My Story

I didn’t always want to be a designer.

Aviana Baladad started drawing when she was very young. But it was only shortly before college started when she realized that the world of graphic design could be her calling, when she realized that she wanted to spend her life creating things. She was particularly fascinated with the idea of creating something out of nothing, from a thought into tangible work.

So despite a false start where she almost ended up becoming a diplomat, she switched to her second choice course, Multimedia Arts, before the first term started. Honestly, why she even wanted to become a diplomat is beyond her now.

A Brief Timeline

I’ve been working as a designer for nearly three years. I’ve had clients from a number of different industries, including health & fitness, food & beverage, real estate, technology, and beauty & wellness. I’ve dealt with clients long enough to have my own Clients From Hell stories, and to know how to go about asking the right questions before plunging into a project.

2009

I entered design school. While taking classes about the fundamentals of design helped, there were two things that greatly contributed to my design journey — practice, and being surrounded by immensely talented people who were always improving. And though the second point made me feel insecure at certain times, it also fired up my competitive spirit to push myself to be “great”.

Three and a half years later, I graduated magna cum laude with my Bachelor’s degree, a thesis (in collaboration with these two people) archived within the school halls, and an award-winning final exhibit.

2013

Shortly before graduating, I landed my first stable clients. I served as a freelance graphic and web designer for Maddington Consulting, a company in New York that aimed to help startups break into their industries, and Burning Midnight, a full-featured design studio also in New York

Soon, I proved my worth and was given a team of designers to manage. It was there where I learned the bulk of my design knowledge, mostly through trial and error. For two years, I created everything from logos and brand identities to packaging, websites, animated commercials, and more.

Apart from those two, I also had a brief stint as a game artist creating assets for reskinned games.

2014

I started working for an SEO company in Manila. It was here that I learned a bit about search engine optimization and how Google decided which sites to show for a given search term. Not enough to really get into it though.

On the skills side, it was then that I polished my web design and user interface design skills. Shifting to bosses and teams that were quite technical made my design style more serious and professional. I even learned how to develop sites using WordPress, after the CEO let me tinker unsupervised with one of their new websites — which resulted in me redesigning and developing three of the company’s brand sites.

In the two and a half years I worked at TrueLogic, I’ve done everything from logos, remarketing ads and event kits, to web design and WordPress development, to wireframing and web application design. Design-wise, it was certainly a wild ride.

Now

I’m now working with a company that specializes in mobile experiences, and looking forward to expanding my skillset, meeting new brilliant people, and generally just growing as a multidiciplinary designer.

My Arsenal

These are the tools I use when I’m working on a project.

Asus X550LB

It’s a sweet laptop that’s loaded with Photoshop and Illustrator. It’s fast and strong enough to handle my design needs and my occasional gaming sprees. I also make use of a second monitor so I have two screens while I work: one for my work area and the other for my references and notes.

Wacom Intuos Pro

A birthday gift from my life partner after my 6 year old Genius Pen Tablet died on me. It’s the medium-sized version, and it’s brilliant when used for digital painting and handwritten typography. I also end up using it as a mouse when I’m busy working and too lazy to reach for one.

EarPollution

I find it easier to concentrate when I have music accompanying my movements. When I’m alone I blast it on speakers, but when I’m out and about (or surrounded by other working people), I have my headphones on. And more often than not, I’ll be singing out loud while working.

Interested?

I’m currently open for any freelance design work. If you haven’t seen my portfolio yet, do check it out and let me know if you think we’d be a good fit.