Creativity for me is self-expression. Freedom in mind and body. – Andrea.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (Your name, what you do, your background)
My name is Andrea and I come from Bolivia. I studied information and communication design in Germany where I currently live and work as a UX/UI & visual designer. On the side, I’m a dancer and a roller skater. These 2 jobs helped me create a balance between working on a computer and working with my body and being physically active. This combo has been so good for my mental health as well as for my creative flow.
Were you always a creative person? How did you get started in art & design?
I always had an inclination for the arts even though my dad wanted me to become a pediatrician. Design isn’t seen as the best or the most lucrative job in Bolivia. The economical situation is bad so there are already very few jobs. I initially prepared myself to study electromechanics because I wanted to build pink robots, after I was told I wouldn’t see a circuit or cable till the 4th maybe 5th semester I decided to stop, I was pressured to then go into any study program. I ended up in something like business administration, I hated it. Then behind my dad’s back, I switched to design where I stayed, he eventually accepted it, and then I left Bolivia to continue my studies in Germany.
What motivates you to create?
My motivations vary. I like efficient and pretty things. If I go to an ATM, for example, I wanna have a smooth and easy user experience. If I’m in a new city or country I wanna be able to understand the signage systems without necessarily speaking the language and to be able to use public transport the same way. In summary, I design to help generate real impact in people through visuals and to provide the best possible user experience because that’s something I’d like to have myself when I move through life.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on redesigning the dashboard for the company I work for. I need to investigate and come up with a new way to display the products shown there.
How do you get inspired?
I get inspired by dancing and music mostly.
What is creativity for you?
Creativity for me is self-expression. Freedom in mind and body.
You are also a dancer, can you tell us a bit more about it? How did you start Jam skating?
I was a dancer for 15 years in Bolivia, I did samba, salsa, ballet, pole dancing, hip hop, and for the last 4 years before leaving for Germany I did contemporary. Roller skating started randomly. And during covid that was the only thing I could still do, I would skate in parking lots or random streets. Because I come from a dancing background then translating some moves to wheels wasn’t that challenging.
Is there any life story or experience that shaped you as an artist/creative?
Pretty much being told I wasn’t gonna make it in Europe. I got lots of doors closed in my face because I’m Bolivian and that’s not a “well-known country”. The prof I was in contact with at the German university I studied told me that I was accepted but because I started my studies at a Bolivian uni and they didn’t know anything about it he would have to put me back to the first semester. I had all my documents translated and the subjects were pretty much the same. He also told me in the email that he didn’t think I would succeed, he didn’t think I had enough talent but because I was applying for a transference he had to accept me but he advised me not to come because he was sure I wasn’t gonna be able to finish the study program. Well, I did finish, and let me tell you Bolivia has nothing to envy about Germany when it comes to studies. My uni in Bolivia was so so so much more demanding and the subjects were more challenging. I was surprised to see how chill and easy lectures were and how chill some of the profs were. It was the fact that a man who didn’t know me was already assuring me I’d fail that pushed me and taught me quite a lot.
Do you think art & creativity are important for our society?
I think those are fundamental, everyone needs to self-express in one way or another and have that freedom.
What are you currently fascinated by? (books, music, artists, places, blogs – anything that you find interesting/inspiring)
I’m very fascinated by how the body moved, the positions, postures, and shapes our bodies can create as well as the feelings it can generate when it moves to a beat. Sometimes I can’t speak what I’m thinking or feeling, I lack human words but I could probably dance it.
How do you define success?
For me, success is very personal and it can come in the tiniest forms. I feel successful when I feel fulfilled and accomplished mentally and emotionally rather than with material things. The other day I finally figured out why one of my plants was dying. When it started flowering I felt like the most successful person ever.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It was to explore deeper levels of self-awareness. To question why do I consider this or that a success or failure? How am I choosing to measure myself? And by what standard I’m judging myself and everyone around me. Also, remember that we are all on the same boat and we all bleed red.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Time travel or teleportation
What would you like to be remembered for?
I don’t really mind if I’m remembered or not 😀
What are your personal & creative plans for the future?
To try to perhaps work only 30h a week as a designer so I have a bit more time to practice and improve my skating and dancing.
Check out Andrea’s work at andrearivera.co
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