Words by Sinéad Nunes, Features Editor
This weekend sees the homeland leg of the second edition of Liv-Bcn Festival take place in the city centre. The event, which seeks to twin the European cities of Liverpool and Barcelona through art, film and music takes place at A Small Cinema, LJMU’s Exhibition Research Centre and The Kazimier. We caught up with graphic designer Mariadiamantes who will be showing her work.
Did you know a lot about Liverpool before you got involved with this year’s show?
I’d never visited Liverpool before I got involved with this festival. It’s been very gratifying for me being able to take part in this project, because I love it, but also because I’ve been able to discover a new city with it.
What do you think are the similarities between the cities, and how have you explored this in your work?
For me, Liverpool and Barcelona are two cities with a vast history but with a young spirit. In both of them it’s really easy to find lots of cultural offerings for all audiences. Also, both are rather small so it’s not too difficult to get to know people and make contacts. And they both have the sea!
As a graphic designer and illustrator, how often do you get the chance to exhibit your work?
Not too often to be honest. But not because there aren’t any offers, it’s because I’d never considered doing it before now. I’m really happy that Malena and Oriol thought of me for the exhibition, and I’ve opened a new window through which I hope to be able to do more exhibitions in the future.
What have been some of the most exciting commissions / clients you’ve worked with to date?
I’m really happy to work with well-known brands such as Volkswagen, Amazon,… but I also love the smaller projects made with love and care, like Liv-Bcn or my latest project, which I am now working on. I am to illustrate a children’s storybook which tells the story of Amelia Earhart; it’s part of a collection of books that narrate the lives of great women in history. This is to be the 4th in the series.
Much of your illustration work has a colourful, almost children’s book illustration quality to it. Where do you get your inspiration?
Colours are fascinating to me, and it comes out naturally. It’s true that I can’t help but try out many different combinations that may or may not work. You don’t necessarily have to find inspirations in books, I find it in daily, common things; nature, fruits, fashion…
Do you have any advice for this year’s graphic design graduates?
Work hard, always have in mind who you look up to and try to get something out of their work that you can apply to your own projects. You should try and achieve a personal style from your inspirations, and make it a reality. I think this is the best way to learn. Ah! And the projects you did three months ago? You shouldn’t like them anymore. It’s a sign that you’ve learned and evolved 😉
And finally, what, for you, are the 3 golden rules of graphic design?
The Liv-Bcn exhibition is showing at LJMU’s Exhibition Research Centre from 10 – 24 July. The music element of the festival, a day-long concert at The Kazimier, takes place this Saturday 11 July, tickets £15.