We are one — There is only one race, humans, one ocean and we share the air. We go back to dust and as the recent ‘Avatar’ movie stated we only borrow our energy. I love this, I love that there is really no separation and yet, there is no other person on the planet with your DNA and exact experience. If we can express our individuality for the benefit of the whole then we honor ourselves and our place on Earth.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lora Starling.
Lora Starling is a successful designer with over 30 years of experience running her own graphic design business in London. Merging conventional design excellence with spiritual wisdom she creates logos that enable her clients to envision and attract the future they want using the same tools as global brands.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I have always been a graphic designer. Having qualified in Melbourne, Australia, and worked for a year there, I realised that the groundbreaking design was happening in London, so I got a job there with one of the best design companies and after 5 years I started out on my own in a studio in Covent Garden. After various collaborations and partnerships I started running my own design group in my own building near the south bank of the Thames in London with blue chip city clients. Life was perfect and enviable to many. I found it deeply rewarding to empower people to live their lives fully, this is why I loved this conventional design work. My clients would share their visions and ambitions and I would creatively express this desired future in a logo design so that it could be shared with others and built to success. I helped make my clients rich. It was satisfying and rewarding, but, on reflection, it was mainly working at an egoistic level and I questioned what these successes were gaining. Usually profit for the business owners and shareholders.
I questioned whether I wanted this for the rest of my life. Despite having achieved the ‘good life’ it began to feel unrewarding at deep and satisfying levels.
I wondered what there was in the world that was available to us all, that could create change for a better life, with more balance and sustainability, something easily accessible. It was the plants. I became a herbalist and learned about the incredible power of plants to heal. I felt frustrated when I realised how rarely we consult these readily available and extraordinarily effective sources of well-being, and what madness this is. My clients were often those who had given up on conventional medicine and then got better on herbs. No one was more surprised than me! I knew there was more the plants could offer and I learned about flower remedies and aromatherapy, such as how they can affect our mood and feeling of well-being. I used selected mixes of aromatherapy oils in massage, and I made my own flower remedies. People felt better! Another delightful and welcome surprise. But then the real revelation about the effectiveness of plant medicine became apparent when I discovered a book on plant spirit medicine explaining how we can work with the spirits of plants to heal the spirits of people. That felt like was the final missing piece and, with this broader knowledge of plant healing, I was able to manage people’s health at a physical, mental and spiritual level. I think this is so very important for our own and the Earth’s well-being.
The plants took me on a journey through the importance of paying attention to the physical, the mental and the spiritual. Working at these levels brought effective and lasting change. But again, dissatisfaction set in with my frustration at seeing one person at a time like a doctor. I enjoyed designing for major international businesses; my logos were seen around the world on stationery, flags, vehicles, signage, websites, and wherever the brand wanted to visually state its presence and intention. And then my two ‘careers’ collided and I understood the message of the plants.
I saw how logos exist at a body mind and spirit level, I had been doing this unconsciously and now I had the knowledge to apply the wisdom learned from the plants to create even more powerful logos that could spark the change we want to see in the world. I now create logos embedded with powerful intentions for clients that want to create better in the world. They are designed at a physical, mental/emotional and spiritual/energy level. And then we deliver these ‘Future Magnets’ using spiritual/quantum wisdom so that we attract the vision we want.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
I am dismayed at our readiness to follow others dreams, which distracts us from following our own. My work is centred around the power of the individual and the ability of one person to make a difference. I do this in two parts, the first is to identify our distraction so we can become aware of and extricate ourselves to claim our own space. Why would we want to empower another’s vision by wearing their logo over our heart chakra, for example. What does that logo really stand for? Is the brand really reputable and what are they promising in their brand values if I display their logo? We can identify the future we want, one that that serves our own good, ours and the planet’s, and express that in our own logo, deeply. We can all be empowered with the same tool and techniques that major brands use to create global success.
