Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
My name is Sandra Prieto and I am from Spain. I came to London 7 years ago in search of adventures, goals, and new opportunities. At first, it was difficult for me to adapt to a totally new city, a different language (I didn't speak much English when I arrived), and make new friends... come on, it wasn't a bed of roses. Like any foreign person who arrives in London, I started working in the hospitality industry for a year. When I felt more comfortable with the language, I decided to take the leap and look for work that I really liked and was qualified for - Graphic Design. I have been working as a Graphic Designer in London for 6 years now and I am currently Senior Graphic Designer at Feel Good Contacts. I feel proud of everything I have achieved for myself so far and look forward to everything that is yet to come!
What does your job involve? What happens on a typical day?
I am in charge of communicating a message or an idea through my creative work and making people react. My main focus is to create the images, following the brand style of the company in order to connect with the audience.
I feel like I'm lucky because I don't have a typical day... My days are different and it's something I love. I don't like monotony, I'm always inventing something new. Graphic designers spend a lot of time on the internet, be it researching, or looking for inspiration, graphic design can often be difficult. A day as a designer can be busy and often demanding, but it is also very rewarding and an opportunity to be creative.
What’s great about what you do?
I have always wanted to dedicate my time and work to becoming a Graphic Designer. Ever since I was little, my mother taught me how to paint and express my thoughts through painting too. Today as an adult (or so I think) I continue to do the same but with other tools. The great thing about what I do is that I get to do what I've always wanted.
What are the toughest parts of your job?
Definitely the hardest thing about being a designer is learning to listen and accept criticism with humility and gratitude. To design, you have to be willing to accept criticism because criticism (even negative ones) will help you. Even if a client or colleague is wrong, no observation came out of nowhere, remember that they can see what you do not see, so each criticism is a necessary contribution. When all the reviews are positive, get off the cloud and be critical of your work again because believe me they will never be all positive.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
The journey to my current position as a Senior Graphic Designer has been wonderful. Seeing how much the company has grown and become bigger every year, through graphic design work makes me feel very proud.
What's been the biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge of my career has been traveling to a new country and learning a new language. Well, sometimes it's not been easy to express myself, especially when English is not your first language. At first, the pronunciation was a bit difficult for me, but I got over it by studying a lot and listening, I also asked my colleagues to correct me if I did not pronounce a word correctly, and this led to a lot of laughs.
To work as a graphic designer it is very important to know how to express yourself, to be able to explain your work and ideas, and above all to know how to sell a good design. Thankfully, I’ve been able to overcome this.
What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
I have always been working and studying. I started as a graphic designer in Spain, in a photography studio (3 years), retouching images and creating designs with photographs (while studying graphic design). From there, I went to a printing house where I learned printing skills. Then a friend and I decided to create our own brand and work together as freelancers. Due to the crisis in Spain and the few jobs available, I decided to move to London. Here I started to work in hospitality, because my level of English was very basic, and when I felt confident I started applying for graphic designer jobs again. Since I've been in London I've worked for 3 different companies, and I've been growing quite fast.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry in recent times? If so, what?
Of course! The metaverse is taking over more and more every day and what this entails with NFTs is a new way of bringing digital art to life. I love the idea that one day we can enter a digital world and be able to create our own space and of course discover thousands of them.
How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?
I owe everything to my mum, she has always believed in me and has been my source of inspiration. I was always good at drawing, so when I was deciding what subject I wanted to study/work in, it was clear to me, I wanted to continue drawing but digitally, so I focused on graphic design. It is not an easy race but it is worth it if you enjoy it.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Back then, that time of my life was emotional for me, I had many things on my mind (dramatic moment): my parents separated and I felt responsible for helping my mother move our family forward, at this age I worked and studied to help my family. So I would tell my 16-year-old self this: "Don't worry so much about life, everything will be fine so live!"
Do you have any advice for young people interested in your field?
If you like it, do it! You have to be constant and always learning, do not stop studying, and also do not pay attention to people who try to underestimate your work. This job is as important as others. And best of all, we get paid for what we love to do.
Where can people find you and your work online?