We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Mora and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diana, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
From a young age, I had an interest in art. I attribute that initial spark to my crafty abuelito, who loves making leather belts and wallets for family and friends. I also had a neighbor who was an artist, and she was kind enough to share a lot of drawing books, paints, and pastels with me. When I started high school, I realized my passion for design. I became interested in learning how to edit photos and customize my MySpace profile (shoutout to the early 2000’s internet kids!). I taught myself how to use Paint Shop Pro, a more affordable version of Photoshop at the time. I had a great time designing everything from band posters to wedding invitations for family. Initially, pursuing a career in art seemed risky going into college as a first-generation Latina student. The college application process was entirely new for me and my family, and I didn’t have much knowledge of graphic design careers at the time. I was fortunate enough to have extremely supportive parents who were excited for me to enroll as a Studio Art major at UC Santa Barbara. There I learned everything from printmaking to video editing, and I’m glad I stuck with my gut to pursue a creative career. Professionally I’ve been working as a designer for the past 7 years, and it still brings me joy every day.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Starting off a career as a designer was not always easy, and I went through a lot of doubts post-graduation if I would be successful. What I learned along the way is to continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Graphic Designers are often required to wear a lot of hats, and that can be an opportunity to really figure out what you love working on most. I started my career in a hybrid role, assisting with graphic design and marketing tasks at an architecture firm. From there I moved into more broad graphic design roles, working for companies like TONI&GUY and MeUndies. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects ranging from print design to motion graphics. I love working in the world between print and digital, focusing on the overall look and feel of a brand or product.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I used to live in the Mar Vista neighborhood of LA before moving to Boston, so an ideal Saturday would have been grabbing breakfast at Ronnie’s Diner and heading for a day at the park at either LA State Historic or Echo Park Lake. For dinner, my friends and I love Dan Sung Sa in Koreatown. Another favorite for a nightcap and a game of pool was Crawfords, a dive bar that also serves amazing fried chicken. For a relaxing Sunday, the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market has some great food vendors and fresh produce.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I would like to give a huge shoutout to my mom and dad for their endless support and love. Gracias por todo. I would also like to give a shoutout to all of the people I’ve worked alongside throughout my career. Design is a team sport, and I’m thankful for all of the experiences I’ve gained along the way.