We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamara Segura and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamara, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balancing my life as a Graphic designer/Type Designer/Human, has been and still is, one of the most difficult challenges for me. When I finished school, I started working right away at a branding agency, I dove right into it, while pursuing my type design path I began a one year program at the same time, this made it really hard for me to balance my life at that moment, however, it wasn’t until 2020, I realized I needed to find a better work/life balance, and even more a better balance between type and graphic design. Type is what I love the most, and lots of time I felt like it was something I was doing as an afterthought to everything else instead of being more active with it. With the transition from on site to home office I learned to balance better, and to take the time to do what I was truly happy doing, letters, and with this in mind I’ve tried, to this day, to keep this balance in my daily practice, without losing the love for what I do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Even though for the past 2-3 years I feel like I’ve grown so much as a designer, I know that I have a long way to go, I would like to explore other styles, maybe even other scripts, my work is usually a reflection of who I am, and where I come from. A lot of my work has come from a place of pride, for my culture, my surroundings, or even the people who inspire me to move forward. I have tried to pour my heart and soul into what I do, either by being inspired by my roots, like I did in my typefaces Xóchitl, and Mercado, where I paid tribute to the amazing and colorful Mexican culture street and fair hand painted signage, or by trying things I haven’t explored before. I like to challenge myself and my work, to push the boundaries of the things I know.
This has actually been one of the hardest things for me, coming to terms with the fact that no matter what you do, whether its something big or small, it’s yours, and to feel proud and happy with the outcome you have to give it your best, every single time.
I’ve learned, the hard way, that inspiration doesn’t always come running around the corner, you have to work hard for that small strike of inspiration, and then, work even harder to translate it, into a graphic output. Especially in type design, its a non-stop trial and error cycle, it never ends, a complete rollercoaster of emotions, where you might be on top one minute, and down the next, a continuos cycle of redrawing, reconsidering the previous decisions you made; its a long process, where sometimes you find yourself second guessing everything you did, and you have to learn where to stop, and how to negotiate with yourself in order to keep the process moving.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Mexico City is an amazing place to visit, full of life and hidden treasures. First, I would love to take them to as many museums as we can handle, especially the smaller ones, like Museo Dolores Olmedo, in the south of the city, where you can see not only amazing art pieces, but the beautiful colonial architecture of the estate, also a quick trip to the center of Tlalpan neighborhood, where we could sit down for a nice cup of coffee while enjoying the calm and peaceful view of the daily life. A quick trip to the art street market in San Ángel on a nice Saturday afternoon, with some churros and chocolate from a well-known place nearby called El Convento. And to top this amazing experience, we couldn’t miss going to El Mayor, a nice terrace restaurant with views of the city center, and the archeological site of Templo Mayor accompanied by some amazing food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A big part of me being at a point in my career where I can do what I love, is because of a lot of people who have supported me throughout my path. I don’t think I could name just one person/group, I’ve been encouraged and pushed by amazing people. Times New Woman is a diverse group of spanish speaking women who are interested in letters in different disciplines, type, lettering, calligraphy, etc, I feel the luckiest, to have been a part of them for the past couple years, a group where I feel safe and accompanied in every part of my process in this transition of shifting from a more graphic practice into more type and lettering. Another person who has believed in me is Juan Villanueva, founder of Type Crit Crew, and current instructor of the Type West at the Letterform Archive Online Program, I first met him, through the Letrástica Community Type Cookers, then ended up getting a scholarship to take his Display Type Class at Cooper Union in the Fall of 2021, where I learned so much from type design, became part of an amazing community of new up and coming designers and met amazing creatives and people. Also, participating in the Alphabettes Mentorship program was an unbelievable opportunity to see more upclose how the industry works, and being part of Letrástica Community and Festival in México has allowed me to meet wonderful people and made it easier for me to dive in deeper into this amazing world.