School of Art, Media, and Technology

AAS GD Student Spotlight: Maria Yasmina Garcia Estudillo

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What brought you to Parsons? 

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo: I have been working in Spain for 10 years as a marketing director for a group of companies. In every strategy that we put into action — the phase in which I had the most fun was the hours that I worked with the graphic designers. The designers made realize what I had in my head and executed it perfectly. I wanted to know more about how graphic designers think, and I began to imagine myself reaching those visual solutions by myself. One day, I searched online for the best graphic design universities in the world and Parsons was one of them. I began to research more about Parsons and was convinced that I wanted to come. I had also been in New York several times on vacation and I was in love with this city; I had always thought it would be incredible to live here. Without thinking too much about it, I applied to Parsons. Parsons accepted me and, without hesitation, I quit my job, sold my house, and three months after your letter I was living in Manhattan and going through the impressive entrance of the University Center.


What did you study before coming here?

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo: Before Parsons, I got a Bachelor Degree in International Business Management, and then Master Degrees in Human Resources, in Bankruptcy Law, in Urban Planning, in Andalusian’s Order Territory Law (LOUA) and finally a Master in Management of Real Estate Projects.

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo Grupo Nevot – Photo Lithography course  


Describe your creative style.

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo: I really like to explore styles and experiment with different techniques. There is so much to learn and try in graphic design! Sometimes I thought that I really should’ve come to Parsons earlier, but the curiosity and the feeling that there is a lot to see, try, learn, experiment and discover pushes me every day to continue working hard and with more energy. I’m not sure how to describe my style yet, but my goal is always to find simple, clean and strong solutions, always with typography in mind. I love interesting and powerful compositions that are appropriate for each challenge. Sometimes in the initial phases my ideas are very complicated, and I have to edit down and make a big effort to simplify. It’s difficult, but I love simple, direct designs. Above all,  typography is an important aspect in my designs. I focus on typography because it is the hardest element to master. However, I am totally in love with it! I constantly think about how to understand typography better, how to play with it… I think typography is starting to become a bit of an obsession!

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo The Body of Christ – Advanced Typography course  


Your work was selected for the TDC show, can you talk more about your piece?

 Yasmina Garcia Estudillo: The poster was an assignment for my class in Advanced Typography. The professor Steven Clunis challenged us to make a poster about an event of our home city, using only typography.  The goal was to use type as image. In my design, you can see how the typography creates a cross. The cross is a symbol of  “Corpus Christi” (“The Body of Christ”), a weeklong festival that takes place in my Granada, a beautiful and romantic city in the south of Spain. Though it’s a religious celebration, everyone enjoys the festivities regardless of personal faith. For some people “Corpus Christi” is about the procession that happens in Granada’s cobblestone streets; for others, the celebration is an expression of Spanish heritage given that flamenco dancers in beautiful gypsy costumes and gentlemen riding majestic horses also go around the city. I used a type that is a fuse of two styles of typography: a serif that would be more classical and traditional to represent the serious, traditional ceremony, and a sans serif to represent the more cheerful and modern side of the festival with its parties, music, dances, beer, wines and wonderful tapas. I used the colors of the Spanish flag to represent the passion of the festival (red) and the joyful energy (yellow); The blue stands for both our characteristic clear blue sky and the predominant color of Grenadine pottery.

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo Infographic Bulb – “Graphic Design 2 course” 

What do you like the most about the Parsons Graphic Design program?

 Yasmina Garcia Estudillo: The classes that I have liked the most have been my GD 1, 2 and 3 classes. They have been the most complicated, and the most challenging as well. In those classes, I have been through ups and downs, and honestly, it’s exactly where I have learned the most. I’ve been lucky enough to have teachers who are amazing designers and who I can see as role models, like Dmitry Krasny who influenced me with his love for typography, or my admired Thomas Doyle who with his intense classes, frenetic pace and endless wisdom motivated me to seek the fun in the process of finding ideas and solutions based on research and knowledge. Last but not least, the exquisite, talented and smart Mara Kurtz, who taught me how to see the beauty in clear, straightforward designs. I really love her and her classes. She has given me the honor of writing an article about her for an annual specialized graphic design magazine in Spain called “El Intercambiador” that will be published in a couple of months!

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo “Black Oil Spill”  – Portfolio course.

How has your practice or work ethic evolved since attending Parsons?

Yasmina Garcia Estudillo:  Parsons is teaching me to generate ideas very quickly and to execute them in the best possible way. At Parsons, I have learned to solve problems always based on research and on digging deep to find original solutions while at the same time looking at how other designers have solved similar problems. Additionally, Parsons is constantly pushing us to keep our eyes open to what is happening around us. We are encouraged to look for inspiration in the daily life. Luckily, we are in the center of the world, being exposed to plentiful resources such as museums, galleries, concerts, parties, exhibitions. We just have to go out there and allow ourselves to be inspired!

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