WHAT DO YOU DO?
I work across different mediums (Print, web, photography, and illustration) and I’m also the founder & curator of Someware, an online lifestyle store focused on blending the boundaries between modern design and traditional craft.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I started crafting my lifestyle when I moved from Colombia to study Graphic Design in Hawaii. Living in an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean was magical, to say the least, but after graduating there weren’t a lot of career opportunities in my field, so I decided to move to California. I developed my career working for different interactive Ad agencies in LA where I had a chance to work on renown brands such as Hulu, Adidas, Carl’s Jr, and See’s Candies amongst others. After working in the advertising industry for years, I decided to start my own brand and creative studio looking for outlets that would allow me to expand my skill set by exploring different mediums.
How do you stand out in your field?
Seeing the world through a multicultural lens gives my work a very different perspective. Also, as a business owner and brand creator, I can easily relate to my clients in terms of delivering creative that supports the underlying business goals of a project.
When it comes to my process, I start all projects by researching the competitive market of the specific product, service or brand that I’m working on. Once I have a clear understanding of the problem that the brand has set out to solve, I identify areas where there’s a gap for the consumer or where the competition falls short. Doing this allows me to come up with a unique marketing strategy that communicates the brand’s story. I also like using metaphors as storytellers because they can guide the visual tone and voice in unexpected ways that are interesting yet easy for the consumer to understand.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’m in the beginning stages of a personal project. I’ve always been drawn to surface design, so I really want to expand on that this year. I’m currently just in the research phase, but the idea is to create a brand that allows me to explore my love for illustration, patterns, and prints. All the fun stuff!
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I’m a modernist at heart, but I like to incorporate classic elements into my work. If I have to pick one word to describe my taste, I say minimalism is definitely a common thread throughout. I love letting white space guide the viewer’s eye towards a specific focus of attention and giving breathing room to the different elements in the layout. When it comes to typography, my approach is bold and hierarchical. I like to play with varying sizes of text and use lines to break down information. Regarding color, I’m particularly drawn to vibrant palettes, although I love pastels and neutral tones too.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
There are multiple areas that I’d love to focus on. The first one would be illustration, which has been a passion on mine for a long time now. I’ve also been doing a lot of product and lifestyle photography in the past couple of years, so I want to continue expanding on that. I think my designer brain struggles with letting go of perfection, but when it comes to photography, the beauty of an image is more about the feeling that it conveys rather than its technicality, which I find sort of liberating. Lastly, I’d love to design more mobile interfaces. I like thinking about usability and accessibility for each component in the screen and the challenge of organizing information in a small real estate.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Accounting and taxes! This is probably one of the most painful parts of owning a small business.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I love having an extra hand and there’s always plenty of things to do! I would ask them to help me with marketing, social media and general assistant tasks like taking care of emails, organizing receipts, assist with photo shoots, etc.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Trust your gut and follow your heart —It will never lead you wrong!
It’s so simple and yet so hard to master. I’ve learned to not regret mistakes from the past because every single experience will teach you something, but I do wish I had been better at listening to my heart 10 years ago. I had a tendency to second guess my intuition, which kept me going back and forth between decisions. These days I’m much better at meditating on my thoughts and emotions, so I feel happier and much more true to myself.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
The first thing that comes to mind is SEO —I’m puzzled by the science behind it. Organic traffic is an art of its own and the secret sauce of having a successful website, but no simple guide can teach you how to master it.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I have a pretty wide range. Currently, I’m interested in building identity systems and packaging for brands, art directing and shooting lookbooks, developing print collections that can be applied to different surfaces, such as wallpaper, tissue paper, and textiles; and creating responsive websites and mobile apps.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
My favorite projects happen when I get the freedom to push my own creative boundaries, so I love to work with clients that are risk takers and want to stand out from the crowd. I also enjoy collaborating with other creatives because you learn a lot from merging forces with someone you’re inspired by and that compliments your skillset. The outcome can be pretty magical as long as there’s good synergy in between.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Generally speaking, pricing is determined after figuring out the full scope of the project. I either charge hourly or a flat rate, but there are different rates and levels of effort for print, digital, illustration and photography work, so I prefer to put together the estimate once I’ve figured out all the moving pieces of the project.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
An intro email with a brief description of the project and other determining factors like budget and timing are a good way to start. We can then set up a time to chat so I can figure out the scope of work and proceed with a quote.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Living life outside of the computer!
This member profile was originally published in January 2019.