9 Questions with Carla Mavaddat, Sid Lee

9 Questions with Carla Mavaddat, Analyst

Creativity is at the heart and soul of everything we do at kyu, and we are extremely fortunate to have the most creative minds as part of our collective.

To get to know the creatives in our community better – what makes them tick, where they draw their inspiration from, what they bring to their work – “9 Questions” is a regular series profiling their art and work.

Who is your design inspiration?
I have many inspirations, but Steve McCurry has always remained extremely influential in my mind – for his ability to transcend nations and emotions, while creating utmost proximity with his subject.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My high school English teacher, who ultimately became one of my great mentors, once shared a quote which remains anchored with me today: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you ever can.”

What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who don’t say thank you when you hold the door open for them.

What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity for me means to capture moments that make you think, react, or simply smile. It’s the power to create emotions.

What is your go-to motivational song?
Tiny Dancer” by Elton John.

What initially made you interested in the career you have now?
I was always looking for a way to bridge creativity with impactful work. Since starting at Sid Lee, I’ve noticed how their projects have the ability to make people think twice – that’s what I’ve always been interested in being a part of.

If money/working wasn’t a concern, and you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?
On a sailboat.

What’s one creative work you are most proud of?
One summer, I volunteered at a community center in Istanbul, where I taught photography to a group of 20 people. For a few afternoons, I asked everyone to go out in the city, and take pictures of things that inspired them or that were important to them. Everyone came back with a critical view on social issues and inequalities that they found crucial, and needed to be addressed. Even though my Turkish was extremely limited and the participants barely spoke English, we managed to communicate on the importance of these issues through photography – again demonstrating the power of creativity, in all its forms.

What’s your life motto?
I try my best.

Carla Mavaddat is an Analyst at Sid Lee. Find out more about her work: