#tbt Gentle Monster X Monocle Order Digital Campaign

This campaign was created during summer ’15 while I was working with a retail store. My inspiration for this project was attitude with a badass combination. The picture alone made the whole campaign; Just playing with small elements and neon colors made the message pop-up even more. The trend at that moment were geometric elements. I’m still all about that trend but more about emphasizing letters over elements.



gentle-monster-newlseter 2

gentle monster digital campaign - erika otavalo


Life of a Graphic Designer after graduation.

Finding the right opportunities after college can be challenging, companies usually look for experience and give you a salary based on that. But what if you have no experience? Here’s what I did right after graduation. Now, I’m not an expert nor is this the way to do things but It worked for me.

1. choose your design field

There are many fields of design where you might want to be a part of. Now, don’t base this decision just on income. Follow your instincts, follow your gut; What do you like to do? What are you truly good at? Yes, you are a designer but what do you enjoy creating.

You can be part of the fashion editorial world, this meaning you will mainly work in the fashion industry. You can land a job at a retail store for women/men, or eyewear brand. Anything related to fashion like magazines, E-commerce stores… you name it. If this sounds fun to you then I suggest this is the direction to follow.


That is just one example of many, you can be part of the corporate world, sports, pharmaceutical or any other of the many options out there. Just be sure to pick a field where you enjoy working on, because that is where you will spend most of your time.

2. build your portfolio

You can use some of the creative work you made during college, but make sure its portfolio worthy. Ask yourself; Does this represent my work?, my style?, does this give me credibility, and when they see it… What impact will this have on them? Keep in mind that the final outcome of your portfolio is gonna determine the worth of your work, this means them wanting to work with you and your salary rate. Want to make more money? Make sure that you’re selling is worth the rate.

Showgirl 2011
screenshot of my first banner ever on a E-commerce site, 2012

Don’t find any cool work from school? Freelance for sometime before looking for a full-time position, you might want to do it for FREE. Your goal here is to make sure you have  quality pieces to feature on your website. While you’re at it, you might find that the 9-5 life is not for you, and you can continue in the world of freelancers.

& one final tip; Pick the right domain for your portfolio, it should be short, easy to remember and type. The content of your site will keep your audience engaged therefore make sure it is easy to navigate and interesting to look at.

3. put your resume together

What to write on your resume if you don’t have any experience yet?.

Some options are:

  • Highlight some of the freelance projects you’ve been involved after graduation.
  • Write down your skills.
  • List the software you’re proficient at. (You can still list Microsoft WORD or Microsoft EXCEL; this can give you a higher chance of getting hired, because not only do you know about design apps but you have knowledge of outside software that might be a contribution to their company at some point.)
  • Include education and any important academic recognitions.
  • Other languages you speak.

Hope some of these tips can help you get started in the graphic design field. I wish you the best of luck and I’m going to leave you one of my favorite that inspire me everyday.

quote credit: pinterest

Let me know how that goes :)!

Blush Tones + Bold Letters

This is one of my latest favorite pieces. I completely enjoyed the process of creation. Approximate time was 2 HRS including image research. What inspired this design? I would say Pinterest and instagram fashion profiles. Lately I’ve been obsessed with big letters and photography. I try to keep the copy short and sometimes is a hustle convincing a client. Is sort of like choosing fabulous design over information. I believe there’s always ways to find that perfect balance, from my experience people don’t want to be overwhelmed with text, for that reason my goal is to create interesting pieces that’ll your eye will be naturally drawn to.

Fun fact: I was listening to Enrique Iglesias first album while drafting this…  Love songs kind of tone (so not me)… isn’t that funny? I usually try to go for the runway,  or techno songs to get me inspired, but for some reason Enrique worked just fine haha. 

What are your current trend obsessions? 

GB Project Collab.