A conversation with Anja Karanovic

A conversation with Anja Karanovic

In this conversation, we hear from Anja, our very first model at Butter Up. As an interior architect, model and artist, Anja shares her experiences and lessons learned about staying motivated, embracing challenges, and remaining true to oneself.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what makes you unique?
Hey hi hello! Well, I'll start by saying my name is Anja. Hard to forget when you think "Good Onya mate!" *wink*

I think what makes me unique is having quite a few hobbies that have really shaped who I am - from hip-hop dancing or modelling right up to inline rollerblading and tennis. I have always been someone to pursue doing whatever it is that makes me feel good and happy and haven't ever stopped to worry about what people will think of me or the bias's that might come around what I'm doing. I would definitely describe myself as having quite a bold and loud personality, often I get described as "The ball of energy" but ultimately, I try to never let anyone leave me without being happier than when they came. 

What inspired you to pursue your passions, and how have they shaped who you are today?
Being constantly immersed in a mixture of cultures has allowed me to understand and appreciate diversity in my surroundings. I always felt like I knew I was going to be in the creative industry, and having this diversity has really become an immense part of who I am as a person and as a creative. 

My family migrated to Australia with very little when I was born. I spent the first half of my childhood growing up in government housing, but I never felt like anything was missing and was so fortunate to be taught the right morals from a young age by my parents, who in hindsight, I know worked many jobs to ensure I could participate in every opportunity. As I grew into my teens, I feel they inspired me to see the value and importance of having a great work ethic, never giving up, and that anything is possible if you're going to work hard. 

Now by day, I love working as an interior architect, considering the importance of functionality, flow, aesthetics, and attention to detail in how people will move and feel within a space. I also love drawing my own art as a way to share my expressions in thoughts that they too might inspire someone else. 

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned in life, and how have they impacted your outlook and approach to the world?

  • Don't be afraid to veer off a straight line.
  • You will learn and grow the most when faced with challenges. Don't be afraid to lean into them.
  • Build your own brand - What value are you going to add wherever you go?
  • "Nobody who is successful got there on their own"

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals, even when faced with setbacks or obstacles?
Although it looks different for everyone, life is always going to be full of ups and downs. Without setbacks or obstacles, we would never have anything to grow and learn from. My opinion is that the best mentors, the best advice givers, are those that experience hardships and obstacles themselves. My advice for staying motivated and focused on your goals would first be to find something that you LOVE doing as a job, because motivation comes naturally when you are passionate about what you do. Have a positive mindset, set your own goals and stay laser focused - there are always going to be negative people or people that might not like you (which is completely out of your control) so do not let it distract you from reaching your goals and being happy. The people who see your greatness and are voting for you are not always the people right in front of you.  

What are some of the values that guide your decision-making, and how have they helped you navigate difficult situations?
Listen before responding. Look at the situation through the other person's lens. Show empathy. Be honest and authentic in your approach. 

What advice would you give to others who are striving to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams?
Have an open mindset about everything that comes your way! Maybe it's not what you picture yourself doing forever, but always look at things as an opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. Some of the best experiences and richest friendships I've gotten are from when I stepped outside of my comfort zone. If I look back to 5 years ago, where I pictured myself being today is completely different from where I am, but I am so happy I trusted my gut and have no regrets. Don't be afraid to veer off a straight line and embrace what you love doing!

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