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January 2016

Margaritas + Convos.

The other day the co-workers and I decided to hit the bar for some drinks + convos and I simply cannot say "No" to Margaritas + Good Company. So, as I'm sitting there, gulping my first drink. (What can I say I was thirsty) We get to talking about why we are back in school, what our plans are, and basically the burning question we ask ourselves every night after leaving work, what do you want to do with the rest of your life?

So as I sat there explaining how my first class is a "real art class" equipped with nothing but stools and large easels. I tell them I cannot "draw for shit." Perplexed, they ask "So if you don't like to draw? What do you do as graphic artist then?" 

Ah.. the common misconception that all "Graphic Designers" were born with a picasso gift or a love for sketching three dimensional fruits in a basket. As I stumbled over my words (working on drink number 2) I say things like, "Well the problem with design,  is that it's so simple, it's complicated". Oh now I'm quoting things I've heard along the way of this journey. But as I sat there trying to defend my inadequacy of being able to sketch a naked person in great detail, besides the stick figure I could promise in return. I realize most people, sans fellow graphic designers, simply don't get it. Much like I will never understand what electrical engineers find fascinating about their career field, (You do you..). It's quite difficult to explain, what I am so passionate about. 

So he continues to say "So you alter things you've seen.. like you copy things?" 

Mind you, I'm on drink Number two plus a shot of I'm not sure what it was on an empty stomach because our Fully Loaded Nachos were short of being loaded with anything... I barely answered his question with justification. But here I am, two days later, hydrated, well rested, with all the aspirin I took to get me to function through my weekend of working. 

So this is here is what I do aside from sitting in front of the computer with all my Adobe Applications open...

I am a problem solver.
Say you started a new company. You need branding, marketing, all the visual guides to get you out there. You want to be so recognizable like IBM logo, or the FEDEX sign. Your identity needs to be visually strong that it's almost subtle. My mind works like a camera with a hard drive that has no limits. I am constantly snapping images that you may not notice. Like the way a diagonal line slashes through the letter, or the way a bold stroke from a typeface makes it stand out, I notice it all. I will take every detail around me and formulate ideas for you. You see there is a rhyme and reason for every design. There is a reason why the letters are closer or further spaced, why some are bold and some are thin, why we use graphics and why we don't.  There is some sort of math in design, to make a design "feel" right, you have to understand all the elements involved. And lastly, as designers, we have that "inner voice" the one we've learned to trust over the years. 

I am a researcher.
As designers, our learning never ends. We are constantly learning, reading, researching because every client, every assignment is different and they all come from somewhere, someone's idea, someone's distinctive style or taste. We need to learn to adapt our sense of style to what they love and the only way to do this is to research. One day I did a project on Mikhail Gorbachev, and I literally ate, slept, and breathe Gorbachev. 

I am an inventor.
I take your ideas and evolve it into something tangible that the world around us can decipher. How does the world decipher these ideas? Familiarity. Even Picasso said:

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Everything we see has already been created. So we are constantly (if you want to say) copying. 
People relate to good design because they are familiar with it, they don't have to think to hard to translate it. Good design makes you look it twice and say, "Oh that is so clever and simple, why didn't I think of that?" Good design is so simple, it's difficult. 

So there you go my Maragarita Friend... That is what I do. I was never meant to be an illustrator, but simply the courier between someone's ideas and fruition. 

******
(Some work I did last semester for Typography 2 and Design Comp 1)
The thing I love more than the final outcome of designing, is the process.. That's when you know, you love what you do. 

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A Reason.

People come into your life for a reason.
They might not know it themselves, why.
You might not know it. But there's a reason.

Just like my Instagram profile says: I am constantly "intrigued" by the world around me, mainly by the people. I am the epitome of being a people person. I genuinely love meeting and interacting people, well people who fascinate me. Which, for a person that moves around as many times as I've had, would easily shun myself to the world. But I've found a way to use these experiences to my advantage and make the most of any situation.

It could be as subtle as our common interest in a particular movie. Or the way we both inadvertently do the same things or think similarly. I particularly do not go out and seek people to interact with, it just happens one comes along my way and I say to myself "Oh, hey there fellow human, you are interesting, I will keep talking to you..." That is kind of the way I think of it. But once in awhile I will come across another human being and say to myself, "I want to be just like him/her..." I literally look at him/her and just feel overwhelmed with the vast intelligence, an aura of passion that seems to fuel this person, and radiates out of his/her very existence. Sounds pretty intense, huh? I've only met a few handful of people who live a life with passion, more importantly doing what they absolutely love. And it's these very people that make me turn my head twice and makes my heart smile.

From the moment I stepped into my professor's class, I knew... that everything that had to happen for me to be in this very classroom, was for a reason. I like to believe that people come into your life for a reason... Looking back, I see things happen for a reason.

On the last day of my favorite class, I waited to talk to my professor. I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe some "yoda type advice" where I would leave that class with all his wisdom and his magical creative powers embedded in a sword or in my case in my external hard drive. 

As he called me, I walked towards him with my head held somewhat high, but with an almost bow-like posture wanting to pay some sort of homage for being graced by his wisdom twice a week for the past 16 weeks. That's what he was to me, someone I looked up to, someone I wanted to be around all day just so I wouldn't miss anything.  I wanted so much to ask him to be my mentor, to be my personal guide in this journey of mine. 

As I sat next to him, he looked over my last project. He paused and smiled. I never know what to expect whenever he does that, it keeps me on edge and eager at the same time. Throughout the years, I've learned to develop a thick skin for this field, I've learned that any critique is never a personal jab at you, and most importantly I've learned to listen, to not react to quickly with the urge to be defensive and to argue my reason for doing what I did. He taught me that, to just listen. 

His pause felt like hours, as I tried to decipher what his pause meant. Finally he said, as he turned my project around looking at every crease, every word, and every corner. "There are two kinds of people in this field, there are people that work hard to become a graphic artist, they read every book, they create, fail, create again, fail again, but they never give up. Then there are people who possess an innate ability for this craft, being creative is almost effortless, their craft is flawless because they knew this is what they were meant to do, so they do it well, every single time. They are almost obsessed about it, but these people call it their passion. You are the latter. You possess a gift that makes it so clear to me that this is what you were born to do...."

I was speechless. The only response I could give him was "Thank You, hearing this meant a lot to me.."

Little did he know that this meant EVERYTHING to me. If he only what it took for me to get here. If he only knew how badly I wanted this. If he only knew what he just told me will forever stick with me and fuel my passion even more and when that day comes where I'm finally where I aim to be, I will pick up that phone, call him and say "Thank you professor for believing me."