You have to accept your style because it’s yours. When you do, you start creating crazy things.
Rosa is a graphic designer. It was interesting to talk with her about her experience, the creative processes she uses and the dedication she puts in her illustrations…
Could you tell me more about your experience?
I started working in advertising agencies 8 years ago. Now I want to change. I started a personal illustration project I call Pinko Pink. It joined my two passions: illustration and Japan. I went to Japan many times and I enjoyed the Japanese style. Pinko means pink in Japanese. Now I sell my dolls and illustrations in a bazaar. I love drawing. It’s my passion and what makes me happy.
In the advertising agency, I worked in the creative side. The brief would come with the client’s objective. The discussions and debates start with the team. It can take 2 days or up to a week to have an idea and with base in this we find a vision, a graphic identity for the campaign. We work the market strategy, where’s the people we want to reach… then we order the first sketch.
I supervise the process so it comes out exactly as it was envisioned. My boss was the creative director. I supervised the art, the details and followed the montage. My boss supervised the production. About 6 months would go by from the reception of the brief until the communication. Advertising is crazy. There’s a lot of people. People who don’t love advertising are artists. It’s cool because you see a bit of everything.
Team members who complement each other allows for cool things to be created.
In the agency for example, our client Pacifico wanted to change its image to appear younger, not as traditional. So we did some research into the world of millennials. We started to get into that world. What’s Pacifico? What does it imply? Beaches? We started finding things in common after putting some ideas together. The result was the carnival. For this project we worked with 5 teams of 6 people.
What is your definition of design?
It’s to create, communicating something. Someone tells you a message and you transmit it. The design lives from clichés, so it’s commonplace and most people can relate.
What makes you happiest?
When the process involves illustrations.
what makes you prouder?
My new personal project: Pinko Pink. I do it all, it’s for me. It’s very liberating. It’s very frustrating when your boss asks you to change a logo, a font…
What are the necessary skills to be a designer?
To observe and listen everything, to perceive your surroundings. You need an ability to research as well.
Why did you choose design?
I wanted to study art. My dad told me: “You’re going to starve”. I wanted to express myself in my work, but the fear of not being able to make a living of it was very strong. Design gives you the opportunity to make a business. In advertising there’s more room to do what you want. The basis of the work is always yours. Your style is reflected but sometimes, it goes against the brand. You don’t need to know how to draw. Creatives can be poor designers. When I went to study to Chile, I had a culture clash. Their designs are their forests: they use white, black, green, brown and burgundy. Mexicans use many more colors.
I feel like Mexican designers are afraid of Mexican design.
They copy a lot foreign trends, American, European… there’s no confidence. They think the market will not value them.
In Chile I found the trend very European. In our case, we are more similar to that of the US. The American trend is very strong because it looks sleek. The advertising you see it’s similar to the American one. Clients are scared and don’t want to take risks. This is very limiting.
There are some trends that appeared a few years ago. They are about taking very traditional, rustic themes.
Some critics say this is not innovative. In fashion, it is normal to reuse styles, traditional elements, to make something chic and cool again but this hasn’t happened with advertising yet.
The Frida boom also happened, without a doubt originated by the film. Foreigners were looking at something we didn’t value as much, there was the Frida Khalo museum but for us, it was like any other. They starting making books, decorations…
Another example: alebrijes. Before, people didn’t value them. 5 or 6 years ago, they started having a boom. They started being sold in the US. Now artists make them. They sell them for $15,000 mexican pesos each.
There is a trend enhancing Mexican creation.
Graphic designers are actors in this trend. For example, the brand AyGuey! creates clothes inspired by tradition and the Mexican artistic past. There are many initiatives mixing fashion with Mexican elements. And of course there’s a consequence on the price. Before you could find rebozos for $100 mexican pesos and now they’re sold at $1,000.
What do you advise me for my project?
Drawing needs self knowledge. At first you want to copy things. You have to accept your style because it’s yours. When you do, you start making crazy things.