Welcome to Behind the Bubble, a feature on the RB Blog in which we pull back the curtain on the inner workings of Redbubble to find out more about the folks who make this massive art marketplace go.
In Behind the Bubble, we’ll be chatting with members of the product, content, marketing, customer service, and other teams to learn the ins-and-outs of this wondrous world and how each team plays an important role in bringing you the best experience, the best art, and the most inspiration possible.
We caught up with Events Manager Ana Kresina who leads all of Redbubble’s exciting events, from our massive Art+Mel, to our presence at conferences like Supergraph, to Meetups, to Redbubble Talks, to our residency program, and beyond.
Can you tell us about your background? How did you come to Redbubble?
Redbubble is a delightful happenstance for me. After a year of adventuring and traveling across four continents, I ended up in Melbourne. A week after relocating here from Vancouver, I went to Creative Mornings where I saw that Redbubble was hiring. Within a week, I was a part of the Redbubble family. I have been producing events since I can remember. In university, I would coordinate extensive photo and film shoots for my art classes. Those skills transferred into coaching my own team and running bouts for the Terminal City Rollergirls. Before leaving Vancouver I produced shows, cabarets, and supported festivals for SFU Woodward’s which emphasized the importance of art within the community.
Between balancing my athletic life and artistic love, I somehow managed to fit into the Redbubble family. It’s great!
So you’re Redbubble’s Events Manager, which sounds like a truckload of work, but possibly quite a bit of fun? Can you tell us about your upcoming plans and pipe dreams for Redbubble?
Let’s just say, no two days are the same. There’s something to be said about being excited to wake up and go to work in the morning! The position is extremely stressful but heaps of fun. It entails everything from ordering products to showcase, to liaising with our artists in creating live work, to conceptualizing an event — all of it is fantastic. Maybe not the loading and unloading of trucks … that might be less fun.
Currently we are working on our Redbubble Talks series, which discusses various topics in the creative, design and tech industry. It’s free and open to the public. We just launched a residency program where three (well, one is a duo, so, four) talented artists are in our office creating art for the next three months. These same artists will be teachinga masterclasses which are open to anyone who who wants to further their creative side, or get feedback on their portfolio. These are great for practicing artists, and those just picking up a pencil for the first time.With events such as ART+MEL and Supergraph under our belts, who knows what the future brings? The world is our oyster! A massive pipe dream of mine is to run events all over the world — from San Francisco to London, Berlin, Hong Kong and beyond. But, right now the focus is in Melbourne.
What’s been the most exciting part of working at Redbubble?
For me it would be the team. I have a fantastic group of colleagues I get to work with. They inspire me, push me, drive me, and are always there to brainstorm some new innovative ideas. You know you’ve got a fantastic work place when you no longer think of our colleagues as coworkers, but as friends.
Oh, and 11am lunchtime wraps. That’s my favourite part of the day.
Can you tell us about your own creative outlets?
My whole life has been a bit of a balance between the arts and athletics. I graduated with a Fine Arts degree, but I no longer consider myself an artist. Mainly, my artistic skill is an atrophied muscle, plus I am far too social to be an artist (I often pick socializing over focused introverted time). However, I am a bit of a sucker for Instagram.
Therefore, I try to find balance in athletics. Playing sports allows me to focus on skills and strategy, which I find very similar to creating art. It’s about perfecting what you know, and finding the muscle memory to perform without thinking. Both take practice and patience, and both are physical things you can do to the point where they almost feel meditative.
My main creative outlet though, is adventuring. Whether it’s a spelunking through Romania’s Apuseni caves, or a scavenger hunt through the city, or a motorcycle road trip through Utah’s Zion National Park, I want to do it all. Coming up with fun adventures and experiences is what I love most.
And a very important question, what’s your favourite thing to cook/make?
I’m a bit of a health food fanatic, so I am always finding ways to bake sugar-free, low-carb goodies. But I think I am known in the office for my specialty in wraps. I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you ever come into the office around 11am, I am usually orchestrating a production line of wraps for myself and my work colleagues. Doing anything with my hands makes me happy, as it allows me to shut my brain off from thinking. Sometimes you need that break after conceptualizing a bunch of ideas for the next event, and the only way to do so, is by enjoying food with friend.