Kim Estoesta is a Visual Designer in the Marketing Creative team. A talented artist with a deep appreciation for the imperfections of fine art, Kim believes “Anybody can be a designer, and being an artist it’s just a way of thinking”. Kim is instrumental in the branding of the Git Merge conferences. She is also the creator of the “Visible at Github Project” a project designed to highlight and elevate people of marginalized identities at GitHub.
Hi @Kimestoesta, what’s the most rewarding part of your day to day work?
For me, [it’s] most rewarding that I work closely with different parts of the company. For example, a project for Engineering might be very technical and complex and I like to translate these projects in a way that everybody can understand. I love being able to visualize and help spread whatever their story and messages are.
How do you approach challenging or complex designs?
I try to figure out what the real problem is, often there is a difference between what people want and the real problem. I see design as an opportunity to discover problems with many different solutions. Working for a lot of different fields (sales, marketing, and engineering, etc.) forces me to see the world through their eyes.
GitHub is a very unique place to work. What would you say was the most surprising thing you’ve experienced as a new Hubber?
I was new to the remote first culture, until GitHub, I was mostly in the same room with other designers and able to throw ideas out to each other, etc. I was surprised I didn’t need to be in the same room with my coworkers to get my work done and receive feedback.
The way we use GitHub to work at GitHub has made me a better communicator. There is less friction, and my team is entirely remote! The takeaway is that you can still be creative and be a designer and work in this way.
If you could own an original piece of art in any form what would be your pick?
I’d have to choose two: “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt and “Las Meninas” by Diego Velasquez. I like fine art collections and actually, have seen Las Meninas in person. Learning about them in an art history class adds a new layer to the love of the images, I love learning about the stuff behind the paintings, the times, tools or the techniques that they used it to create them.
Would you share something about your career or the profession that would be helpful to others who are thinking about becoming designers?
From my experiences and the process of being a designer. I can share, number one, everything is based on your portfolio. And I think that’s both good and bad. You don’t have to go to school for design but you must have a really great portfolio, so go out and start creating.
Being a designer, it’s not about just the visuals, the work or the final product that you create. It’s about the process and making sure that you’re asking the right questions, that you’re making things with a purpose and that the process is shared so everybody understands and is able to contribute to it. Your work will be both more powerful and effective when there is meaning behind it.
Are there any other activities you are involved with that you enjoy and would like to share?
Being able to tie my interestest in people, equality and elevating marginalized communities to my design work in personal projects like in the “Visible at GitHub Project” makes me very happy.
Designers have a responsibility to make sure we are designing for the people who use our products, and they aren’t necessarily the people that are always leaders or in the room. As a designer, you have more power than you might think.
I’ve always looked up to artists that work at Disney or Cartoon Network in movies and in concept art. I keep that interest alive in my free time by drawing and posting on Instagram. I usually like working digitally but part of me loves when art is imperfect and handcrafted. For traditional art, I like to use gouache, a type of water-based paint that has a more opaque color similar to acrylic paint.