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Dasha Tofanchuk

Design, Digital, Graphic Design

Neighbourhood Series: An Interview with Artist Dasha Tofanchuk

Ukrainian artist and Senior Creative, Dasha Tofanchuk, sat down with us to discuss her passion for design and share some of her favourite spots to visit in Sydenham.

Born and raised in Kyiv, Dasha Tofanchuk is a Ukrainian artist who moved to Ōtautahi nearly seven years ago when she and her partner decided it was time for a change of scenery and wanted to experience something entirely new.

While she finds it difficult to pinpoint exactly when her love for design began, one of the first design jobs Dasha recounts was back in secondary school when she was tasked with designing a series of posters for an upcoming event.  

“I love responsibility, challenging myself and solving problems, which is what design is all about. I was intrigued by graphic design at a young age, fell in love with it and quickly decided that it was what I wanted to study in university and pursue as a career.”

Prior to uprooting to Aotearoa, Dasha attended the National Technical University of Ukraine where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master’s in Print Production and Graphic Design. Following her studies, she kickstarted her design career as a freelancer before honing her skills at agencies in Ukraine. Her expertise spans from UI/UX, web and mobile application design, graphic design and illustration. 

Since moving to Ōtautahi in 2015, Dasha continues to leverage her expertise everyday to deliver campaigns and digital design solutions for a wide range of clients. Some of her favourite projects include developing creative concepts and illustrating bespoke creative for Pop Up Penguins and Rhythm & Alps as well as creating the UI designs for US based companies such as Intellibed Sleep Genius and Vital Neuro.

She believes that observation is the key to finding inspiration and one of the most powerful and simple tools that humans possess when it comes to learning. “I find inspiration in life, people and other artist’s work and love stepping into nature and observing my surroundings to get my creative juices flowing.”

Neighbourhood Picks

Alongside her passion for design, Dasha shares her top places to visit in Sydenham – one of her favourite neighbourhoods in Ōtautahi.

Go to cafe
My go to coffee spot is definitely South Town Club. It’s a cool cafe on Welles Street that uses some of the best beans from Coffee Supreme and makes a delicious bohemian blend.
Favourite art gallery
While it’s not necessarily an art gallery, Dilana Rugs is a beautiful studio that sells rugs that look like art. I love walking by and peeking through the window to look at their chic designs.
Sydenham’s best kept secret
Thrive Op Shop is a treasure trove with a good selection of vintage clothing and small nick nacks. I love rummaging through their items and combing through the racks of clothes.
Favourite brewery
While I’m still on the hunt for my favourite brewery, I love stopping in at The Beer Library. They have a great selection of craft beer that you can’t find at your local supermarket.
Best bakery
From their fresh sourdough to their delicious pastries, it’s tough to look past Grizzly Baked Goods. It’s got to be one of the best bakeries I’ve found since moving to Aotearoa.
Local pick
I was recently introduced to Mori Mori, which would have to be my new local fav. It offers a cosy atmosphere and has an incredible selection of authentic Japanese food.
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This series is brought to you by our Creative and Digital Partner, Publica.


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