Fernando Sant’Ana, Graphic Designer
From graphic design to photography, from men’s fashion and accessories to marketing and communications, from book illustrating and photography to art development and production, Fernando has not stopped learning and exploring his creativity.
Kid’s books illustration: https://www.blotchthedog.com/
Why graphic design?
I started a Civil Engineering course in 1996, but after 2.5 years I figured out that it wasn’t the right career for me. The fact that I was good at Maths and that my dad is a civil engineer were not enough for me to love this profession. So in 1999 I started a new course, Industrial Product Design, and I loved it, it was the best choice. Unfortunately, after graduation it wasn’t easy to find a job as a product designer and my best option was Graphic Design, where there were much more job opportunities. Due to the subjects learned and skills acquired in civil engineering and product design, my transition to graphic design was very smooth.
I’m still not sure how to call myself, but the great thing about working as a graphic designer is that I have countless opportunities to do things that I really enjoy. At the moment I do a lot of photography, something that also really enjoy and is linked with my work as a graphic designer.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everything and everywhere are my source of inspiration for new projects, or for projects that are stuck. Research is very important in keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and also for finding ideas for projects that you are working on. Sometimes inspiration comes from nothing and sometimes it doesn’t come at all… hahaha…, but at work, you need to get the job done even if it isn’t always what you would like to deliver. Research is the best way to get some new ideas or to improve the old ones.
My parents inspire me. They taught me to be a good person and consequently a good professional, I believe that one is linked with the other. My dad always says, “do it well and you don’t need to do twice”.
Of course, there are so many great professionals in this area who inspire me. I don’t have favourite names, but there are many old and new talents that deserve to be appreciated.
Are you a perfectionist?
Hmmm, good question. As a professional I always try to do the best I can, using the skills and knowledge I acquired from having been in this industry for over 20 years now. Small details can change completely the quality of your work. I think the more experience you have, the more scrupulous you become and the sharper your eye for detail gets.
I think ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist. Sometimes you won’t have the time to get close to achieving it. But good is OK, it can be improved, and it can get better.
How do you handle your inner critic?
My belief is that the more you try, the better you get. Some people are born with a natural talent while others need to study hard and put a lot of effort into reaching their goals, but I believe everyone can achieve success if they try. If you fail, try again and again, and you will get better and better. And if you really know that this is not for you, it is OK to change your career as I myself did in the past.
I was awarded the first prize in a product design competition at Uni, and that was a great way to start my career. I felt that I was very good at doing what I was trained to do, and I also got paid for that.
I think any compliment from your boss, friends, teachers, strangers or family, gives you extra-motivation to keep going, always aiming for the best results. And of course, I’m very proud to have a profession that I really love and have never given up of my dreams, making my parents proud of that.
I’m lucky to not have failed that badly that it would make me doubt my capabilities or change the way I think of myself. I think you learn more from your ‘wrongs’ than from your ‘rights’; just don’t commit a mistake at the wrong time hahaha.
Social media – yes or no?
I love social media, it is a great place for research, there are many things out there that can make a difference in how you see different projects. YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are my favourites. Social media also gives you an idea of what you would like to be when you grow up (lol). Of course there are good and bad examples, but if you are smart enough, you filter it.
Photography is one of the things that I really want to concentrate my attention on in the near future. It is enjoyable and it can open your mind a lot. Also, there is another children’s book ready for publishing!
Favourite quote/ mantra/ or advice
Do what I say and not what I do… 🙂