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Featured Graphic Desinger

Iván Willenberg

August 2018

Iván Willenberg, Graphic designer & Creative artist, caught up with us about how he got started in design and what a typical day might include. REad on to hear some of the advice Iván dishes out as well as where he thinks design is heading.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I got my Bachelor's degree in Advertising at the Universidad Empresarial Siglo 21, in Córdoba, Argentin. My first jobs were personal projects, mostly illustrations about musicians and music bands that I liked at that time. These types of projects then helped me to get into the local radio station business, and they also gave me the opportunity to work with different musicians and bands in the art process of their albums.

When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?

As a boy I always liked to draw, which made me admire the graphic design of skateboards and clothing brands. I studied Advertising which is related to graphic design, but the degree didn’t give me the right tools and knowledge that a designer requires.

My first internship while I was in University, was as an editor in an advertising agency. I felt inspired by watching the designers work. The idea of not being able to carry out my own ideas by myself, for lack of knowledge in the programs, helped me realize that I wanted to be a graphic designer.

I developed and improved my skills in a self-taught way, observing professionals work in different areas, such as illustration, branding, advertising, 3D, etc, and by a deep experimentation in both digital and traditional design media.

What does a typical working day include for you right now?

My day begins with preparing something to drink for breakfast, which could be mate that is a traditional Argentinian infusion or just a coffee. I sit in front of the computer and play music based on my mood at that moment and organize my day according the work that I have to do.

When I need a break from my job I try to do different activities in order to clear my head, such as playing the bass, or going for a walk. These activities allow me to return to work more focused.

At the end of the day I like to go out for a drink with friends, listen to music, or just stay at home watching a movie. I also try to save some time every day to look for new sources of inspiration within the design field and other areas. I think this is very important to nourish the brain!

What do you look for in a great client?

What I value the most in my clients is the trust that they give me and the ability to get involved in the project with an open mind in order to try different things.

I think it is very important that clients value and appreciate your work and recognize the time when they should just let you do your thing. I like clients who do not fear creativity and are capable of being driven enough to do things differently than the way they were used to.

Basically I like when we can create a co-worker environment with my client, more than a designer and client only relationship.

What advice would you give students starting out?

My principal advice to students starting out would be to not be afraid to experiment, tell them to immerse themselves in all the variants that the design has to offer, mixing, playing and testing everything, both digitally and the traditional way of doing design media.

I know many designers who admire and would love to do illustration work or in 3D, and that they believe they can’t do it.

Another bit of advice would be to get the necessary tools and experiment with them, sharing their projects with colleagues and professionals. I think this is what helped me to develop and improve my skills in order to grow as a professional.

Try to constantly challenge yourself and leave your comfort zone, this will allow you to have greater tools and abilities to solve any project or work that could be presented to you with greater precision. Do not be afraid to experiment, to make mistakes, to try again and share your work.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

To be honest, nowadays everything is going so fast that I find it unpredictable to know what will happen in the next 12 months. I think that design is going in a direction where there are fewer structures, and more attitude. We are in times where society expresses disconformity and injustices which can lead to revolutions, where we no longer just let things go through simply, and I think that it is affecting the design field. The only way I see myself adapting to all these changes is by being the way I am, expressing what I feel and think within the design field without keeping anything.

Design has a great communication power and today it is part of this revolution. I would like to think that in the next five years it will be an important factor to help overthrow certain diagrams and social structures that no longer add up anything good, if not the opposite.

Website: ivanwillenberg.com

Instagram: @iv.willenberg

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