We need this change. We are pulled in many directions by those who need our engagement for their success. There is a host of ambitious entities encouraging us to trust and follow them for commercial profit with little regard for our, and the Earth’s ultimate well-being at all levels. Physically we use chemicals rather than addressing our own immunity or rebuilding the topsoil we have largely lost and we go to war rather than negotiate. Mentally we look outside to brands to provide us with the fulfilment they promise whether that is ‘the real thing’ ‘have it your way’ or ‘because you are worth it’. Spiritually many of us are lost and some brands, many would say religions as well, strive to fill this empty space by providing a solution outside ourselves when the answer is inside us all. It is our birthright. We have lost our intimate and necessary connection with our inner selves and nature, and the precious and fulfilling balance between the two.
The power link between each of these and us, that tempts us to buy into a future that is not ours, is identified by the logo, an intentional combination of simple but powerful and proven elements of words, colours and symbols. We follow our named country into battle behind its flag; most of us don’t want to fight. We choose our sports team and identify ourselves with the name and colours; stoically refusing to change our allegiance even when the players behave immorally. We are often born into a religion, its name and symbol display our dedication and separation from other religions which also promote the same values of tolerance, compassion and love and yet justify war to prove it. We display our commitment to our chosen brands by proudly wearing the logo to advertise we belong to that tribe and their chosen values. We may think we are displaying our independence in each of these, but we are foregoing our own deep longing and values and supporting others expression of intention.
Those leading the world express their intent in a design so that we may recognise them and follow the values integrated in the design, which comprises symbols, words and colours. I deepen this process to use the absolute, unseen power of logos to create change. Intuition told me I was working with a type of magic when I designed logos, and their implementation, to create success for brands. Logos not only identify everything in a brand but they express an intention for success. And we get it.
I unplug people from the status quo that does not serve their best life and give them tools to create the future they long for.
We can spark change on our own and build sustainable lasting change by expressing and delivering our intention and thus we can learn from the brands through the power of logos. Designed to resonate with frequency that attracts the future we want, delivering this enables others to connect with it consciously through hearing or seeing it or unconsciously as it creates a shift in the quantum field that others connect to and it grows, potentially to a tipping point. It is subtle, gentle but incredibly powerful.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I introduced massage as part of my plant treatments I left a client upstairs to rest saying I would come back after about 20 mins. When a visitor arrived unexpectedly I got distracted and forgot all about reminding my client. For some reason, my visitor wanted to see upstairs, and I was pretty embarrassed when the client appeared at the door, equally embarrassed and hurriedly getting dressed. The lesson? I think it was a hint to get out of something I obviously was not dedicated to doing and get on with the logo work which is really powerful and feels more like my life mission.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
I believe all my mentors are what I refer to as edge walkers. There has been something in their lives that has prompted them to explore and learn anew a revelation. They are usually competent in more than one field of work. The neighbor who got stuck beside us in our outer suburb in Melbourne after a sticky divorce. She had lived a life beyond my wildest dreams, beyond my limited suburban knowledge, as she had lived internationally, dined with royalty and knew about etiquette, fashion and cocktails. She opened the world to me.
Andrew, a designer friend of mine, became interested in, and practiced, energy work and revealed to me the energy in art and design. He told of an experiment where he asked a colleague to draw a symbol in the air, randomly, in a room, and when Andrew came in from outside he was able to find, by dowsing, exactly where that symbol was positioned. That was a big wake-up, if we can do that with such a simple intention what the heck could we do with a logo with a huge intention? I learned from this.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Most of us are aware that we need to change the way we manage our resources, internally and externally, if we and our planet are going to thrive. Disrupting the existing status quo by setting up an opposing force is a popular way and can be effective. Like the movement they oppose each employ the same tools of branding. Each chooses their values and embeds these into their logos that deliver and build the brand, triggering emotions that tempt us to their side. Aligning ourselves with either creates a polarity and both as we identify our allegiance with logos that advertise and promote this difference. Like for like they match the power using the same tools as their opposers.
