Chiaki Samonte

Chiaki Samonte CreativeProfile.jpg

Chiaki Samonte

Graphic Designer / Artist

Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA

www.chiakisamonte.com
instagram @chiaki.samonte

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a graphic designer and artist based in Los Angeles. I enjoy creating bold and playful layouts, illustrations and gif animations.
 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Constantly trying, failing, doing, questioning and experimenting. A crucial thread through it all is having go-to people for moral support. Taking time to pause and reset also helps keep things fresh along the way.

I didn’t always know what I wanted to pursue, I just knew I was meant to do something creative. So, I took various classes – a mix of art history, design, and communications at a community college and at a trade art school to keep my mind busy until I β€œfigured it out.” I immediately became obsessed with grid systems and the technicalities of graphic design, the more classes I took. I just wanted to absorb and throw myself into all that I could, without any hesitation. So much so, there was a point I was going to school, working full-time at Sony and taking on various freelance projects on weekends.

 

How do you stand out in your field?

I think we all have a distinct voice and perspective unique to our own experiences. So it's important for me (whenever possible) to get to know the people behind each project on a more relatable level, beyond names and multi-hyphenate titles. It's something I really appreciate and care about.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I recently took a short, but much needed break from all work and creative pursuits, but I'm now ready to take on projects again and meet other creative people who want to collaborate on things just for fun!

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

Although constantly evolving, I would describe my style as a visual play between maximalism and minimalism. I love the rigidity and flexibility behind layout and composition just as much as the process of deconstructing it.

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

Outside of making things that primarily live in the digital world, I really enjoy lettering and creating hand-rendered type. Lately, I've been itching to do signage for local businesses again. Back when I was in art school, I was a chalk artist as one of my side hustles and did the menu signage for a popular ice cream shop. I definitely miss the simple satisfaction of doing things like that by hand.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Right now, I'm learning to simply let go and just trust in the process and natural ebb and flow of being a freelance designer, full-time again.

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Like many other creatives, I'm much more of a chill and shy, behind-the-scenes type, so putting myself ~out there~ and networking for a work is a skillset that doesn't come naturally to me. I would hire someone to help me turn networking connections into actual collaborations and projects.

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I would have told my younger self who was still in school: Don't be so worried or singularly-focused on finding your style and instead just enjoy the process of honing the craft, because your style will come naturally.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I want to get other creatives' insight and advice, who are graphic designers but also create analog art on showing work outside of digital platforms, within small galleries, art book fairs and the like.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Ideally, I would love to work with local businesses and shops and also collaborate with other creatives on passion projects. But besides that, I'm always up for helping brands and agencies with their digital content needs.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

The best collaborations I've been a part of have typically been with people I know well, or are friends of friends, or those who share similar interests and taste. Great communication and trust really makes the entire creation process a lot more enjoyable and memorable and of course makes for some really great work too.

 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

I'm happy to work with each client on their specific needs, concepts, timeline and budget. Generally speaking, my current rate range is $50-$60/hour.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Send an email to hello@chiakisamonte.com and tell me about yourself, where you are based, your concept, project timeline and budget.

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Approaching mundane processes as an art [form].


This member profile was originally published in September 2019.