About:

Please share a summary of yourself and your career "in a nutshell" to help introduce you to the community.

I am a 24 year old Argentinian girl that studied Graphic Design at UBA (University of Buenos Aires). I previously worked as a magazine editor, designer and UI designer at Aerolab. Right now I am in San francisco, facing the most challenging experience of my professional carrer so far. Mystery hahaha.

In The Beginning:

1. Can you remember who or what gave you the idea to begin a career in design?

It's very strange because I never really questioned what I was going to study. I remember one afternoon in my house, at that time I was 14 years old, my uncle saw a drawing that I had done and said, "You should study graphic design". I accepted the idea without hesitation. When school finished, the first thing I did was to sign up to the UBA (Buenos Aires public college) to become a designer.

2. What was the first website you were involved in designing and / or developing and how well did it go?

It was a year and a half ago. I worked for a project that helped collect customer feedback. The final project never came to light. On the one hand it reassured me because at that time I was much more inexperienced than I am now. I took capricious decisions without thinking too much. Luckily the customer liked it a lot, that really made me happy. I would like the opportunity to return to work on it and improve it.

3. How would you describe your career thus far? Is it all going to plan or is there no plan?

Life is giving me a lot of awesome surprises. I don't have a plan and think I never had one. I just enjoy every moment and take the opportunities that appear in my way. I strongly think that with hard work and doing things with love, you can get very far. The most important thing is to trust in yourself, in your abilities and potential.

4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send yourself a "temporal text" 5-10 years into the past?

LEARN TO CODE MERCEDES! haha, though it's kind of true but, the first thing would be "Don't be afraid". I know that I lost many opportunities because of fear. I mean, it's normal to be afraid but you don't have to let fear stop you.

Favorite Things:

1. What are your favorite aspects about working in design?

You always learn something new! And there is so much to explore. I find fascinating the different points of view of the same thing.

2. If you could pick only one favorite project from your experience thus far, which would it be and why?

One of the latest projects I worked on and really enjoyed working was the site of CSS Design Awards for website of the year. It was a big challenge because we had little time, but it gave us a chance to be able to make something beautiful with simple resources and elements. I have to thank the whole team of Aerolab for the effort they made to achieve something so beautiful.

3. Are there any favorite trends you would like to see more of in 2016?

I like to see typographic composition on websites. Typography is an important element that we have to design with and for that reason I like sites where the font has great hierarchy and presence.

Life Hacks:

1. Did you always want to work in the creative industries or did you consider any other career options?

I wanted to be a chef. When I was little I took cooking classes and was sure it was my thing, but then gave it up. In fact now I'm not a very good cook at all lol.

2. Do you have a good work and life balance or is it a work in progress? Any tips?

I'm very lucky, I have a dream job and I am surrounded by so many talented people from whom I learn new things every day. My family and friends are very supportive, that means a lot to me and was also important during my college career. There was a time when I wanted to drop out of college but luckily my friends didn't allow me to do that, thank God haha! Simply I just can not ask for more :)

3. What advice would you give to younger professionals wanting to find success in design?

I would say the same thing I would say to me a few years ago. Just do whatever you like most and not be swayed by the negative comments. There will be many people that will demotivate you. You have to do things for yourself, with pleasure, just don't be afraid of making mistakes.

4. If you had all the money you would ever need, what would you do with your life?

I would probably buy tons of ice-cream and travel around the world with my family and friends. But I would never quit designing!

Projects:

1. What type of projects and what industries do you prefer to work in?

I am now focusing on a particular product. I can take the time to do things right and to see how this product grows will be very rewarding. Previously I worked for several clients at the same time and I could not devote the time I wanted to each project because the deadlines were too close to each other.

2. What memorable challenges or highlights have you experienced from the projects you have worked on?

Every project is a challenge, I found it very difficult to find a project which does not represent a challenge! It is a good way to grow and learn new things. I still have a long way to go, I know I have much to learn. Luckily I think I am on the right path. I have to keep up the effort to be as good as my design teammates!! :D

Thank you for sharing an insight into your world. Any last words?

Thanks the CSS Design Awards team for being very kind to me and for letting me be part of the awesome jury. It is such an honor! And thanks for the opportunity of speaking my mind!

Mercedes is a freelance UI/UX designer with additional experience in graphic design. She was formerly a UI designer at Aerolab in Argentina.