We had the good fortune of connecting with Mayra Ortiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mayra, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Since I was little I had (like most children were) enjoyed coloring and drawing. But when I was in elementary school I had a little entrepreneur moment where I was selling my Pokemon drawings to the kids from school so I could save up for a very expensive $14.00 USD Pikachu backpack. It’s funny but really that’s the moment I knew what I wanted for my future: be an artist. But around High School an aunt told me I should pursue Graphic Design because it could be more profitable than an artist ( I liked drawing but I didn’t feel I had a high caliber to compete in the field) and I also had an interest in video games so I saw this as a little entry to that industry. But then I had my first graphic designer job and I fell in love with everything that had to do with identity design. I became obsessed on how to help big and small companies how to reach their desired audience with typography, colors and compositions.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve learned along the way that feedback is crucial in order to make your craft better. As designers sometimes we have tunnel vision or we get attached to our work that might blinds us to flaws or ways to improve something. Take any criticism (good or bad) as a way to learn. It’s not easy, but with time I’ve developed a thick skin that helps me see with clarity what I need to improve.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The best thing about San Diego is that we have Mexico as neighbors. Tijuana has a lot to offer in food and drinks – unfortunately the pandemic has slowed down a few things but people still go out to have fun (in limited capacity). I would say in San Diego there are great places in North Park and Downtown. Definitely visit Balboa Park filled with museums and artists where you can buy great art. Coronado Island is also a sight to see with the Coronado Brewery joint to visit if you’re into great beer and food. Tons of places to visit! Just don’t forget your mask and antibacterial gel to be safe.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
At the beginning of my career I felt a little stuck in a job that (even though I loved) I’ve reached the top and couldn’t grow more. That’s when I had the idea to intern in a big agency called Basic. I feel I owe a lot to them because they helped me get out of my bubble (I was working in Tijuana) and gave me that push to pursue my design career in the big, sunny city of San Diego. And this step was very important because it gave me experience to get more jobs/gigs and feel more confident about my craft. Another very important shutout is to Rodrigo, a great designer and friend that always pushes me to create the best work possible. He’s a great inspiration for me. Wherever you are Rodrigo, you are always in my thoughts and hoping we can work together again in the future! Pishin (Jesús Escarréga) it’s an amazing motion designer whose work ethic always amazes me. We often collaborate with clients to help them elevate their messaging with design and animation.
Janitor Creative Studio and Dina Diaz Photography