Do what you love profile: Liane Rossler, co-founder of Dinosaur Designs

2Liane Rossler has made a career of conjuring creativity across many mediums. She co-founded Dinosaur Designs while she was at art school and, after dedicating 25 years to the business as designer and director, moved on to pursue solo practice that stretches across art, design and the environment.

Liane was acknowledged as one of Australia’s 100 most inspiring women by Madison Magazine in 2013 and received the InStyle Woman of the Year Award for Design in 2012. Her recent work includes Here and Now, Happy Talk and Supercyclers.

Here’s what she said about finding her path to a job she loved:

When did you first start designing things?
I have been making things for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of collecting materials to make things as a child, and all the endless possibilities of what I could make. I continued to love creating things throughout school, at art school and ever since.

What drew you to design? When did you realise you could make a career out of it?
I love invention, resourcefulness, transformation and possibility, and working in the creativity industries provides so many avenues to work this way. I started selling things I made when I was at school, and then went on to continue to after school. Then co-founding Dinosaur Designs to be creatively and financially independent while at art school. It is always a thrill when someone likes, appreciates and buys your work, so when we started wholesaling to stores and opened our own stores, it felt very very much like this was the path.

What was your first hint of success?unnamed-1
It felt like a hint of success when we received our first magazine coverage after we launched at the Fashion Design Council Parade in Melbourne in 1988. It was a great launching pad for a new generation of designers.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a designer?
It is a challenge and a reward to present your personal expression, but satisfying when your work is appreciated by others. Feeling constantly challenged to expand and explore creative industries as the world changes is inspiring and stimulating.

What’s the key ingredient behind your success?
I’m inspired by the possibility of making something from nothing. Personally, my father came out as an orphan after the Second World War and studied architecture and established a successful business. My mother’s family also created new and successful lives in Australia. Their resilience and the optimism of their experience showed me how to turn a dream into a reality. I found this inspiring.

What’s the best and worst part of your job?unnamed-2
I feel it is an achievement to be self sufficient through creativity and doing something I love. I have enjoyed building something from nothing, and enjoy the opportunity to keep building and learning. I love the freedom and creative possibilities of my job. More recently, I particularly love working on a variety of projects with engaging and vibrant inspiring people across many areas of the creative industries. The least enjoyable parts of the job can often become lessons, so they are all worthwhile.
I enjoy the variety of tasks involved.

What’s your advice to others looking to build a career out of a hobby?

I think that everyone is creative and I love seeing people follow their passions. Have a unique voice, and find a gap you can fill. It’s important to get out and do it, and slowly but surely you can build your hobby into a career.

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