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May 15, 2020

5 Questions with Design Leadership Coaches Maria Giudice and Tutti Taygerly

Ahead of their workshop with INVT, Maria and Tutti answer our questions about their processes and passions.

Maybe one of the benefits of this sheltering-in-place experience is having some open time to step away from our busy lives and reimagine what our next career moves might be. Should I reprioritize my values and goals? Do I need to check in with and get feedback from colleagues or a mentor? How can I energize myself to step up to the next level?

We’ve been asking ourselves these same questions, which is why we’re super excited about the upcoming two-part “Design Your Leadership Voice” workshop with Maria Giudice and Tutti Taygerly.

Now a full-time leadership coach, Maria is a visionary design leader and public speaker who specializes in building global design teams. Maria’s experience includes founding and growing the award-winning design firm Hot Studio, and leading global design teams at Facebook and Autodesk. At In/Visible Talks 2018, she inspired us with her talk on “Remaking the Making Company”. (Watch the video of her talk here.)

Tutti, a Leadership & Executive Coach at Tutti Taygerly Group, helps creatives and technologists embrace their unique leadership styles to achieve professional impact. She has 20+ years of experience as a designer across multiple industries, from big data to consumer video and from enterprise software to entertainment. She’s led design teams at startups, design agencies, and large tech companies, most recently at Facebook supporting Video products.

Together they’ll lead two half-day workshops, remotely via Zoom (May 21 and 22), for emerging leaders and those in need of a tune-up. With Maria and Tutti’s coaching, we will learn to embrace our strengths, communicate our unique skills and values, and equip ourselves to lead in our creative community. We hope you’ll join us for this powerful experience.

By way of introduction, we asked both women questions about their creative lives. Here are their answers.

When did you first realize you needed to be in a creative field?

MG: “For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. I started painting at a very young age, inspired by my uncle, Frank Frazzetta. [See some of his iconic fantasy art at Frazetta Art Museum.] Also at a young age, I was able to make money doing what I loved to do. In public school, I would paint window displays during the holidays, and when I was 15, I painted dog portraits for $25.”

TT: “I am fascinated by machines and logic, so as a freshman in college, I was first a computer science major. Then I discovered psychology, philosophy, and ethics, and I leaned harder into human-computer interaction.” 

What is your relationship to the creative process?

MG: “Oh, we are happily married (and the sex is still good!). Whether it’s designing a physical object or brainstorming in a high-level strategy meeting, I treat all problems like a design problem: solvable through imagination and metrics.”

TT: “Creativity is a human birthright. We apply it to our work, to our leisure, and I help people apply creativity to their own leadership. I also write and publish weekly as well as sketch/watercolor all the time.”

How or where do you find inspiration?

MG: “From people I work with. I’m very inspired by seeing former Hot Studio employees thriving in their design careers.”

TT: “When I slow down and let my brain stop trying so hard. I find inspiration when I surf, hike, read, and take long baths.”

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

MG: “Working inside large corporations. They come with their own rhythms, their own organizational issues, and own brands of politics. Navigating and innovating through all that is an art unto itself.”

TT: “Driving myself too hard, working long hours in an attempt to ‘work harder’ as a path to creativity rather than letting the process unfold.”

Who are your heroes and why?

MG: “John Maeda is my spiritual design soulmate. He is the Yoda for design and a great human being to boot. Richard Saul Wurman taught me what it means to design things to help people make sense of the world. He was the OG [original gangster] of information design, and I learned so much from him. Then, of course, there’s Prince.”

TT: “My two cats, Mochii and Boba. They are unabashedly lazy. They take naps and happily purr their way on laps and bellies. I aspire to such comfort in laziness.”

MG BONUS ROUND: What’s your favorite digital or nondigital tool?

MG: “A quill pen with a clean nib that can glide across a beautiful sheet of BFK Rives paper.”

TT BONUS ROUND: What’s on your desk?

TT: “A candle, tea, water, good pens (uni-ball micro and Muji colors), and a sketchbook.”  

INVT’s “Design Your Leadership Voice” workshop with Maria Giudice and Tutti Taygerly will happen over Zoom on May 21 and 22. Register now!