But sometimes, the universe smiles on you – and Reina Castellanos knows that feeling.
“At the time, I did not have a portfolio website,” says Reina, 34, knowing that her design professors would go nuts if she admitted that. “At the time, I only had my Instagram, where I was showing my work. And out of nowhere , I got a DM (direct message) from the
Turns out, the store’s social media manager had been scrolling the internet – and discovered Reina’s designs. She said, “Oh my god, we love your work. We’re thinking about a project. Do you have some time to meet in the next few weeks?”
One meeting led to another and, over the course of a year, Reina put together designs for a series of products that Target is selling during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
She’s happy to talk about it now, but for a year, Reina couldn’t tell anyone, not even her siblings and other family members.
“It’s been kind of funny and nerve-wracking, having to keep it secret,” she said. “When you’re catching up with family and friends, and they say, ‘What have you been up to?’ You’re biting your tongue and saying, ‘Oh, just hanging out, doing work.’ ”
At first, Reina thought she would just be designing for products.
“All the products – or at least, my work on them -- were done last year. And then, this year, I thought it was done. Then I got contacted by the marketing team and they were like: We want to do additional visual work and maybe for social media,” Reina recalls. “And, oh by the way, would you be cool being part of the commercial, part of the 30-second spot?”
在这些谈话中，雷纳（Reina）谈论自己，委内瑞拉的童年时代，并在中学时搬到佛罗里达，当时她的父母，两位教育工作者都决定离开委内瑞拉并搬到奥兰多。她谈到了影响她工作的事情，包括父母收藏的“ Arte Ingenuo”或委内瑞拉的幼稚艺术或流行艺术。
Today, the Valencia grad (class of 2008) – who went on to earn her bachelor in fine arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a master’s degree in fine arts for emerging media from the University of Central Florida -- is relishing the moment.
但影响lasti可能更长ng than this year’s Target campaign.
And with Target partnership, her goal is simple. “I hope (the cup I designed) becomes your favorite cup for coffee or your favorite notebook. You know, people choosing to have those things in their home, that’s when you know you’ve made it.”
Want to know more about Reina? Check out our quick Q&A:
Q. Were you always interested in art, even as a child?
A: Not really. When we came to the States, I was more interested in music. I was part of choirs and singing groups in school. At one point, I was learning to play the bass and wanted to be in a band. It wasn’t until my last year in high school, when I transferred to a different school, and I discovered it was too late for me to join the choir. I wanted to do something on my own… the counselor told me I could take some art classes. So I took a painting class and a photography class.
A: I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do , school-wise. At one point, I was also interested in photography careers. I thought, ‘I’m going to move to Argentina and be a photographer.’ It was just a thought. But my brother, who’s a year and a half older than me, he had started at Valencia and we lived like five minutes from East Campus. So I was just like, ok, I want to check it out.
答：我在一些瓦伦西亚节目中更深入地看，我想：‘好吧，我精通计算机，我希望与艺术有关。我很早就意识到我不是画家。所以我说，我将检查图形设计 - 这是艺术和计算机的组合。这有点从那里起飞。
I think the design thinking that I had from Valencia -- even though I didn’t want to make websites and I knew I didn’t want to work in a corporate office -- but the thought processes and the design thinking and even how to regard things, that definitely became something that was ingrained in me.
A: It’s a really great community, in that program, in AIGA Orlando, the Orlando chapter for professional design. It got me started in making those connections and getting to know the industry more.
问：当您的一些同学专注于他们的职业职业时，您还有其他担忧 - 申请永久居民身份，因此您可以成为归化公民。
A: My position, although it’s not by any means unique, it’s not the norm.
I was still under a student visa, so after I graduated, I had one year that I could get professional practice. Thankfully, I have lived on and off in Orlando, for the better part of 15 or 16 years, so I did a lot of work.
本质上,我必须证明出版物和clients and work and exhibitions or gallery shows that I was part of -- to prove that I’m worthy to be here. I have been super happy and super fortunate. People from way back in my Valencia days helped me. I had to get 20 letters of recommendations. I had to get letters from professors, clients and peers. But what’s so inspirational is my creative community at large. We were all paying our dues to the community and the community gave back to me. It was a super cool thing that we were able to show up for each other.
At Valencia, we work every day to create a level playing field for college students of all backgrounds, fashioning a college where every student can succeed. And our students continue to amaze and surprise us. Read more of their stories here.