TDK Awards 16' winner, Andrea Cenon, tells us about her love for typesetting, the inescapable LA creative scene, and reminds you that you are not pizza, you can’t please everyone.
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?
Earliest creative memories began with crayons and paint. I remember seeing my brother come home from high school with paintings from his art class and trying to copy his waterfall paintings. My early creative influence was definitely my brother, because I saw him using photoshop which sparked my curiosity and led me to mess with it too. I landed in design in college when I was taking art classes for fun and realized I didn’t want to just do it for fun anymore.
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?
I fell in love with creation and expression, before I fell in love with design. I was attracted to color and typography and the relationship they had without knowing anything past the look it presented. The appreciation and craft of design came with the education. Similar to a lust turned love story. When I decided to take design seriously, I bought the software and taught myself while I was still taking foundation courses. Then I got an internship at SoulPancake when I barely knew anything, but it solidified my path to design.
Any passion projects you would like to share?
My friends are authoring a book of poems. I originally was only supposed to design their book cover, but after finding out they were laying out their pages on google docs, I had to step in. I love typesetting, and figuring out how the content and reader can both be satisfied. The process has been great, and it gives me the heart satisfaction of doing something I love with people I love, even at a small scale.
What is the design landscape like in your city and where do you fit in?
Los Angeles has designers, design firms, freelancers, creatives, etc. in every corner. LA thrives in art and design, it’s inescapable. The community is big in theory, but everyone knows everyone. I’m sure a common thread can be woven within the unspoken design community of LA. At first glance, it’ll seem like there is no place for me or any newcomer, but I believe that room will be made where it’s meant to — granted that hard work and connections are made.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
1. Be at a constant state of learning.
2. It’s okay to not have everything figured out, take the first step.
3. Always show up and keep going.
4. Fail and grow, it’s good for you.
5. Balance the rest and hustle.
6. Pride is not your friend.
7. You are not pizza, you can’t please everyone. Still, be nice.
8. Learn the art of communication, know who you’re talking to.
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?
I think design will become a more significant vehicle for change and societal impact. Design will not only be a backdrop for answers, but design itself will be the answer, the propeller for the greater good. Design has yet to see the best of its days. In what way exactly? I don’t know, but I’m hopeful for the power of design and creation to fill voids as needed whether in small or large scales.
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