Growing Up On The Internet : An Interview With Creative Director Dani Roche

Growing Up On The Internet : An Interview With Creative Director Dani Roche

Filed under: 
On Our Radar

I had the pleasure of interviewing a role model of mine - Dani Roche, owner of Kastor & Pollux, the full-service digital and experiences agency.

At just 16 years old, Dani ran an online vintage clothing store that she promoted through her very popular online profiles, like Lookbook. Ever since then, she's been working in the creative field, landing projects with huge companies like Topshop and Samsung. Now, alongside her Kastor & Pollux team, she's creating incredible social and digital campaigns.

source

How did working at MTV shape your career path? What's the most important thing you learned there?

I started working at MTV right after finishing a super serious graphic design degree alongside some super serious graphic designers. In my final year, I spent a lot of time questioning my place in the design industry and what my future could look like outside of a traditional agency. The "institution" breeds a very streamlined post-grad path that is deeply linked to the program on your degree.

I've always been keen on making things and exploring new mediums - from drawing to painting to sewing - and I was certain that the aforementioned "post-grad path" wouldnt reflect the expectations for a graphic design grad. However, I assumed my time would be spent holed up in a studio producing as much work as possible.

Thus, I headed into MTV - my first "adult" job - petrified. As the Editor of MTV's style vertical, FORA, the scope of my work ranged from managing contributors to writing and photo/video shoot production. While the job inherently called for good taste and an eye for design, my time spent was centred around administrative stuff that required me to optimize a completely different side of my creativity... something that is invaluable when it comes to running my own business.

DUET-DB-7

source

How many peeps make up the Kastor & Pollux team? Do you work collaboratively?

Kastor & Pollux's Toronto studio houses myself and two full-time staff, but we work with a variety of collaborators and contractors within the city and beyond. Throughout every project, I try to ensure that the team dynamic remains super fluid and collaborative. While each of our "jobs" come with individualized responsibilities, we all help each other out.

As a team leader, I think it's important to promote transparency in project workflow - from strategy to execution - in order to get the most authentic output.

 
 Does social media use for work have any negatives? Do you ever feel the need to detox?
 
I feel it's all relative. I’ve spent so much of my life online - I grew up on forums lol - so to me, apps are just a direct extension of that. That said, I never feel like I'm missing out on something if I don't check Instagram for a day, but I definitely recognize the importance of these apps to my company and the scope of my work.
 

I think it's about perspective. While Kastor & Pollux isn't dependant on one particular channel, my usage of all these platforms combined can definitely get overwhelming. The digital landscape as a whole is just so all encompassing.

 
With all these projects, do you have any tips on time management? And self-management? 
 
I'm a really big fan Google Calendar. I'm a really organized and analytical person, but I'm terrible with task management systems. Google Calendar helps me outline and definite my tasks on a day-to-day basis - I essentially treat it like a neverending to-do list, which is scary but also kind of exciting, albeit a really accurate analogy for my life. I like Google Calendar because I can book in meetings and block out my day in colour-coded blocks, and if I skip something, I just drag it to a new day and pretend it never happened lol.
 
 

source

From Snoop Dogg to soda pop your references are fun and relatable. When you're working with big companies, how do you pitch your vision? How can you make someone "get it" so to speak?

I've had the privilege to collaborate with brands who are open and receptive to my often off-kilter ideas. I always make sure to ask a ton of questions before I actually put together a strategy.

I find that once I'm confident enough about a brief, I know how to approach the project in a creative way that will still suit a need. Once this happens, I can speak passionately about my idea - when you really believe in what you're saying or selling, chances are, the person you're talking to will believe in it too.

DANIBIANCA

What's Ephemera Magazine? I heard something about pizza, I want to know more!

Ephemera Magazine is Kastor & Pollux's first (and not last) foray into publishing. I've always loved print media, so the opportunity to be able to promote and support print projects is really exciting for me. I feel like our generation spends so much time on the Internet we forget how nice it is to actually have something tangible to hold and flip through. Issue 1 of the magazine was designed, curated and edited by one of my oldest friends Maegan Fidelino.

On the pizza front.. pizza is a good food type, and was also the catering during the issue launch event back in October!

The visuals I see from Street Dreams Mag are incredible. You were working with them at some point, what was your involvement?

I met their team when I was working as the Channel Editor of The Creator Class. In 2015, I had the pleasure of co-producing a few of the inaugural SDM episodes on The Creator Class channel; and through long days of planning and Skype chats, we ended up getting pretty close.

It's been over a year since I met them, and it's been amazing to see how much progress and groundwork they've made during that time. It makes me so proud to see the work they produce, and the dedicated community that they've fostered in the process.

Follow Dani on Instagram

Title image source

Share this article

Comments

Content Stream

Montreal entrepreneurs Zach Macklovitch and Nate Gannage , the creators of event promotion and artist management company SaintWoods and owners of venues Apartment 200, Suwu and École Privée, represent a whole new way of tastemaking, and with that comes collaborative efforts with international heavy...
Andi is a Toronto based artist who is very involved in her music making process, producing original tunes that make you feel okay. She released her debut EP Sketches last year and is currently working on her first full length inspired by issues she sees in herself and in the world. Subjects include...
We've had Sara Diamond on our radar for quite some time now. If you are still unfamiliar, get to know her a bit better through our last Q&A with her. Alongside fellow Montrealers Noah Barer and Austin Tecks , she's been cooking up pure pop music that remains with you for weeks on end. The music...
Here we are, Osheaga weekend is over. You've already gotten back to reality, or decided to take that extra day off to fully recover. Unlike other media outlets, I like to experience festivals hands-on. I was able to catch over 24 acts throughout the weekend, which is less than what I had achieved...
Art Direction and Styling: Tobi Ogude Models: Denzel Arthur , Jem Baptiste , Naja Pereira MUA: Marisa Tipkanok Photographers: Glenn Pritchard , Angela Zhang , Abdullah Nazim Follow us on Instagram for your fashion fix.
Handpicked and championed by Spotify as one of their favorite new artists and 'ones to watch' of 2017. 24 year old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist JP Saxe draws creative influence from his grandfather, Janos Starker , a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor turned GRAMMY award-winning...
EVERY SUNDAY. We feature the best underground tracks & remixes, and most of them are up for free download. We prioritize Canadian producers and acts but it is not exclusive. Every Sunday, we'll round-up all of our favourite remixes and tracks we've received through submissions and lay them out...
Following the release of his latest album Roadhouse 01 , via 512 Productions, Communion Records and Caroline, genre defying singer-songwriter Allan Rayman unveils his much-anticipated music video “Repeat” featuring Jessie Reyez which just debuted on Billboard. Rayman has also announced his largest...
After suffering a skateboarding injury that forced her to go on a brief hiatus, photographer Emma Parry shot this photo series inspired by damaged beauty. Follow us on Instagram for your fashion fix.
Two characters – a young boy and a middle-aged man – are unknowingly connected in their pursuit of self-fulfillment. This is the story that unfolds in the brand new music video from Vernon, BC’s //AMISTAD// for their infectious new single, Conquer . The captivating drawings and animation for the...
Take a step back, sit down and listen to this. Joey Sherret of The Posterz has been making music, but never like this, at least, for us. While the current state of hip hop concerns itself with the dark sides of excess, Joey Sherret is on the opposite end of the spectrum. His approach to making...
This year is like no other when it comes to Osheaga , well for the most part. One main thing that has changed is the location where the festivities happening on Parc Jean Drapeau. Due to the renovation of the tiny island south of Montreal, Osheaga will now be located in and around the Circuit...