Ana Gomez is an amazing Graphic Designer from Barcelona. Her illustrations and typography work are definite showstoppers with its intricate details. Be inspired as she shares her passion, dedication and advice on creating illustrations and designing! Read on and see more of Ana’s work in this interview.
Hi Ana! We’d like to know more about you. First off, can you tell us something about yourself?
I am a Barcelona born and raised Graphic Designer who fell in love with New York City and moved here 3 years ago. I like to work with typography and illustration, which naturally leads to lettering.
Was graphic design a childhood dream? How did you train for it?
I’ve always liked to draw. I remember that, when I was 6 years old, I had a class assignment to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up. I drew a painter. I feel that graphic design is an evolved result of that desire. I practiced throughout my childhood and youth, and when the time came, I attended Elisava, a Design School in Barcelona. From there I learned the basics, it was once I became a professional that I learned the real profession. Graphic Design requires dedication. Hours and hours in front of your sketchbook and your computer, an open mind to absorb the input we all get from our everyday lives and transform it into ideas. But if you love what you do, every second of it is worth it and, most of all, very filling.
What is a day like for you?
In a ideal day, I wake up early in the morning and I go to the gym (which happens a from 2 to 4 days a week), after that I go to the office and I make myself a cup of green tea. I never liked coffee. Then I run through my emails and newsletters and I check the paper and the usual social networks, which takes me an hour more or less. And the designing time begins! I usually have a couple projects on my plate so that every day is a little bit different, which is good because, since my work is very detailed, each project requires a lot of time and it is good to switch scenarios to keep my eyes and mind fresh!
What is your design philosophy?
It has to be good. It has to be perfect. It’s never perfect, but the desire for doing something flawless makes you learn and grow as a designer faster. Paying attention to detail makes the work better, because even when a detail is not easy to see, it’s perceived, and if it has been treated with attention, the result is more likely to be harmonic, balanced and well composed.
What is your current inspiration?
I get inspired in many different ways. Sometimes from other designer’s work, sometimes from music or from something I read in a book about cognitive science. Anything that picks your brain is good for idea generation! Stylistically, I have always admired the work of the artists who worked in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. The Art Noveau, The Jugdenstil, The Catalan Modernisme, all various names to the same ornamented, intricated style that produced beautiful illustration and lettering work. Antoni Gaudí, Alphonse Mucha, Aubrey Beardsley.
I must say you do an amazing array of typography work. How do you develop this type of work?
I didn’t start working on typography as the main focus of my projects until 2 years ago. Living in New York gave a 180º turn to my life and the way I used to look at it. I started getting excited about ascendents and descendents, the eyes, the drops… My years drawing helped me put on paper the ideas I had for different types of letters, and the passion grew so fast.
I approach projects brainstorming by drawing on my sketchbook and writing down ideas and concepts. By doing this I visualize the ideas and the concepts so that I can remember them easily. Then, when they are in the back of my mind, anything can make the project click, a sign on the street, an article on a magazine, an ad on the subway. They key is always be open to inspiration. Once I have the idea clear, I do a quick pencil sketch and I digitalize it, vectorize it and work on the finishes.
What do you love the most about typography?
What I love the most is that typography is the art of working with the forms of the written language. Is not about writing a letter, is about the shape of that letter, the space between them, the space between the words and between groups of words. We can play with the variables in order to make a text easy and pleasant to read. On the other hand, we have lettering, which combines typography and illustration, and feeds from Calligraphy and Graffiti. In Lettering, the work with letters is not so much about readability as it is about creating a dynamic, balanced and stunning composition.
“Winter Bugs” is one of your many amazing work that, if I may say, showcases the complexity of your style. What is the story and meaning behind this work?
It is funny that you asked about that particular project. Some years ago I was at my grandma’s place, a little village in the interior of Catalunya in Spain, and was supposed to hang out with a friend. Since I had to wait for her, I decided to go to a vineyard closeby. It was a foggy winter day, beautiful despite of what it may seem, and I decided to take some pictures with my phone. After that weekend, when I downloaded those pic on my computer, I realized how detailed the naked branches where, and I decided to redraw them. Once I had all the vector pieces, I started playing with them and creating symmetries and the Winter Bugs where born! I always liked the delicacy of embroidery and I though it would balance the coldness of the black and white, branchy bugs. What I like the most about this story is that this project came from nowhere. I liked the landscape so I took pictures, I looked at the pictures and I liked the branches and from there everything came as if I was discovering the project instead of creating it.
Do you have new projects you’re currently working on?
I always have something going on besides my client work. Right now I am working on a lettering piece, an infographics one and a collaboration project.
Any message for our readers?
I always felt very lucky of having the luxury of working on what I really love. And I do it because I set a goal and I followed it. I am still following it! As Chet Baker said: ” The good way to go in life is to find something that you really enjoy doing, and then learn to do it better than anybody, and you won’t have any problems”. I understand “”do it better than anybody” as an encouragement to practice, work hard and since practice makes perfect, I believe that with perseverance anything is achievable .