Hay una versión en español de este artículo aquí.
Last April we had the opportunity to contact Mexican Designer Ignacio “Nacho” Peon, who currently resides in Canada. We are very excited to have him speak to us through this forum. We hope you enjoy the following interview.
CV.- How long have you lived in Toronto?
NP.- Six years… an eternity.
CV.- Was it difficult to adapt? Do you live with your family?
NP.- I came here with my wife. After one year my oldest daughter was born. My son was born last year.
I was lucky. I had Mexican friends here and one of them helped me get a job at the animation studio where he worked, so the transition was easy. This doesn’t mean we don’t miss our friends and family in Mexico.
CV.- I find it uncommon for a Graphic Designer to write about design. You have contributed to Tiypo Magazine, among others; How did you get the urge to do this? After all, designers tend to be very practical people in general.
NP.- Let me tell you, I did it exactly for the reason you mentioned. I also felt there was a gap in our industry. There were themes that no one was touching in design press, and even though I have no preparation as a writer, I decided to take the leap and share in an other type of information.
CV.- In your opinion, Is there a lack of Design Theory?
NP.- No, I believe there’s a lot of it. However, it is focused on specific areas such as corporate image, or more general ones such as semiotics.
CV.- What do you think a Mexican Designer should be like? What do we need to become more competitive?
NP.- Nothing, we are very competitive, both locally and globally. The secret to be more recognized outside the country is very simple and you are already doing it in your publication: become bilingual.
CV.- Perhaps what we are missing then, is a more promising economy than the one we currently have…
NP.- Of course, the more solid the economy, the more opportunities we have. However, that does not affect in any way the level of creativity and the ingenuity to find projects.
CV.- Which aspects of the education you received in Mexico have helped you in your current job… what curriculum?
NP.- Hmmm, something unique about education in Mexico is that it encourages you not to become specialized this makes you very flexible and open to learn new things.
CV.- Ah… who would have thought something that many see as a disadvantage, in reality is not…
NP.- To be a Jack of all trades is really good. You don’t say; “No” to any gig. Add to that that we are super fast and we are used to clients who want the work done by yesterday.
CV.- Currently: Do you work Freelance?
NP.- Some times, I haven’t self promoted much because I want to have time for the family.
CV.- Is that so you don’t have to be at the office 8 hours or more?
NP.- That’s something I like about the First World: Schedules are sacred.
CV.- Where do you work?
NP.- I work for a small sports TV station.
CV.- How is your current job like? Would you describe one of your work days?
NP.- I go in at 9 am, check my email, chat with my peers about the day’s pending work, if there’s something to distribute we do it then. During the morning we are in touch with the people who ordered the projects so they can answer any pending questions. When someone finishes a design, we critique it to correct details. On due dates, we send finished work via email.
CV.- In Mexico, normally, if you work Freelance or if you work for an agency, you are a slave to your work.
NP.- Being Freelance is just as hard here as in Mexico. My wife is in that situation. On the plus side, she can organize her time however she wants and she works in a great variety of projects.
CV.- How do you manage to come up with good ideas when you work under a lot of pressure?
NP.- I believe that having a lot of visual culture helps to initiate projects because you are able to quickly find visual references, you locate sources, define appropriate styles, and now with the internet one runs into thousands of images all the time. I have stopped buying books and magazines. I now collect internet links.
CV.- Hopefully you would share some of your favorites with our readers.
NP.- By the way, this site has reached a new level, publicly showing many designers’ collections: http://ffffound.com
CV.- I know you are modest, you were my professor some years ago. But tell me: What do you consider to be your contribution to Mexican Design?
NP.- My sister, fellow Graphic Designer Monica Peon, teases me by calling me the “Matchmaker of Design”… I connect people.
CV.- Does that mean you are good with public relations?
NP.- That was my greatest contribution to “Matiz” and “Tiypo” magazines, I invited people who didn’t know each other and new friendships and projects came out of that. I actually was… I no longer am an active part of the industry in Mexico…
CV.- In a way you still are, because you have been registered in the collective design memory of Mexico, now you must live with that…
NP.- I always thought my name was easy to remember and that helped me… (laughs)
CV.- Historically, the most creative people are good in social affairs as well…
NP.- Not exactly, I am rather shy, but if I see that two friends share common interests I introduce them or recommend them for gigs or to clients.
CV.- Where can we see your current work?
NP.- Here, I am posting recent experimental work while I launch my own site: http://www.behance.net/NachoPeon
CV.- Finally, What would you say to the kids who are starting out in Graphic Design?
NP.- To try to get work as soon as possible. I believe that’s the only way to understand what design is all about and the kind of discipline required. In my experience, a lot of people sign up to study the career without having the vocation. Here in Canada you have to submit a portfolio to be accepted into the design program.
CV.- This is evidenced in that I have former students who work in other fields yet they have a graduate degree in Design.
NP.- I clarify that it doesn’t make them better, simply there are more filters at the beginning and that lets professors focus more on the more motivated students.
CV.- That’s right, there would be more quality in their education as well.
NP.- Yes, that is why here they become so specialized. They are super focused.
CV.- Thank you Nacho
NP.- Your welcome
translator Virna Villagomez