There is another way to rebel. Just as powerful, maybe even more effective as it gives each of us an individual voice. First, we simply withdraw our energy from that which does not sustain us. To do this we begin to really meet with our inner selves, our intuition, our sole purpose. This is a truly wonderful thing to do and it is so invigorating and rewarding and empowering to unplug from other’s visions and claim our own. We berate Coca-cola for the plastic bottles they produce, but we buy them. We are incensed by the war in Ukraine and yet we sanction our young men to go fight. We would not be ‘seen dead’ wearing a certain brand, others get a tattoo of the logo. When we stop playing others games, we create a clear space where we can position our own intention. Furthermore, we can identify our separation and our own deep dreams for the future that sings to us by expressing our intention in a logo, using the powerful elements honed by brands that have changed the world from religions, to political parties to branded products (many of which we do not need). We can choose our own precious values and embed our own emotions of peace, tolerance and love into our own design for the future we want to see. In a logo, we create the first manifestation of our vision. The logo enables our vision to be seen and delivered and designed to our chosen frequency it attracts like-minded people. It can be shared in ways as effective as major brands not only physically through social media but energetically, think how reiki symbols are imagined in strategic places to effect change, how we can muscle test for the strength of designs and how emotions are triggered by each element of colour, symbols and names.
By withdrawing our support we create a shift, not war. We change perception rather than build on friction fear and hate and the change begins from the ground up. We start with disrupting ourselves and we are powerful. I see when people ‘see’ their potential in a design, it gives them the courage to take the step to be truly themselves. The logo becomes like a stepping stone showing us the way, and a signpost, keeping us on track. Clients said ‘I see myself’ when their logo resonates with the life they are identifying for themselves, like Rothko says of his completed painting it speaks back when it is ready. This is where true disruption starts, changing sides is effective when we take a stand for the opposite but when we reach our own internal polarity that is where the power lies. We are all one, there is no separation and yet, paradoxically we are each unique, each with our own DNA and purpose. Identifying this so others say ‘I see you’ enables us to take our authentic stand in the human race. I love the title of the Velvet Revolution. It is a personal thing, but I think if we can remain kind, approachable and open to change while being true to our own selves then a natural erosion will occur of that which is not serving our well-being or the health of our planet.
My passion is to reveal the manipulation of profiteers through the use of design. They use these tools to identify themselves sand deliver their intentions. When this technique is revealed the most powerful thing I encourage is to seek deep and see if it really, truly resonates with the soul of the person consulting me. If not, then they naturally unplug from it. Whether they do or not, the power of design, embedded logos, is revealed and we make it available so that we can use the same tools as global brands. This non-aggressive disruption is powerful. We cease feeding into and identifying ourselves with something that no longer sustains us and can create our own sustainable change starting with us. We can create our own logo embedded with our own intention and share that with the world so that others may choose to be attracted to our way of being. It is what brands do, we can all do it.
If we disrupt with the same aggression, greed and self-righteousness that forms the basis of the unsustainable existing status quo then we continue to build the same mindset that created this huge imbalance that we are experiencing in the first place. If we can learn from the brands and disrupt with the promise of love and fulfillment combined with the power of intention, attention and attraction but from our own authentic deep source then that is where we can create change a profound level, at source. Every individual then has a voice in making this change. We don’t have to feed into another movement and follow someone else’s future, we can, but first, identify ourselves. We can take a step back, ask why are we truly here? When we ask that question of ourselves we find a place that is filled with love caring and a deep connection; we realise we are all one and fighting with each other is just creating more imbalances.
This is powerful stuff, working at many levels but we can work at these levels. We are all one but we are all individuals and working together is how we create better, for us and the world.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
We are one
There is only one race, humans, one ocean and we share the air. We go back to dust and as the recent ‘Avatar’ movie stated we only borrow our energy. I love this, I love that there is really no separation and yet, there is no other person on the planet with your DNA and exact experience. If we can express our individuality for the benefit of the whole then we honor ourselves and our place on Earth.
