What led you into design?
I’ve always liked drawing, my dad is very good at it, though his profession is nothing related to art, he always liked it. He started teaching me when I was 4 years old and since then I’ve never stopped doing it, he always supported me and encouraged me to eventually choose a career where I could draw.
As I grew up, I became more and more interested in studying something related to art, I was into Japanese cartoons as a kid and a big fan of the art of bands like Gorillaz as a teenager. I didn't really know what graphic design was about at the time, but since I wanted to put “my art” into something like books, magazines or any other media, I ended up choosing Graphic Design, suggested by one of my high school professors.
What does a typical day look like?
I wake up around 7:00am but I’m officially awake around 8:00am. I have a hopefully good commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan. I go to the office, which is in 20th Street and always have a lot of coffee as soon as I get in (I have to say that most people in the studio are great coffee makers)
Hello Monday has 2 offices in Denmark and one in New York and most teams are mixed with people from both countries, so I usually have morning calls to sync with the part of the team that is in Denmark. I think it’s great to go to sleep knowing that people over there continue working where you left, and in the morning there are good surprises in your files, fresh stuff to look at and you get to talk to them and hear their thought behind those solutions.
I usually have a couple of breaks during the day, sometimes to take a walk, there are plenty of coffee places nearby and there’s always something going on in the city, it’s cool to take some fresh air and then go back to work. We also play one or two foosball matches during the day, everyone is very competitive! After work, I see friends, have dinner, hang out, or take my bike for a ride.
What’s your setup?
Where do you go to get inspired?
Lots of random stuff, besides the work of designers and friends that I admire, I take inspiration from books, art shows and exhibitions in the city, concerts, sometimes random drawings on the streets, murals, there are plenty of things to get inspired from in NY, I also get inspired a lot from things I see while traveling and some websites like:
I like Cargo Collective because people post a lot of personal work that doesn’t have a client, it’s nice to see what people do just for fun without any creativity limitations.
What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?
I think Nintendo Switch is really smart, the whole experience is simply amazing, no need to say that most of the games have such beautiful art and clever gameplay.
What pieces of work are you most proud of?
Definitely most of my most recent work with illustration and iconography. I like how choosing the right style can give a lot of personality to projects, and it’s part of my job to “spice up“ a little bit the already great designs that are crafted here with some cool drawings and/or icons.
I was part of Adobe Live last year and it was an amazing experience because I had the chance to share my work process using some of the Creative Cloud tools for 3 days to a very broad and worldwide audience Live. I also had a very good time in San Francisco.
You can watch the streams here:
What design challenges do you face at your company?
Most of the work I do requires illustration skills, I have to come up with stuff in varied styles, sometimes it’s difficult to leave your comfort zone and try things that are not what you usually do. It also requires a lot of thinking but one of my goals this year is to come up with good solutions in less amount of time and continue exploring different styles.
Another challenge, that’s not related to design, is language and culture, coming from a Spanish speaking country I found very difficult to find my personality in another language and since I’m working in a Danish company, I keep learning a lot of cool things about their culture, however, I think it’s nice to be open to other ways of thinking and sharing your own.
What music do you listen to whilst designing?
Any advice for ambitious designers?
- Be nice to people
- Never stop learning
- Titles don’t matter, it’s the work that matters
- Do stuff on the sides, just for fun, in the end it’s rewarding
- Surround yourself with people who inspire you
- Not everything is work, have a beer with a friend sometimes
- Take inspiration from things that are not necessarily other people’s designs or what’s trendy at the moment, inspiration and solutions come from unexpected places
- Don’t be afraid of sharing what you do or show what things you like
- If you can’t resolve something, get a coffee and start over in a blank page
- Be patient
- Photoshop, Illustrator, sketch... all of them are like “color boxes” that help giving life to your ideas, but the most important part of design happens in your brain before you drop a pixel. Don’t let software limit your creativity, think first, execute after :)
- Teamwork is amazing
- Be open to meet new people and new ways of thinking
Anything you want to promote or plug?
The best way to see my work or just say hi! is on Instagram @sindy.ethel I post stories with video work process and some random stuff.
Hello Monday is looking for a Sr. Designer or Art director in NYC, if you’re interested, send us your amazing stuff to [email protected]