Wednesday, 12 October 2011

An Island Identity

My name is Tanya Marie Williams and I have always been obsessed with design, advertising, books, products, style and beautiful things.

I'm a graphic designer on an island, working for a brand engineering firm, creating and developing brands. I work with and know some amazingly gifted and intellectual artists, designers, architects, strategists, photographers, writers and fantastic inspiring people!

Some of these great people were born and raised on the island. Others were born here but grew up and went to school abroad then came back home with degrees and different experiences. Some people aren't at all from the island but the melting pot of amazingness adds to my 'wordly-island view'

I'd love for you to share your views and comments with me while I continue to craft  
my idea of an 'island aesthetic.'


  1. Fantastic looking forward to this exploration.

    I love that quote I think its very accurate and applies to the way agencies sometimes perceive their audience in our little islands. Its good to know someone is trying to look at it from a positive light.

  2. Individuals like you and Holly keep me at it Nadia!

  3. I was asked:

    Does the term 'Caribbean' or 'Island Aesthetic' mean anything to you and if so what?

    As a danish creative director having worked in Trinidad for a year I found that .. Its a small world containing a lot of worlds.
    I had almost no knowledge about the caribbean. But somehow I felt that since I'm from a small place myself - an island in fact :) - it was not to different, from a human perspective. From a design perspective it was very different. Mostly because the confusion about what a local expression should look like. And what good design is.

    Essentially there is two things I feel drive the creative process towards finding that answer in the region - its curiosity and diversity.
    You cant create good design without being curious. Almost nosy in fact. You have to know everything about anything- everywhere. That makes a good designer. Cause inspirations comes from all places. There is a sense, I feel, that there is .. a shame in looking towards other countries in the quest of finding a visual caribbean identity. I don't agree. We all have to look in and outwards to find great answers to great questions. And we all leave our mark. So everything coming out of the caribbean is already caribbean, being it good or bad.
    And it leads me to the energy which springs out of the diversity that exist here. There is such a strong presence in a island cause it is by nature isolated. So here we are - close together with a distant dream of other places beyond the horizon. We all coming from somewhere else, even it generations ago. Its a strong history to share. I think being a young nation matters a lot. But it matters in a good way. There is no set way of doing things. There is a lot of pioneering. New ways to be discovered. And a will to do it.

    As a european having worked in three countries I dont know anymore if I'm a 'danish designer'. Where does inspiration come from? I know what my cultures aesthetic past is - for better and for worse, but does that make me that? For me its not so important anymore, because I feel as a part of the globalisation having worked in 3 countries with people from all over the world.
    But when I'm in Denmark I can see it is important because its the visual clothes we wear. How we make things look tells a story about who we are. To each other and the rest of the world.

    I cant wait to see more art, fashion, design, branding etc coming out of the cracks and corners of the caribbean.
    And I feel happy and privileged being a small part of that world.


    Katinka Bukh

  4. Thank You so much for sharing your views Katinka!

    I won't write my further comments here just yet because I'm going to have a series of post where people answer this question and I'd love to re-post your view.

    This is an interesting topic for me.

    Thanks Again!

  5. Please do :) And you are most welcome.