Coffee always happens first: An interview with Marisol Ortega

Marisol is a jovial person. She radiates a friendly interest in what you’re doing, a passion in what she is doing and an appreciation for the hard work those things will involve. This was Marisol’s first year joining us on one of our Field Trips, and she fit in great with everyone. I hope that she will join us next year as well!

Name Marisol “Laughs a Lot” Ortega

Where do you currently live and work? Seattle, WA in Ballard (which is far from SeaTac airport, if anyone wanted to know but easily accessible at the wee hours of the morning with an awesome cab driver)

What disciplines do you specialize in? Design, illustration, fancy letterforms and master of the linocut arts and giggle fits. Oh! I’m also a cat whisperer.

What’s your typical day like? I don’t wake up to an alarm because I usually get woken up by my 2 year old every morning… Mooommm. Mooommmy. Mum. Mamma. Momma. Moooooom. I’m wide awake at this point and I take a minute before I go upstairs to get her. I make an effort to spend some morning time with her: breakfast, blocks, books or a TV show.

Marisol during our Pacific Northwest photoshoot on the first day of the trip.

I’m a Senior Designer for Starbucks Global Creative Studio. Coffee always happens first after I get in. I start with some general doodling/sketching and slow checking emails before I dive into my illustration/design work. Most of my days are pretty packed with concepts/actual work but I make an effort to sift through inspiration or play around with my watercolors.

Marisol’s gorgeous packaging for Starbucks’ Uganda Sipi Falls. Follow her on Instagram to see more of the design and watercolor process behind it.

How did you first get interested in typography and lettering? I would say high school. I studied abroad in Italy during my junior year and kept some crazy journals. I started writing in headlines and later incorporating illustrations of my daily routine just for practice. I kept a total of 9 journals that year. I attended an art high school and was focused on art history/italian history/studio art/drawing for the whole year. It was really neat to experience these topics in a different culture while learning a new language at the same time. I was never short of inspiration—that’s for sure!

Linocuts Marisol has been working on since returning from Chicago.

So… How do you feel about Papyrus? Papyrus used for restaurant logos are my favorite to spot. Or any time the misuse of Papyrus happens–so awful you can’t stop looking.

What’s your favorite breakfast food? Breakfast burritos. However, I’m also partial to peanut butter filled preztels. Dan Gneiding knows what I’m talking about.

Distracting Marisol from working one morning at the Lost Type house.
We were so lucky to have Marisol along on this trip; in addition to being an amazing designer, she laughed at literally every one of our jokes made by someone other than Jim. Follow Marisol on Instagram and keep an eye out for our next post with a #fieldtripchi attendee.