Triumph for a Graphic Designer

by Lara van der Wall

‘Anyone can certainly improve themselves if they are determined enough. And I sure was determined – it was sink or swim.’

Most people recognise the universal truth that creatives are bad at maths – or at least disinclined. Having all my superpowers in graphic design, I can confidently say I am a typical specimen of someone who is mathematically challenged.

Maths terrified me at school, and I suffered asthmatic symptoms of breathlessness and anxiety. Nowadays I could probably have requested a trigger warning and a nice beanbag, but in those times teachers snapped at laggards and I was expected to deliver thick slabs of sheets with correct answers and – heaven forbid – showing all working.

Sink or Swim

Naturally, I dropped maths as soon as I could, and commenced a blissful HSC program of art practice and theory, ceramics, history and English. Graphic design school followed immediately, and within a few years I realised the only maths needed I needed was “New size divided by Original, times 100,” and living within my salary.

Time passed, and it seemed like a great idea to set up in business. Despite never having learned any business subjects, and with a partner who is less inclined to mathematics than I am, we began a new journey. They say that “talent is born not made,” but anyone can certainly improve themselves if they are determined enough. And I sure was determined – it was sink or swim. I read a LOT, and asked a lot of questions.

Graphic Design


Sometimes I didn’t know if what I was doing was right, but months and years passed and we didn’t starve, nor go bankrupt. We were actually – through the merest increments – pulling ahead. And pull ahead we eventually did! Now we’re in a spacious studio in Macquarie Park, with four full-time and three part-time staff. And thinking of ways to improve our service even more.

Today I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved, self taught, with a ‘Can-Do’ attitude and a hotline to the best accountant in the world – David Gatt (

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here at Studio Nero.

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