Talking about yourself is a challenge. Talking about yourself in the context of your work is even more challenging. In my case, my practice is so very aligned with who I am as a person, that the challenge lies in separating my personal self from my designer-self. But alas, I’ve found solace in relaying how both go hand in hand.
Ironically, graphic design was never in the cards for me. Though I had applied to a myriad of degree programs under the umbrella of Art & Design, Graphic Design was my plan Z. Luckily, I had been awarded a scholarship to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University- everything I could have wanted and more; a chance to explore European grounds. However, to my dismay, my plan Z was listed big and bold in my acceptance letter, but I could not lose sight of what I truly wanted. So, off to Cardiff I went, lacking knowledge and/or preparation of what was to come.
Life has a strange way of piecing together these, at the time, detrimental circumstances that eventually become divine intervention. This is my favourite form of magic: coincidence. I had quickly and wholeheartedly fallen in love with Design and all that it had encompassed. It has been challenging as well as surprising to me in so many ways. It was the fast-brewed love for design and a dear friend of mine that encouraged me to live in Berlin, Germany for a year- a place that I will always hold close to my heart. Being there chiseled my sensibility and understanding for design and how it came to be. From art history, to architecture, to contemporary art, to cultural integration: I was witnessing my life and love of art being influenced by design in real-time. I’ll never forget learning about Erik Spiekermann, Berlin-based design genius, who designed the metro-map and brand identity for the major public transportation system in Berlin- something I was using almost everyday. And it’s in those moments that you appreciate your life’s journey. Design has connected so many dots, has introduced me to amazing people, and has curated new paths for the way I view my career.
I’m so thrilled to be sharing this mini interview with you all. If the above snippet peaked your interest, head over to Safia.Elena x Caribbean Creatives to read more on my sources of inspiration, design process and more!