It’s not all about you
I have taken things so personally in the past, and still do but to a much lesser extent as I remind myself that everything is not about me! It is one of the four agreements ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally’. I can’t make things better for others by taking on suffering. I have a friend who expresses her care for her family by sharing how ‘terribly worried’ she is. This not only makes the issue about her but does not help the one suffering. I usually tell her to worry lots and lots and then ask if she thinks that will make it better. We are still friends.
There is hope
There are days I wake up full of beans and hope. Others, the same situation, I wake up desolate. Not watching the news helps. I have to have hope to sustain my journey. A friend of mine recently completed her PhD in sustainability and I wanted to tap into her knowledge. I asked her if there was any chance that we will survive on our planet. She looked dejected but took my arm and said ‘I believe there is hope.’ That is enough. I think it has to be.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
A logo fires our brain cells in a specific pattern according to the design, our vision enables us to create our own designs of intention. I am taking this to the next stage and I have collaborated with an amazing jewelry designer to create a beautiful necklace embedded with the most powerful intention to raise awareness to Sea Shepherd Origins, an organisation
that cares deeply for the oceans. Through publicity and sharing of our intention, we will eventually sell this necklace in a high-profile celebrity auction to raise funds for the Sea Shepherd in order to realise the vision. The necklace has a name The Sea Angel, and a logo. By using creativity and art we can express and deliver a chosen future and make the change we want to see in the world.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
Women are working in a world that has been established by men. I think we need both mindsets to create success in changing our trajectory. The male-oriented mind is single-minded with a focus on profit and I have seen first-hand how female traits of empathy, caring and sustainability — taking a longer viewpoint rather than short term profit, are rejected, even derided. In order to be successful women must play the male game. I think the challenge is twofold, at least. First women can learn to say ‘no’, enough and stop, for example, to the ever increasing destruction of the natural world for profit. Second, when women do get to the top of the business ladder, be sure to hold on to it and encourage and support other women to move up the career ladder. Good women share, good women support each other, and good women can create loving communities. These are gifts we all have and along with our inherent intuition, deep down we know what to do, each of us.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
I loved the passion for individuality expressed in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead but sadly this has been hijacked by a USA political party to promote the ‘screw you’ approach. I learned from Viktor Jankel’s book ‘Man’s search for meaning’ about his internment in concentration camps that no matter how badly we may feel treated, no one can tell us how to react. And finally the book by Eliot Cowen ‘Plant Spirit Medicine’ revealed to me the amazing power of plants and our connection and this relationship sustains me daily.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would continue to build on the power of creativity and of each individual to express this for change. Words, paintings, symbols, logos and art in general have a measurable energy and we respond to this. A painting, a symbol, a song can inspire change, they can open our hearts and create shifts in our minds. Love and the planet are at the core of my vision and it is called Heart Of My Earth (H.O.M.E.). Of course, there is a logo and the O is a world with a blue sea and heart shaped green countries. If each of us expresses our love for the planet in a piece of art and we sell this art in high profile global auctions, we can create the shift by raising awareness of the Earth’s beauty as well as raising funds to realise the vision and protect the future of the planet
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I like to look at the power of brand quotes. They are the straplines used with the logos and frankly they are more like mantras. ‘Do what you can’t’, ‘Move the way you want’ and ‘power to you’ are just some. Why would we not want this. Why are buying into brands telling us this stuff?
I like to hijack these and claim the power back so, for example I challenge Nike’s ‘Just do it’ where has the doing got the world. The power of our thoughts is enough to affect change so at the moment I like ‘Just think about it.’
How can our readers follow you online?
Website easiest and this will give access to social media. Lorastarling.com. Join my mailing list!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Female Disruptors: Lora Starling On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.