Twelve years ago, around this time, I remember having only been in the United States for less than a year when George W. Bush; standing in a podium in front of the white house, concluded his presidential term by welcoming the incoming president and saying “this peaceful transfer of power is one of the hallmarks of a true democracy” that simple statement, to me, it was as much of a cultural shock as the new language, and learning that people from all over the world call this place home.
One thing is to travel and be captivated by a country. In your eyes everything is new, the landscape, the costumes, the faces speaking a different language. All those are fascinating experiences that leaves you craving for that very thing even more; more traveling. Now, it’s a completely new feeling to visit your own country and find yourself just as intrigued by it. This ought to be something close to being home-sick for a place you do not know, I say this because I had never been to most of these places. The only way I can explain it is that before, I only ‘liked’ the idea of visiting the ruins in Tiwanaku or walking in the salt flats, but I only ‘liked’ those ideas because I was born in Bolivia, these places were always close by. They never felt as alluring as seeing some foreign land that is far away. Today, living in another country I get to feel like an outsider and I see Bolivia with the same allure as a tourist.
This summer the idea of start looking for a job was sort of uncomfortable. It was not too excited about looking for a new job because despite of the gratitude I have towards my first graphic design job; which was just this past summer. The experience was not what I expected, and yes; it was a rewarding experience, rewarding in the sense that it helped me grow, taught me how to be more marketable, and I gained a lot organization skills. However, It was not creatively fulfilling. That is one thing, but another factor was that the abundant of work that school gave me, had left me with no time to actually start applying for jobs, I did not wanted to just apply anywhere. So I really wanted to research the places I was going to apply for. In my head I had planned to search for studios with a culture around their work.
The day before graduation I spent all day finishing an idea that I had come up with a long ago. I wanted to make a thank you card for my class. Unfortunately, I had not put too much time on the card until that day. Months before I had written the thank you note, made some sketches, and finished some of the illustration in the computer.
All these awesome people, they are the best part of my school experience. The photos turned out great! I love them all. The black and white setting in my camera was something I wanted to try but I had not gotten a chance to really capture something important, and graduation was the best opportunity I have had so far. Black and white photography just adds this layer of communication that enhances the subtle signs, a layer that color photography does not always have. Either this is because, the elegance of the monotone or the way in which the excessive color-punches seem to be iron out of the image. A black and white photo just highlights the moment’s atmosphere.
My thesis project is finally coming to an end. I only have one more week of classes and the printed version of my thesis is done, now I had turned the publication into a DPS, this is an acronym for the adobe products pack named: digital publication suite. This is the last assignment I have to do for school and I could not help but to think of that while I was completing it. Who has not thought of that time when your last-last assignment is complete. when all the assignments are over and is time to say I am done with school.
I know I did couple times, but this does not mean I disliked my assignments, I might have disliked something here and there, but thanks to them I put long days of work and also fun days of work. I enjoyed most of them because they gave me reasons to come to school and ask for feedback, troubleshoot problems, and spend time with my friends all at the same time. How can I not think about it, the fact that I am graduating it did not happened just by chance. All these past years I saw myself, and my friends, putting hours and hours of work into school projects like this, so that I see this last assignment with a bitter-sweet feeling.
NEXT is around the corner and I am wrapping up the last details for the exhibit. I finished printing my posters, thanks Epson Stylus Pro 9880. I got to finish my videos. One video is a short minute and a half info-graphic that talks about design and music; very brief, simple, and with no sound. The other video is the opposite because is song after song for 16 minutes. As the two most approachable things in my space I tried to make them simple and and brief, so in this way people can stop listen some good music and learn a little bit about the role of design in music.
Carlos Perez, Photographed by Omar Cruz
As part of the last project in my senior year, my thesis-paper and publication, in my school we were asked to interview a person in the field of design who’s work or expertise had relevance to the topic of our thesis. For my project I chose to interview Carlos Perez, creative director and founder of Elastic People. I thought of Carlos Perez as the right person to interview because my thesis talks about the important role of design in pop music, and Carlos Perez is one the most prestigious names in the Latin music scene in the United States.
Perez has turned his love for music and design into a successful design firm. Today his creative agency works with a variety of renowned Latin artists. The work coming from Elastic People is multidisciplinary; this consist of film, creative direction, and branding. Among the several achievement of the agency’s remarkable trajectory there are: the album cover designs for 3 of the top 5 Latin Albums of the last Decade including Daddy Yankee’s Barrio Fino; the #1 Album of the Decade, and creative collaborations with 12 of the decade’s Best Latin Artists; according to Billboard Magazine’s “Best of Decade” Charts. Lastly to name just some of the clients he has done work for, we have Interscope Records, Machete Music, Sony Music Latin, Universal Music Latin Entertainment, El Cartel Records, Emi Music, Pepsi International, and Nike.
Last month I had the pleasure to visit Guanajuato in Mexico; I stayed in a peculiar small town called San Miguel de Allende, I was there thanks to a course I took in college. The place was beautiful and the locals were charming. The place itself, the people, the weather, and the food was all very nice. The rich history and beauty of the place was stimulating. The cobble stone streets, the colorful colonial houses, and the Baroque ornaments everywhere were signs of the rich past, of a once affluent colonial town. Many houses had balconies with vine flowers hanging, doors knobs of forge iron.The folk art and galleries throughout the town was the other aspect of San Miguel that got me. Craftsmanship and art was everywhere. One of our many stops in our visit was La Aurora, a place that housed several other galleries. In La Aurora all the galleries had quality work that just amazed me. We also visited la Escuela de Bellas Artes (The school of fine arts), a major school of art in Mexico, this institution has a school in San Miguel, which was in a big colonial building that resembled an old monastery. I was glad to hear my school had some sort of partnership with them, and that in the future the school will be working with them more closely.