Can you tell me a bit about your job as a web and graphic designer?
About 10 years ago I finished my graphic design studies at the EASD (School of Superior Art and Design) in Valencia. A year later I went to live in Madrid, since in Valencia the job offers at that time were not very tempting. In Madrid I was living with my partner for more than 4 years, working in advertising and communication agencies. Despite my degree in Graphic Design, little by little I became more interested in Web Development, occupying jobs with an increasingly technical and less "creative" profile. Since then, I have gone through numerous agencies and companies leading the development and communication departments. Today I work on my own for SMEs offering my design and development services, while trying to develop a personal project that I have had in mind for a long time.
What do you enjoy about your job?
What I like the most is "resolving conflicts." When a client comes with a problem or a need, or with the typical phrase: "can you do that ...?" The research process to solve a problem and develop a valid solution both visually and technically is for me one of the best professional challenges. Of course, if there are problems for which I have no solution, I have a team of specialized professionals willing to collaborate with me many times.
What are some interesting clients you have worked with?
Event companies, tattoo studios, art schools, beer brands ... but without a doubt, the most important and "curious" company that I have worked for was a technology holding company in Madrid, dedicated to online advertising and click advertisements. Although it may seem like a joke, my daily job at that company was to design and layout adult sites in HTML - just like the rest of my colleagues. I remember that it took me a long time to get used to walking around the office surrounded by monitors and devices with pornographic material and not feeling weird or uncomfortable. It was quite a curious and fun time :D
How did you start working at Cowork Ruzafa and how long have you been here?
When I finally left the company I had been working for the last few years, I felt like I needed a space in which to "start from scratch" and be able to focus without distractions. Having two young children (ages 1 and 3), the option of finding that space in my own home was not viable. I started looking for offices to rent, but the expense was skyrocketing and I couldn't afford it without having a short-term income forecast. Then I remembered that 'coworks' existed and I started searching on Google. I went to several places in Valencia, I compared prices with what each one offered and finally I opted for Cowork Ruzafa, since the location, quality, price and atmosphere was the one that best suited me :) I arrived at the Cowork in February 2020, and due to the pandemic and lockdown, I don't feel like I've been here that long.
Do you prefer working here in a coworking space as a freelancer or as part of a team in an office?
Without a doubt I prefer Coworking. This does not mean that I don’t like to work in a team. In fact, I work in a team almost daily. The difference being that I am the one who creates my own team according to the type of project. At Cowork Ruzafa, you meet people on a daily basis that you can work with, collaborate with, or just go out for a beer with when the day is done. I respect "going to work in an office for someone" deeply (I have done it for many years and I may have no choice but to do it again one day), but I think it is a very conformist work model - not very aspirational or motivating. I envy (very healthily) anyone who has known enough to believe in an idea of their own, to get out of the "security" of a fixed salary provided by someone who can fire you if you have a bad day or simply do not pay the bills. I believe in effort and entrepreneurship, and for me these two concepts are much better integrated in a 'coworking' space than in the office of a foreign company, surrounded by automatons and unmotivated workers.
How does coworking life compare to office life?
I think they are totally different. From my perspective, working in a coworking space means "not having a boss" (I know that there are people who work from coworking spaces as employees of a company, but that is not my case). It sounds like a cliché, but what I notice and value the most is the freedom to leave and return to work without thinking about an excuse that would have to be given to my "superior" to justify the 5, 10 or 60 minutes of delay. There are those who think that working in a coworking space is like being in a startup incubator and that everything spoken, said or breathed is related to professional topics. Nothing further. In a coworking space there are people, and each person is different. There are people from coworking spaces who I speak with daily about professional issues, others that I only discuss current affairs with, others that have become my friends and we tell each other about our lives ... but there are also people with whom I have not exchanged more than one "good morning" (and seems correct to me), since each one is completely free to be more or less involved in any social environment. Returning to the question, I think that in a coworking space there is a rotation of people from different origins, culture, age and very enriching experience, who you can also collaborate professionally or undertake new projects with, something that I think is very difficult to happen within a run-of-the-mill office, where people are mainly waiting until it's 6 p.m. to turn off their computers and run.
What are the benefits of coworking spaces for web and graphic designers?
Graphic designers or web developers are professionals who can become so-called "Digital Nomads". Therefore, with a computer and Internet connection they can develop their work without problems, regardless of whether they are in a coworking room or in a cabin in the mountains of the French Basque Country. For this reason, I think that the space itself does not contribute anything to the designer or the developer, but the people with whom it shares the space do. If the work environment encourages the exchange of ideas, projects or opinions, this must surely be beneficial for anyone, be it a designer, translator or electrician.
What would you tell someone who is considering working in a coworking space?
Read this interview.
Have you made any new friends / connections within our workspaces?
Of course! And I hope I can continue to do so! At Cowork Ruzafa I have met very interesting people from whom I can learn a lot as a person and as a professional. Without a doubt, this is one of the main reasons why I will continue to come to the Cowork.