Interview by Sarah Kilcoyne
Photo credit: Sarah Kilcoyne
Julia is an amazing multi-tasking professional from Argentina – whether it’s design, illustration, editorial, cinema, cooking, or just making you smile – she can do it!
Sarah: Hola Julia! We want to know all about you! Let’s start at the beginning – where are you from?
Julia: Hola Sarah! I am from Patagonia, Argentina. You know; sheep, whales, penguins, oil towers and some other people like me.
S: And since we’re in a coworking space, we should probably talk about work. I believe you’re a designer, among other things?
J: Yes, I studied Graphic Design and Visual Communication in Buenos Aires. I choose this career because I always loved looking at vinyl covers, and decided I wanted to do that. Since then, I also collect vinyls.
I studied Fine Art too, I got a scholarship for an Artist Program for two years. At this time I was working as an art director for cinema and TV, so I stopped everything and I focused my mind and life on my art career, focusing on graphic design, morphology, and of course music.
Since then, I have done illustrations for Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, The New Yorker, Dom, Noche Polar and Rosa Luxemburgo Stiftung, among others. I have been involved in the editorial design for institutions like Biblioteca Popular Astra, Editorial BPA, and Centro Catamarqueño de Comodoro Rivadavia.
Photos from the last book by Mar de Arriba : From the Earth to the Sky, Photos from Virch-Valdes Region’. Photo credit: Mar de Arriba
S: Tell us a bit more about your editorial company in Argentina! Is that something that you founded?
J: Mar de Arriba is a transatlantic editorial project that I created with Daniela, one of my best friends. She loves books just as much as I do. Daniela is the writer – she is a journalist and an editor for Dom magazine – and I know design. So we thought; why not create some books that we’ll both love?
So our first two books were based on photos of Patagonia. We really wanted to give something back to the place that gives us so much, and most of the photo books from Patagonia are made for outside photographers, so we wanted to make it real. For the Patagonian people.
All the books are sold out! Each book documents different regions in Patagonia. Right now, we are working on the new one: ‘Los Andes’.
We are going to present our last book ‘From the Earth to the Sky, Photos from Virch-Valdes Region’, in the Argentinian Embassy in the first week of August. All the Esdipers are welcome!
We also do commission work for Argentinian companies. If someone wants to make a book, here we are: mardearriba.com
S: As a graphic designer, what kind of projects do you prefer do work on?
J: My work focuses on the design process; everything that happens between the original idea, until becomes something concrete: influences and research, methodologies and systems, sketches and testing, tools and materials. I love editorial projects.
Some of Julia’s vector illustrations from her Illustrated German Alphabet for children. Image credit: Maria Julia Iglesias
S: I’ve also spotted you drawing away while you’re working here. What type of illustration do you do?
J: My work is more digital-based. My illustrations are characterised by simple organic shapes, bright colours and a feeling of simplicity. My inspiration comes from living in Berlin – cycling my bike everyday, looking at so many things, growing up in South Patagonia – and listening music is also a big part of my work. I cannot work without music!
When I am not working on commissioned projects, I am working on an Illustrated German Alphabet for kids.
S: Tell us more about your personal cinema projects – is it something that you’re still involved in?
J: I was part of several cinema projects while I was still in Argentina – as an art director, other times as a producer – but right now I prefer to design the posters for the movies that my friends direct.
S: Is there anything happening here in Berlin (in relation to your cinema-projects) that we could go check out?
J: Too many things happen in Berlin! I am a big fan of the German cinema, Herzog and Wim Wenders. The first time I was here I went directly from the airport to the library ‘Staatsbibliothek’, from the movie ‘Der Himmel über Berlin’, haha! Maybe I am actually here because of that movie… who knows?
Always try to go to the small Kinos; Zukunft right now is my favourite, they have a great selection of films from different countries. The movies that are shown at the Berlinale always end up in Zukunft Kino.
Trailer of a movie for which Julia did the titles, poster and art direction. Credit: Cine Las Amercias
S: How does it feel to win the esteemed Coworker of the Month award?
Amazing!! I never thought I would! More than happy!
S: I know that you’re currently taking intensive-German classes, to take the TestDaF. How has it been, learning German here?
J: Learning german, it’s too much! Once you think you understand, something else appears and suddenly you understand nothing again. But I believe in one step every day. Right now, I’m really focused on learning and am taking that very seriously. And yes, the test is coming soon. Learning here in Berlin is the best thing you can do – I was studying before in Buenos Aires but it’s not the same. Context is everything.
S: Last time for Co-Lunch, you made us a fabulous Gazpacho and Argentinian salad. What will be the next Argentinian dish you’re gonna make for us!?
J: Thank you! I love to cook, for me cooking is a kind of meditation, and the most amazing thing is to be able to share it. The next time (which will hopefully be soon) – it’s a surprise!
S: Any good Argentinian restaurants here in Berlin that you know of?
J: There are a lot, but my fav is Gloria in Gorli, the best empanadas in town! They have more than 20 kinds of flavours. Another place is Chipi Chipi, a ice-cream place near ESDIP (I recommend the Dulce de Leche ice cream). And if you like good wine, you can go after work to Hermanas Weinbar, 5 min. from ESDIP for a good Merlot and Picada.
S: And finally! Any advice for aspiring designers/illustrators?
J: The first idea is always bullshit.
Are you also interested in coworking? Then check out our pricing plans here, or just drop by the space any day within the opening hours, Mon-Fri 10-19h, and we’ll show you around.