This young creative and production designer discusses how she gives a whole different look to a set location, and what makes her taste unique in the industry
Today’s young generation is known for their boundless creativity and innovative ideas. This demographic constantly pushes boundaries and develops new ways to express themselves through various mediums. One such individual is Katrish Aristoki, a young production designer who has already made a name for herself in the industry. Her creative vision has brought to life every client’s vision through her set designs. Her ability to find inspiration in various genres, situations, and places has allowed her to create visually stunning sets that complement the personalities, brands, and celebrities being featured.
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In an exclusive interview with MEGA, we discovered Katrish’s passion for learning and willingness to explore new things—continuously pushing her creative vision to new heights.
Meet the young creative
In case you have no idea who Katrish Aristoki is, she is the young and visionary production designer behind the artistic set for Pia Wurtzbach’s MEGA cover shoot in December of last year. With a mind as creative as the colors of the rainbow, Katrish and her team made the real magic happen. From her digital brush strokes on Photoshop to the abstract paintings that came to life as a magnificent backdrop, every detail was meticulously planned and executed to perfection. “[For Pia Wurtzbach’s MEGA cover], we explored different art styles, abstract shapes, geometric shapes, and play of foreground,” she shares.
Into the process
Katrish works with production houses in the Philippines in different ways, depending on the medium. Most of her work is making commercials for TV and YouTube.”For [the] set design, you are responsible for creating scenery. So most of the time, you are dealing with a lot of genres, situations, and places.” When asked about her approach to briefs and ideas, she revealed that she collaborates with the client for a visual reference or peg to understand their expectations regarding set design. This practice helps her to comprehend the scope of work better and provide accurate costing for biddings.
The artistic challenges
Creating a set for any production, whether a film, TV show, or photoshoot, is a challenging feat. It takes a lot of planning, creativity, and attention to detail. According to her, scale is a crucial aspect of set design. “In terms of creating the set, you take note of the scale. What are the angles and shots that you need to consider? Does it have a floor? A ceiling? You always had to consider the depth of your set.”
To help keep everything organized and on track, production designers like Katrish Aristoki always start by creating a production design deck. This serves as the creative bible for the project, containing all the details of the vision and ensuring feasibility. This philosophy is shared by the young production designer and allows the art department to execute the set design with precision and accuracy, resulting in a visually stunning end product.
Her remarkable portfolio
Katrish has worked on many challenging projects throughout her career. Still, those that stand out to her the most are the ones that involve transforming different locations into a whole different look. For her, one of the most challenging sets she created was the futuristic game show set for Zalora’s Birthday Sale, which aired in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. “That time, I thought I was not ready yet for that scale, but that experience helped me very much that by the time Netflix asked me to make an afternoon-inspired game show, I already knew what to do.”
She was also the mastermind behind the stage design of Arthur Nery’s solo concert. This project required her to consult an architect and a 3D render artist to build the concept. Despite having limited background knowledge about the technicalities of the concert stage, she managed to design a three-floored setting with LED screens serving as doors and windows—achieving an apartment-like set-up.
Her creative force in this generation
Katrish Aristoki’s instinct for a perfectly executed backdrop proves that she is a skilled production designer who knows how to create a set design that reflects the personality and brand of any A-list celebrity or renowned personality. She cares about the importance of understanding her subject, and works magic to create a plan that perfectly matches their persona.
Thus, Katrish believes that taste is one of the essential skills needed for a successful career in production design. As a production designer, one is paid to pick the most beautiful, appropriate, and cohesive things for the set. And “taste” is the designer’s identity acquired through practice and exposure to different arts and cultures.
To end the conversation, Katrish left a notable message that she learned from experience for this generation’s fellow creatives and aspiring production designers: “Lead yourselves to be more inquisitive and curious, which is very helpful [for] designers because most of the time, [we] are involved in a wide array of things.”
Photos from KATRISH ARISTOKI