50 Questions: Design By Aikonik flatlay master Carissa Smart

The talent behind Instagram account Design By Aikonik, Carissa Smart is one of Australia’s best when it comes to mastering the flatlay. From perfectly aligned products to deconstructed variants, her feed features post after post of images that are clever, stylish, and eye-catching all-in-one.

Regularly featured in our #FridayFlatlay segment, we thought it was high time we chatted to Carissa to find out a bit more about the creator behind the flatlays. Here she reveals everything from how long it typically takes her to set up a flatlay to current YouTube addictions…

Missed the last articles in the 50 Questions series? Click the links to read interviews with Mel TanLife With Three’s Rachel Barwick, and Helen Chik.

1. Best beauty product of all time? I can’t go without my skincare routine, but if I had to choose just one – it’d probably be the Urban Decay Perversion mascara. I feel naked without it!
2. Five beauty products you can’t live without? A good foundation like Armani Luminous Silk, Nars Laguna Bronzer, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil and eye cream (the smell is amazing and it’s never too early to start using an eye cream, girls!), Becca highlighter, and a good black volume, lengthening, does everything-mascara!
3. Hair “done” or messy? Done, but to appear “messy”!
4. Makeup or no makeup? Always makeup, whether it be “no makeup-makeup” or full glam
5. Favourite fragrance? Tom Ford Black Orchid or Balenciaga B, I always go for scents that are a little different
6. Favourite item of clothing? Scanlan Theodore leather jacket, one of those purchases that are a lifetime investment. Or a good pair of blue jeans
7. Favourite fashion brand? I don’t have a particular brand, I buy what I like
8. Sneakers or heels? Sneaker obsessed
9. Gym or exercising outdoors? Gym
10. Yoga or running? Neither – F45 for life!

11. Healthy eating or treating yourself? Bit of both, all in moderation
12. Can you cook? Yes. I prefer baking of course, but can definitely cook up a storm when I’m in the mood
13. Favourite food? Love anything Japanese, big fan of “brunch” and can never say no to ice cream
14. Favourite drink? Pretty boring with this one, but water – I have a bottle with me at all times
15. Best place to eat out? Nobu or Sake for Japanese, Hellenic Republic for Greek, Doc Pizza and Mozzarella Bar for Italian. The list could go on!
16. Happiest moment? Any time I’m overseas and spending time with my family
17. Saddest moment? I’m lucky enough there haven’t been too many sad moments in my life so far
18. Instagram or Snapchat? Instagram
19. Blog or YouTube? Blog, but I am totally addicted to watching YouTube
20. iPhone or camera? iPhone when it’s convenient to take a quick snap (usually of food) but there is nothing better than a crisp photo with a digital camera

21. Type of camera? Canon 5D Mk II
22. VSCO cam or Snapseed? Snapseed, but I personally don’t use it often
23. Facetune or untouched? I do most of my retouching in either Photoshop or Lightroom
24. Favourite filter? No filter
25. Shooting on-the-go or location scouting? Most of my flatlays are done at home, any outfit posts I either plan a location or it’s purely just shooting on-the-go. I find when I’m travelling I just want to take photos anywhere and everywhere
26. 9-5 job or full-time influencer? Both. I have a full-time graphic design job but also do content creation and my own Instagram blog at the same time. It’s all about multitasking so I can get the best of both worlds whilst still meeting all my commitments
27. How did you get into blogging? Although the blogging aspect isn’t high on my agenda as of late, it was a natural progression from my Instagram in order to show more of my content with some ‘tips and tricks’ of both fashion, beauty and flatlays
28. How much time goes into a normal flatlay found on your Instagram account? It all depends on the detail of the flatlay. To set up, shoot and edit could range between 30 mins – 1.5 hours. A ‘deconstructed’ flatlay is also much easier than a ‘structured’ flatlay as I have to arrange (and rearrange) the product and perfect the shot .Then there is also the dreaded clean up!
29. Who takes your pics? All me
30. Most exciting moment since being an influencer? Being approached by brands that I have always loved to create content or collaborate. Also meeting lots of creative people with similar interests – after all, we all understand the world of Instagram

31. Most terrifying moment since being an influencer? Obviously that first event I ever attended and not knowing anyone. But in time, going alone to events becomes second nature and meeting new people is always a plus
32. Best campaign you’ve ever worked on? Every campaign is different but my first job was with Clinique is a highlight, a brand I had grown up with and still use to this day
33. The best gift you’ve ever received as an influencer? Too many to choose, but any cosmetics/beauty product is always exciting. I always love when receiving a product the packaging it comes in (design nerd), the unboxing is sometimes just as good as the product inside
34. Last thing you googled? Real Estate – trying to find an apartment for an investment (very adult of me!)
35. Favourite film? Sucker for a good chick flick (‘Love Actually’, ‘The Holiday’, ‘Maid in Manhattan’, ‘Save the Last Dance’) but also love ‘The Book Thief’
36. Favourite book? ‘Diary of Anne Frank’
37. Favourite song? Too many to choose, but those who know me know I am a huge Michael Jackson fan (I know every lyric to every song). ‘Man in the Mirror’, ‘Earth Song’ and ‘Human Nature’ are a few faves
38. Favourite band? My range in music varies so much, I will listen to just about anything. But 80’s/90’s bands I love: The Cranberries, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, INXS… I could go on forever!
39. Living in the city or living by the beach? City girl at heart
40. Summer or winter? Winter, I love layering too much!

41. Favourite travel destination? Even tie between New York and London
42. Going out clubbing or quiet dinner with friends? Quiet dinner with friends
43. Partner or single? Single
44. Siblings? Older sister
45. What city are you currently living in? Melbourne
46. Celebrity girl crush? Kendall Jenner
47. Celebrity boy crush? Robert Pattinson
48. Pets? None
49. Top five Instagram accounts to follow? I love @harperandharley for her minimalist wardrobe style, @negin_mirsalehi both on Instagram and her amazing weekly youtube videos, @andicsinger for her effortless street style and photography, @miss_gunner a beautiful girl and friend with incredible wardrobe goals, and long time #girlfan of @margaret__zhang to keep up with her amazing works
50. Favourite quote you live by? “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”. I have a print on my desk I look at daily – “Dream big” – which motivates me daily to work even harder

All images: @designbyaikonik

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