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Happy 10th Anniversary in Australia

Ten years ago today, I landed in Australia and I am not going anywhere.

Photo by Teagan Glenane

Many things have happened in the last decade, and this is a short blurb about a journey that makes me call Melbourne home.

Relax, prepare a cup of tea and make yourself comfortable…


G’Day Australia

In September 2006 I landed in Brisbane, and 3 months later I secured a company to sponsor me – as their lead graphic designer. Some of our clients during that time included governmental institutions such as Queensland Health and Queensland Police. We also worked for non-profit organizations, including the Australian Red Cross. Overall, this job gave me the opportunity of taking projects from beginning to end and assuming all decisions surrounding design, paper stock, production budgets and delivery datelines.

In 2010, as my Sponsorship Business Visa was nearing its end, I decided to go back to study. I felt that after 10 years in the graphic arts, it was a good moment for me to go back to the foundations. I consider typography the main tool for a graphic designer and I felt that I needed to upgrade my knowledge.

During my university years at Eina, we were taught the importance of calligraphy in the history of modern typography. I spent my first year learning calligraphy with Keith Adams, a great calligrapher, teacher and mentor. The experience was amazing, and since that time I have tried to keep writing as a form of personal development.

Typeface Design

Knowing that Eina also offered a Postgraduate Course of Advanced Typography, and discovering the name of Keith Adams and calligraphy in the program, I decided to enrol for postgraduate study for 2011. During the course I found out about an international type design competition called Miłosz 2011 and I decided to use the real briefing of the competition to develop my typeface design. Miłosz Italic was my first attempt at type design. The typeface is a work-in-progress project. I would like to mention and express my gratitude to my teachers and fantastic typeface designers for guiding me through the process of creating Miłosz Italic: Laura Meseguer, José Manuel Urós and Iñigo Jerez.

I Love Melbourne

After the Postgraduate Course finished in July 2011, I moved to Melbourne, where I currently reside. I sent my ongoing typographic project to a few studios in Melbourne that caught my attention due to their typographic and editorial approach.

Aaron Moodie –former co-founder of People Collective– kindly invited me to join an informal reunion of type aficionados. Thanks to Aaron I met a group of fantastic graphic artists, all of them with a common passion for typography, calligraphy and lettering. There, I learned for the first time about Type@Cooper. Troy Leinster was part of the first edition of the Cooper Condensed Program and he explained to me amazing stories about his experience. Troy gave me the courage to enrol into the course.

Textile Design

2011 was a fantastic year in my career, and I finished it by starting a completely new project. A fashion designer and friend, Laura Piera –who I met in Brisbane in 2006– offered me to collaborate with her on a project on textile prints.

We started working together in mid-October 2011. Our work during that first month gave us very positive results so we decided to start a collaborative partnership called MarchTwentyTwo.

Typography

While I was working with Laura on our textile prints, I decided to send my application to Type@Cooper. In March 2012 I found out that I had been accepted into the course. Laura and I were really busy at that time undertaking many projects and getting on board new clients but I did not want to miss the opportunity of studying typeface design again so I took 6 weeks off work and moved to New York City.

Type@Copper, New York City

Type@Coopper was a fantastic experience. It was a great learning curve professionally and personally. Being admitted at Cooper Union gave me the motivation to go back to my broad nib and expansion pens and start writing calligraphy as a daily exercise before our daily commissioned work.

At Type@Cooper I had the opportunity of developing my second typeface design called March 22. I thought it would be a good idea to create a unique typeface for our textile print projects. The typeface is another work-in-progress project.

I want to give special thanks to Jean François Porchez who taught me a way of hand drawing type design that I have applied (and continue to apply) to my textile prints and lettering work. I am eternally grateful for his help – now I approach textile drawings and lettering in a very similar way, combining both skills in my daily work.

After Type@Cooper I went to visit Laura (co-founder of MarchTwentyTwo) in Spain. We had the first face to face business meeting since we started our collaboration almost nine months before.

Working from home in solitude throughout most of the day, whilst learning independently how to become a textile designer were the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my career. I can now say that being alone has given me the opportunity to hear my inner voice and get to know myself a lot better.

After one and a half years working from my bedroom I decided to move to a co-working space. Everything after that has become a lot easier for me. From 2013 to mid 2014 I worked at Magic Johnston in Fitzroy.

Rotson Studios

I currently work at Rotson Studios (Fitzroy) in Melbourne where I also teach calligraphy workshops.