MJ Balvanera

M-J-2

OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

MJ is a graphic designer from Mexico City. She graduated in Visual Communication in 2014 from CENTRO (MX) and is currently pursuing an MFA in Graphic Design. She is a strong believer in the power of visual communication to create social change through concept driven design, social engagement and real life experiences. MJ has focused part of her studies on her personal social and political passions, including feminism and immigration rights, through book design, an internship at the Women’s Center for Creative Work and creating the identity graphics for TedXPasadena Women.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
I was born in Mexico City. I lived a few years in London when growing up, eventually moving back to Mexico City and having recently settled in Los Angeles.

LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
Politically? Extreme lefty. I happen to write with my right hand if that’s where this was going.

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
Neither? I get most of my work done during the day.

FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU’VE ALWAYS IDENTIFIED WITH?
I wish I were more like Mulan.

ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR DO YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
I’m as non musical as can be.

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TV SHOW?
Dexter’s Laboratory, Power Puff Girls, Johnny Bravo

LAST BOOK YOU READ?
New Modernism(s)

ANY PETS?
I have an demon possessed cat named Harakiri.

WHAT LANGUAGES ARE YOU FLUENT IN?
Spanish and English

FAVORITE MOVIE?
Mean Girls

FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
Mark Rothko, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring

FAVORITE CHARITY?
Planned Parenthood

FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Road tripping, art seeing, tv watching and unhealthy eating

LAST COMPLIMENT YOU GOT?
Being featured in GDUSA; this is huge.

DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING?
Art, design and fashion books.

COLOR USED MOST OFTEN IN YOUR DESIGN?
It tends to be pink which is actually really surprising.

TYPEFACE USED MOST OFTEN?
Depends, but I’m currently hooked on Fedra (Peter Bilak, 2001)

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
A huge strength is being adaptable to style depending on the client’s needs. My greatest weakness is self doubt.

IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Still in the creative field? Architect. Non-creative? Anthropologist.

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously.

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