We are continuing with our interview series, here at Admix Web, where we are publishing one interview per week of fellow web designers and developers. I am still requesting designers and developers to nominate colleagues in the field, or themselves, for an informal interview conducted by myself. It is my contention that these interviews will not only give us great insight into the people behind the designs, but they will also help with networking, collaboration, and generally getting to know each other on a more personal level. We are still looking for interviewees, so please contact me if you are interested at hlamarche[at]admixweb[dot]com. This is week seven of our interview series, and this is our first female web designer in the interview series, and many more to come we hope! This week we had the pleasure of interviewing an amazing young web designer who has taught herself from the ground up starting at the young age of thirteen. Our first featured female interviewee, Nicole Dominguez, is a nature design talent, but she puts a lot of effort towards being as successful as possible in the field! Here is her interview! Enjoy!
Thank you so much for doing this interview for Admix Web. Can you give us a brief background on yourself?
Sure! Well, My name is Nicole Dominguez and I am fifteen years old. I have been teaching myself HTML and CSS, as well as the schemetaics of running and developing websites for the past three years. First, starting out with a small personal blog, to now, having the goal of creating a safe online environment for teens like me to learn, and interact with each other.
Do you consider yourself a web designer, web developer, or both?
I consider myself a Web Designer, although I do have a goal of one day calling myself both!
Why Design? What were your inspirations for that profession?
From very early on, since as long as I can remember, I have always loved to create. Now, there is hardly an hour in the day when I’m not\making something. Design lets me exercise my creativity in ways that I have never imagined. I guess I just love the internet and being able to make it just a little bit prettier! Most teens my age have either no carrer plans, or are walking cliches with titles like, doctors and lawyers. I’m not a cliche. I know exactly what I want to do in life, and that’s simply because I am following my dreams doing what I love.
Are you self taught or did you study design/development?
I am self taught, learning new things each and everyday. I have taken some Web and Graphic Design classes in my high school, but they just filled in gaps and reenforced my knowledge and skill set.
How many years have you been in the field, and how has the field changed during that time?
I have been in the field for about three years; and it hasn’t changed, I just changed where I was in the field. For example, when I first started, I had a small personal website. My web friends were in similar positions; we all learned from each other. No one really had plans, it was all a fluke to them. Later on, I decided to try to establish myself instead of being faceless at my own website. As I changed, my web friends changed; I developed my skills more, I wrote about different things. Now, I’m trying to launch myself into the professional design world; baby steps, but steps nonetheless.
Can you describe a day in the life of you?
My days fluctuate. They always include the checking of email about three hundred times, interacting with my online social networks and blog, and making something. On typical school days, somedays I have Graphic Design, Yearbook, and Art surrounding me with a cacoon of creative fuel. Others; boring typical work. No matter where I am, I always try to be creating something. When I’m not at the computer, I like to take up spare time in the car and in classes by crocheting. It gives me a chance to express myself in even the most boring of situations.
Would you define yourself as introverted or extroverted? How does that effect client relations?
I’m definitely and introvert. I’m quite a shy person, and only comfortable enough to be my true self around few people. When it comes to clients, I often need to have someone reminding me to talk more and be out there. I get scarred that people won’t understand me or what I have to say, so I have to prepare my thoughts beforehand.
If you could give a Shout Out to someone who has inspired you in your life, but may not know it, who what it be?
Most definiltley my Mom. She fought to get me the tools I needed to be able to do what I do. From the begining she has always kept that intrest in art and creativity alive. There are pieces of art and tools to create in every corner of my house! I owe it all to her.
What is your favorite color? Does it infiltrate your designs?
Hot Pink! It does get into my designs; I like to use pink and coordinating colors as accents in my designs sometimes. Kind of evident at my blog, SoDevious.Net.
How do you balance your raw inspirations for a project, with the client’s sometimes bad ideas?
If the clients ideas are bad for SEO, or wouldn’t be functional, I tryto tell them why and get them away from those ideas. I actually have a hard time getting clients to tell me what they want sometimes. I guess they don’t realize that I can’t make something out of nothing!
What was your first design you actually marketed? How do you feel about it now?
My designs at first were more to learn how to use the tools, and just to play around with. Now, looking back, I’m not ashamed of them, but proud that I was learning in the process.
What is your favorite type of design work? And, what has been your favorite project?
My favorite type of design work are the projects I do for myself! My favorite project has been working on and developing SoDevious, because it really does mean a lot to me, and the teens that I try to help. SD has come a long way, starting from this the first screenshot and ending with the second. I have come a long way!
Explain the significance of your company name.
I’ve been using ‘sodevious’ for a very long time, to market services and as a username of sorts. It came about one day, when my mom and I were deciding on a domain name that I asked her to purchase for me. I came up with ‘devious’ because we had just got my hamster at the time, and he was a devious little fellow, as was I! So, it just came about! Although more recently I have been trying to brand my actual name when it comes to design work.
Are you a Mac or a PC? Why?
Mac! It gives me the freedom to concentrate on design and art that I create rather than worrying about computer hassles! Also, there are so many great apps I wouldn’t be able to use without it. The UI is just so simple and easy to use and make my own. I’ll never go back!
What design tools do you use? Which tools would you suggest to fellow designers/developers?
Well, of course I use Photoshop, but I try to build a foundation before even using the computer when designing something. For instance, when designing websites, I like to draw out wireframes of where I want things to go. Then I like to pick out colors and accents with magazines or paint chips. I really like magazines, they are priceless when it comes to my inspiration and creative drive. To fellow designers, I would suggest drawing out designs before you start, if they don’t already, and magazines too!
Tell me about the Blog: What made you start it and why do you write?
My blog, SoDevious.Net is actually a lot more than a blog to me; It’sa place to help teens like me grow, learn and interact – to give them a home. Something that I didn’t have. It’s actually a design blog for teens, and people seem to like it, so I’ll keep on going. It actually started a few years ago as a personal blog and website, and then it went through some times of uncertainty, but now it is what I always dreamed it to be. I would rather put time and energy into something people could use. Although it’s still young, it’s growing!
What are some of the design and development blogs you read on a regular basis, why?
Lots! I like to stay on top of my toes, so I read and learn a lot. I learn something new each and every day! I like to read Smashing Magazine, a lot of the Envato sites, CSS-Tricks, 1stWebDesigner, Tutorial9, Creative Nerds, and lots more!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see design, the web, and development in 10 years?
In ten years, I hope to be an accomplished web designer and blogger. As for the web and design, technology will advance a lot in that time, and there will be new methods of designing and doing what we do now.
Please share some pearls of wisdom for up and coming designers in the field.
Patience people! I would suggest that you learn your tools, and learn them well. You can’t create if you don’t know how to do it. Learn everything! Don’t just stop at your tools, but learn aspects of design and art.
How can people get in contact with you?
They can visit my blog, SoDevious.Net.
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Holly Lamarche is a writer and attorney from New Orleans, Louisiana. Holly lived in Santo Domingo for two years, where she taught at a local private High School, and she currently writes and edits part-time for AdmixWeb and lives in Lafayette, Louisiana.
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