I'm a terrible person. I started this blog to be a creative outlet and to spotlight other creative people I follow both online and in real life. 8 MONTHS AGO I asked Angelica if she'd like to do a feature on here, and I'm JUST now getting it up. Throw tomatoes at me. But I'm really happy to finally share this and start lining up other great artists to feature too!
Angelica stuck out to me because I started following her because of her music photography, but quickly realized she was also a talented graphic designer and had even started her own magazine. If I can't even get a stupid blog post up more than once every 8 months, I don't know how someone just up and starts their own magazine and manages an entire staff. I decided to pick her brain a bit and here's the result of our Q&A session:
What is your name/age/current profession (talk a little bit about where you go to school/went to school, what you studied, where you work, etc.)
Hello! My name is Angelica Nicolle Abalos and I’m a graphic designer, photographer and artist of sorts. (Somewhere along the way that became my tagline, don’t ask how because I don’t have an answer.)
Anyway, I’m currently 24 and a recent grad from Biola University where I received a BFA in studio arts with an interdisciplinary emphasis. My practice was mainly in design and photography though my senior show was sculpture and video based. I’m currently working a full-time job as a graphic designer for a corporate real estate company. I also manage being the editor in chief for Acentric Magazine and contributing to a few other publications.
It says on your website that you work in the corporate world doing design. What is it like designing for someone else's aesthetic and how does that translate to your personal work?
Considering this is my first “real world” job, as an artist, it’s definitely tough coming from a completely creative environment provided by art school to working in the corporate world. However, I feel like I definitely work well with designing for someone else’s aesthetic. I’m a creative who doesn’t mind having set guidelines and actually does well with adhering to a brand’s look.
When it comes to my personal work, I always try to take what I learn and apply it somehow. I feel like I’ve been able to revamp my current personal brand to be much stronger and more cohesive since I’ve been at my job. Also, I’ve been able to be more experimental with my personal work as a creative outlet from my day to day job.
What inspired you to want to start your own magazine?
It was kind of a spur of the moment type thing. I was contributing to a few websites for a while, but wasn’t too fond of how they were run or how limiting they seemed. I felt I could take my background from working at a newspaper in college and the knowledge I had with those publications to create something that was more suited to what I wanted to do.
What have been the pitfalls of running your own publication? Do you struggle with coming up with content or does it happen pretty steadily?
One of the difficulties of running my own publication would be how involving it is to run both an online edition of the magazine and a print version. During the beginning stages especially, it often became very time consuming to be doing everything on my own. Luckily, we have been able to expand the team to what it is today.
As far as content goes, coming up with ideas isn’t as big a problem as it can be carrying out those concepts. There will always be conflicting schedules and unexpected hiccups that happen along the way, but I’ve learned to always have a backup plan just in case a story falls through.
How have your skills as a photographer and a designer helped starting your own publication? Has doing this inspired any new personal work outside of the magazine?
Being a photographer, it’s definitely been easy to vet through applications we receive from those interested in contributing to the magazine. Having a trained eye makes it easy to pick out the artists with great editing or composition skills. With a background in design, it’s been getting easier and easier to lay out the magazine and put it all together.
I’m always looking for a creative escape for work, so with the number of hours I put into Acentric, it’s definitely like having a second job. So yeah, it’s inspired me to create new personal work aside from the magazine. Lately, I’ve been into learning how to code and creating ink/watercolor illustrations.
We are considered the "slash" generation for a reason. It seems that all of us creative entrepreneurs are multi-talented, which can make it hard to explain our profession. You are a photographer/graphic designer/editor-in-chief. How do you juggle all the "slashes" in your life and how do you describe your work when people ask what you do?
Funny you ask this, because it seems like I can’t stop adding more “slashes” to my profession. As I just mentioned, I’m actually currently teaching myself some coding skills in hopes to add “/web developer” to that list. More than anything, the three you mentioned currently take priority. Any other skill set I develop, I need to make sure it doesn’t interfere with those priorities and only nurture the skills that would benefit me in the future.
To keep it simple, I generally introduce myself and a designer and photographer, which easily leads the conversation down to all the other “slashes” I have since they all correlate with each other.
Where can people view more, purchase, or keep up with your work/publication?
*Editor's note (JK it's just me Jordan, that sounds way too official) Since this interview, Angelica has been hardcore into sharing her personal fitness journey on social media. She's of course doing it in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible too, so I encourage you to go follow her on Instagram for exercise/food tips and beautifully designed power quotes!
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