“The future was always really open for me”

Kate Cunningham

Season 2 · Episode 6

After a year in hibernation we return to our sanctuary, The Lady Cave, for our second season. Never has a time for safe spaces for women to convene, and talk, and organize, and inspire been more important and we could not have found a more poised guest to continue the dialogue of empowering women.

Kate Cunningham, Co-Founder of Again Studio NY

What kind of women becomes a painter, illustrator, photographer, documentary filmmaker, producer, co-founder, and mother? One that does not house the expectations of anyone around her. Kate Cunningham identifies as all of the above, leaving no time for anyone to tell her what she can and cannot do and who she can and cannot be. On this episode Kate explores how studying at RISD equipped her with not only an inhuman work ethic but also the ability to articulate an opinion grounded completely in herself and her work. She describes how even though she could draw and loved to paint, a trip abroad her sophomore year changed her view of how she wanted to spend her time in the world,

I went to Mexico and realized I was not meant to be indoors and sitting and drawing and being introspective. I was blown away by everything I saw. I wanted to be out in the world and talking to people and being able to relay their stories to other people.

She switched to photography and upon graduating spent some time volunteering in Brazil. This is where inspiration struck and she talks about what happened in a small village that truly changed her life forever. Upon returning to the US, a series of adventures landed her in New York and of all places at an advertising agency. A strange place for a budding documentary filmmaker,

Basically the interview went, Can you travel the world with these two Swedish guys and make these films?

Fast forward a few years and not only does Kate work at an agency but she owns one. Finding that no other studio was really looking at the intersection of design and filmmaking, Kate co-founded Again Studios which allowed her the space to be authentic to her vision. Whether working with a kids tennis program, or a black activist group, or a Brooklyn bike shop, she loves diving into the essence of each brand to uncover the story living at it’s core. This intensive discovery process paired with the rate of change in media and all the associated channels might intimidate an average person but in the midst of it all Kate decided to bring a baby onto the scene. When asked about how she still manages to have “fun” she lays out the beautiful truth of motherhood,

Every day with her, especially bath time, is really fun. Every day you have a moment where you are laughing. I’ve probably spent years without really laughing and giggling and being super happy, that’s been a new thing in my life.

We could not have had more fun on this episode with such an amazing woman. Hear more about her wild adventures, thoughts on a creative process, and how she clears her head here. Or check out all the fantastic work she leads at Again Studio.