We had the good fortune of connecting with Ksenia Phillips and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ksenia, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia and was inspired by the stunning architecture and art. Upon moving to United States, I continued studying art and that led me to study painting at the University of West Georgia. After two years of studying painting, I wanted to challenge myself and transferred to the Art Institute of Atlanta to major in Graphic Design. During my internship year, I was hired to work at the interior design firm, HBA Hirsch Bedner Associates. I was fortunate to learn and hone my skill as an environmental graphic designer while working with Korinna Hirsch who was a fabulous mentor. Being skillful in painting, graphic and wayfinding design helped to develop my unique style and shape my work while marrying these industries to come up with a one of kind solution.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I should clarify that I run two creative businesses. One being Ksenia Phillips that specializes in developing branding and designing wayfinding for hospitality and retail. The second is Darling Lemon that focuses on hand painted paper goods that range from greeting cards to silk scarves and work with wholesale accounts and direct consumers. It also an outlet for art licensing. One of the challenges I had earlier on was to differentiate the two businesses. That way they would have a special focus and have a different clientele. I love to pait, design, and develop wayfinding systems—I am glad that I found a way to do all of them. For Ksenia Phillips, I’ve worked hard to hone my design style and gained valuable experience while working at HBA and Huie Design. For Darling Lemon, it took me years to find the right voice and style for my stationery. One of the challenges I had was to get my brand noticed, which is still a big work in progress. But I am proud to see that my cards have landed on the shelves of Paper Source and made their way to Paper E. Clips. Just to name a few.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s say my friend was visiting me in Savannah for a weekend. We would grab some coffee and some delicious kolaches from Foxy Loxy. Savannah has so many gorgeous streets and squares so my best friend is better like to walk. We would also do some shopping some of my favorite shops are Capital Bee, Brown Dog Market at Cohen’s Retreat, Hygge, The Paris Market. We would also need to go antiquing at Clutter, Tapley’s, and Picker Joe’s. When it’s time to get some food, The Collins Quarter is a great choice. Flock to the Wok, The Grey, The Vault, Coco & Moss, Sushi Zen are some of my favorites too. We will also go to Tybee—beach is a great place to spend your day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Korinna Hirsch. She was a great mentor and environmental/graphic design director at HBA Hirsch Bedner Associates. Wayne Whitesides and David Leedle founders of Ethic Inc. They believed in me and pushed me to think outside the box while developing brand stories for various clients.
Photos by HBA & The Summit Hotel Photos by Paprika Southern Photos by SCAD