Hi Laura, how are you?
Fine, thanks, and you? :)
I’m fine too, thanks :-) Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Laura Vidal, I am 25, I come from a small city near Barcelona but now I’m living in Innsbruck (Austria).
I studied Computer Science at university and after getting my degree I started attending an art school where I studied Graphic Design, which is what I always wanted to do.
That was a couple of years ago and now -fortunately- I have already finished the degree and I work as a web developer.
Can I ask you why did you move to Austria?
Mostly because my boyfriend lives here :)
Ahah, ok! Do you think Austria is a nice place for graphic designers?
I suppose there are better places for designers in Austria than Innsbruck, I guess bigger cities like Vienna or Graz would be better. Anyway it’s a very nice place to live, although I miss a little bit all the options I had in Barcelona, many museums and exhibitions, meet-ups and design-related events.
Can I ask you if you’re ready to stay for several years there or if you’ll plan to move anywhere?
I usually don’t make long-term plans, so I don’t know how long will I stay here for. I guess I will go back to Barcelona in a few years, but I’m not sure.
Can you tell us anything more about your work as web developer?
I am a front-end developer, which means that I am given a web design and my job is to write the code to make the website look as the designer designed it.
Where did you study to become what you’re now?
I studied Computer Science at university, there you learn many different things but you don’t have the chance to go deep in anything. So mostly you have to learn by yourself.
Would you define yourself as a creative?
No, I don’t think I am especially creative, just quite normal :)
What about your friends and parents? What they think about you?
Fortunately I have friends which are much more creative than me, and well, about parents, I think their opinion is always a little bit too high… :)
I’m planning to move in London in a few months. What advices would you give me?
Living abroad is not always easy, especially at the beginning, and for me the most important thing to solve is to find a place to live. Staying in a hostel for the first days or weeks may be a good option, but it’s always nicer if you can have your own place instead of sharing a room with many different people.
And I guess you shouldn’t forget to carry an umbrella :)
Ahah, yes! Can you tell us anything about your new projects?
The last project I worked on is a collection of posters I made for a friend.
I selected a few videogame characters and depicted them only through a subset of their colours, which makes an abstract image but if you know the characters well enough you can guess who they are.
Before that one I worked on my school project. It was a website where old people could publish videos of themselves explaining stories about their life. The intention was to create a database of their memories.
This project reminds me the Banca della Memoria (‘Memory Bank’). Do you think the web can have a social interest?
I didn’t know this ‘Banca della Memoria’! It seems quite successful, that’s good. What a shame I didn’t find it on time for my project :(
The idea is more or less the same, but my project was not so ambitious because it was aimed at a local target. As a method of obtaining the videos for the website, the project included the organization of small local events where the old people would meet and talk all together, while they would have been recorded by people with the right technical skills and afterwards the videos would have been uploaded to the website.
I think the Banca della Memoria or projects like this can have social interest but I wouldn’t expect it to become mainstream.
Can you tell us anything more about the project with videogame characters? I’m really curious.
I was living together with some friends, and David was the first one to move out. We have been friends for quite a long time now. When he moved to his new apartment I was on a holiday trip, and when I came back I visited him and wanted to give him a present, but he already had bought all he needed (cutlery, kitchen accessories, …). So I had a difficult task ahead until I came up with the idea of making some posters for him.
David is a gamer since he was a kid, and videogames are one of his passions.
I chose 16 videogame characters from games he liked, most of them are from Nintendo, and found a way to depict them through a 8x8 matrix of colored squares (like very big pixels). This way he would guess which character was in the poster but it would be abstract enough so not-so-geeky people could enjoy them as well.
What do you think of this nostalgia for old videogames and cartoons? I mean: you can find several things related to 80s and 90s all around the internet.
I think it’s quite normal, I always heard my parents talking about their favourite cartoons, and on the other hand, I think it’s easier to sell items which cause some emotion on you, such as childhood memories.
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t like making long-term plans because they usually don’t work out well. My plan now is to stay in Innsbruck until I feel like going back home, for now I’m quite fine here; go on working as a web developer and on my free time make some design projects.
My future no-plan (what I would like to do) is working in a good design studio in Barcelona, but I see it very, very far :)
Good luck ;-) The interview is over, thank you Laura. Is there anyhing else would you like to say to our readers?
O hai :)
Thank you, Filippo. Good luck in London!