed and it feels personal, I’ve learned it’s better to stay incredibly measured and observant.” Lange’s trick is to turn harsh personal criticism on its head by asking a probing question like ‘Can you articulate what you mean in a different way.’ This approach neutralizes bullying behavior and gets to the heart of the disconnect.
Lange’s other passion comes in a four-legged, furry form. “I love art, good food, time with friends, and dogs. I am a dog lover and obsessed with my dog, Mishka. I have a mug that says ‘just working hard to make sure my dog has a good life,’ which someone gifted me as a joke, but it’s kind of true.”
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