#MODtalks Concept Building
Onward and upward! We recently sat down with our graphic designer, Andrea Ulloa, as she let us in on her creative process. When it comes to developing eye-catching and out-of-the-box designs, she’s an expert. She nods many thanks to her time at Academy of Art University in San Francisco for challenging her creativity by working on projects that aimed to solve real world issues.
- What drew you to graphic design?
At a very young age, I found my creative bubble. My baby book is filled with pictures of me with paint sets. I had a Little Tyke’s desk filled with sheets of paper for decorating, and at one point my “art studio” was spilling over into the rest of our house. Thankfully, I have two encouraging parents who let my creative mind roam free.
In high school, I took my very first art class with my favorite teacher. Mrs. Rubay assigned a project called “Something Out of Nothing,” which forced us to rummage through junk with the goal of transforming what we found into something beautiful. I continued to test my artistic abilities and strived to land a career that allowed me to further push my creative boundaries. This is when I found graphic design. Graphic design lets me make something out of nothing through strategic problem solving and creative thinking.
- Can you share some tips for developing fresh and printable content?
Developing clean, fresh and printable design stems from thorough research and conceptualization. I always ask myself if a design isn’t backed up by meaning, is it successful? I research my clients, strategize how to connect with their consumers, and then establish designs to enhance their brand. Pretty designs can only do so much. Beauty fades and style trends change. A graphic designer’s responsibility is to visually captivate the audience, create content that sparks conversations, and strengthen their client’s brand. Designs that hold deeper meanings make connections that last far longer than something that is merely aesthetically appealing.
- What was the biggest lesson you learned from attending Academy of Art University?
One of the most important lessons came from Professor Thomas McNulty. I met him halfway through my time at AAU and he left an incredibly strong impact on me. He had the ability to pull real life situations into the studio. His goal was to utilize our creativity to solve real world issues. The projects I had worked on thus far were purely imaginative, but he pushed us to strive for relevance in our work that could potentially impact the world.
- When in a creative rut – where do you seek inspiration?
I seek inspiration from everything around me. From traveling to people watching. I love to go for walks, hikes, and mini adventures. There’s so much to see and truly absorb. I like to pause and take in my environment and reflect on what’s happening around me. On rainy days, you can often find me on Pinterest.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself – how do you spend your free time?
I’m a fan of the simple moments in life, especially spending time with my family. From lounging in the backyard to having conversations about various things to cooking new recipes, these are my favorite things. My family and I have taken many road trips throughout the years, and I love the moments when I can hear my parent’s music throughout the car, and we’re surrounded by all the beautiful things we’re so fortunate to see.