Gabriela Orrego is Production Designer for Company Whose Clients Include Netflix, HBO, and Disney+
Like her classmate and colleague Esmie Molina, Gabriela Orrego was able to transition from an internship at WC+A, an advertising and design firm focused on the entertainment industry, to a full-time position she’s now held for 5 years, and she has FIDM to thank for the initial connection. “Some instructors invite guest speakers to class to discuss real-life work and expectations, which is a great opportunity to network. This is how I acquired the position at WC+A (thank you Tracy Weston and Jerome Boroff)!”
Born in Guatemala City and raised in both Los Angeles and Guatemala City, Gabriela attended Monrovia High School, where she and a friend started a FIDM Fashion Club, which led to a scholarship to pursue her goals. She completed an A.A. in Graphic Design and a B.A. in Design (Graphic) in 2018, and then made the switch from intern to full-time employee at WC+A. We checked in with her to learn more.
Tell us about your position at WC+A. What does the company do? What are your responsibilities? WC+A is a forward-thinking advertising agency geared towards the entertainment industry. We handle both motion and still media for a variety of clients like Netflix, Pluto TV, Hallmark Channel, HBO, Disney+, IMAX, NBC, and more. I have the neat role of Production Designer here at WC+A where I get to work with both our Production and Creative teams. My daily tasks consist of Globalization, Key Art Finishing, and Design. I also work closely with management to strategize our company website and team culture events.
How are you enjoying the role? Is it a good fit? I was surprised how much I enjoyed going into the entertainment industry. I knew little of the business. Jerome Boroff (Creative Director), Teri Osato (Senior Production Director), Sinead Harte (Senior Director, Client Services) and the Creative Team were extremely helpful in catching me up with the terminology, procedures, and timelines of our work. The team has an open door policy when it comes to help, support, and encouragement. I learned most of what I know whilst working with WC+A - both in skill and professionalism. My role is an excellent fit as I consider myself a detail-oriented and strategic thinker. My creative process has improved over the years in my career and personal work. I hope to keep learning new skills, like Motion Design and Project Management, as I grow with the company.
How did FIDM help prepare you for this position? FIDM has a variety of opportunities when it comes to preparing students for industry focused work. The instructors at FIDM are current and diverse. They have the modern work experience needed to build a solid foundation and teach fundamental skills. The courses vary in different mediums for each major. For example: Graphic Design courses vary from Photography, Key Art Design, Typography, Website, Branding, Social Media Management, and more. They even have a whole course on putting together an entry level portfolio! FIDM prepares you with a thought-out toolbox. They also provide students with a Career Center, Career Fairs, and Job Posts on their portal.
Why did you choose FIDM for your education? I studied Graphic Design and Photography 2 years before attending FIDM and decided it was the best choice due to my interests in fashion. I wanted to become an editorial designer or photographer for fashion magazines. My close friend and I felt inspired to start a Fashion Club at our high school, which granted me a scholarship to attend. The opportunities and location all made sense!
What advice do you have for FIDM students as they start their careers?
1. Be very open and flexible to trying out different skills. You will be surprised at what you can do or what you end up liking.
2. Everything takes practice. Don't be afraid to communicate with peers when you're stuck. Ask for help!
3. Learn a bit of everything. Work is more interesting when you can bounce around different skills (design, motion, video, photo, etc).
4. Art is by all means unrefined and chaotic. HAVE FUN and don't take yourself too seriously.
Anything else you’d like to share? Thank you FIDM for helping me explore my creativity in multiple ways, setting me up with the right tools, and featuring me in your blog. I also want to thank those who have been on this journey with me. I've learned SO MUCH and it's not over! Your support and encouragement has brought me many rich moments. Here's to growth!