Ana Juan-Gomez - Not So Primitive | BY DESIGN
Ana Juan Gomez shares stories about her Spanish culture and how it influences her strategizing, developing, and implementing design through a variety of media.
By Design, Hebah By Design, Hebah, culture, diversity, culture design, design thinking, diversity matters, design life, humanity, human, design inspiration, acceptance, positive thinking, positive life, positive mind, kindness, embrace your weird, heritage, traditions, Spanish culture, Spanish American, Iron Design, Ithaca New York, Ana Juan Gomez, Ana Gomez, Branding,
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Ana Juan-Gomez – Not So Primitive

One of the hardest things to achieve in life is inner beauty, but it’s the most rewarding. I learned early on in my life to study hard, be good to people and smile as much as I can. Ana Gomez’s inner beauty shines for miles at end, and it’s because she’s made it a point to be culturally educated. Ana is an avid traveller visiting places like Belgium, Liège and Holland, just to name a few. She’s very intelligent, creative, and one of the kindest people I know.

Ana is an embodiment of creativity. She excels at everything including photography, hand lettering and illustration. Her current adventure of choice is working at one of the hottest design agencies in Ithaca, New York; Iron Design. There she strategizes, develops, and implements design through a variety of media. Ana recently worked with Tompkins County Youth Services on the “Can You Hear the Silence” campaign, which brings awareness to commercial sexual exploitation of youth. Learn more about her process in the campaigns case study.

In this episode Ana will be sharing stories about her Spanish culture. Which initiated from a small village of a documented population of less than 30 people. She’ll be sharing her experiences visiting Spain growing up and how it’s sculpted her into the creative explorer she is today. Ana will also be sharing with us some of the most interesting and “not so primitive” traditions her family still practices today.

Follow Ana Juan-Gomez

Website | Instagram | Dribbble | Behance


Highlights and Takeaways:

00:13 I introduce Ana Gomez’s, a very intelligent, creative, and one of the kindest people I know. Her current adventure of choice is working at one of the hottest design agencies in Ithaca, New York; Iron Design.

01:14 Ana talks about being born in New Jersey (grew up in Miami, Florida), but spending the summers in Spain since she was three years old.

01:54 Ana discusses how traveling back to Spain, allowed her to be integrated in the Spanish culture.

02:32 Ana shares her family history, her father from Valencia and her mother from Salamanca, Spain. Her grandmother from her mothers side live in a tiny village population of sixty people.

03:11 I share the similarly of living in a small village, Jordan is a small village too.

03:59 Ana talks about how in her village and how there are no super markets. In fact the main attraction is a bar that opened a few years ago.

04:28 Ana village Martinamor is famous for a Flamenco singer that was born there and she tells his story.

05:38 Ana talks about her life in the village is different from the one in the United States. Spending the summer with your grandparents is a Spanish tradition.

It takes a village to raise a child.


06:58 Ana shares her parents’ intensions to move to Spain after they retire. In fact they have already sold the house in U.S. and bought an apartment in Spain.

07:38 Ana debates on talking about the traditions of her village. Eventually, she shares that once a year during Christmas time they kill pigs, in the event called La Matanza (The Killing). For La Matanza each family raises or purchases a pig to prepare for winter to have food for months to come.

10:20 We share similar practices, such as the holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Eid Al-Fitr is after Ramadan and it is a celebration of breaking our fasting. Additionally, Eid Al-Adha is a celebration of from coming back from the Mecca pilgrimage, which is a recreation of a prophecy of Islam.

14:02 Ana talks about growing up traveling to Spain yearly, which made her want to explores other cultures. She has traveled to most of Western Europe and some parts of South America. Ana has lived in SpainFrance and London.

15:38 Ana is fluently in English and Spanish. Also she is studying French and Italian.

16:09 I talk about how I studied French for four years in Jordan.

17:56 Ana discusses the different cultures in Spain, how they value their time off unlike in the U.S. where you work constantly. She talks about the stereotypes of Spanish people being lazy and not hard-working.

Spanish people are hard-working.


18:46 Ana discusses different lifestyles in Europe, such as being energy conscious. While in middle school she recalls studying in Sevilla during the hot summer days with out AC.

19:44 I share how in Jordan you have to be conservative of the water because it is a desert country. One day a week you get to fill up your tank. Then they shut off the water supplies and you make it through the whole week without any more water.

21:44 Ana talks about how living in Spain it was hard to adjust. For example having so much family close by they perceive her as different.

Be successful.


23:15 I share how I struggled switching from becoming an engineer, like my father, to a graphic designer.

24:44 Ana shares a tradition of her fathers’ side of the family from Valencia of build sculptures around the whole city. The tradition is called Las Fallas and takes place in La Ofrenda de Flores.

26:40 Ana discusses celebrating the feast day of saints name as the same name as her, it’s like a birthday celebration.

29:02 Ana talks about how when she would travel to Spain she would only speak Spanish and when in the U.S. only English. She did not want to be different or out of place.

30:28 Ana grew up in Miami, Florida where she still felt different.

31:22 Ana talks about the differences between Latino,Hispanic and Spanish. Latino is when you come from Latin America and it includes Brazil. Hispanic is a group of Spanish speaking includes Spain and most of South America (does not include Brazil). Finally, Spanish is just from Spain.

 33:26 In Spain Ana did not necessarily experience culture shock but she did have to adjust to adopting a different lifestyles. However, in London, she did experience a culture shock because it was the most diverse city she had ever visited. 

 36:06 Ana shares that she joined a program called Ruta Quetzal, it involved traveling for two months in Spain and one in Chile. The goal of the program was to retrace the path of the explores took to discover Chile.

 39:37 I share how I have become more appreciate of my culture. 

 41:12 Ana talks about how her culture has shaped her to develop problem solving skills. 

 43:04 Ana shares two links that help understand culture, How Being Bilingual Enhances Creativity, and Why Should We Travel?

 43:33 I mention how culture is not associated with problem solving. 

 45:10 Ana’s work ethics require her to focus on the client or audience when she has to design a product to accommodate culture.


 45:54 I talk about how the Youtube culture audience helps accommodate for culture.  

 47:14 Ana explains how traveling has helped her to get our of her comfort zone.

 48:04 Ana shares some of the places she has traveled without a chaperone, such as London, Colombia and Brazil. She talks about the misconceptions of kidnaping and drugs in Colombia, once she got the she loved it and wanted to live there.

 50:48 Ana has many pictures of her traveling up on her blog.

 51:30 Ana talks about her time at Iron Design, working on a gym brand identity project. Also, she talked about other projects she worked on.

 53:26 I discuss Ana’s illustrations design process, how she interprets what she sees based on what you experience.

 51:30 Ana explains to us what sexual exploitation is and how she designed for her project.

 53:26 I talk about sometimes girls are interested in guys of a different culture and their relationship becomes abusive.

 58:46 Ana shares she is currently working on annual report and invitations.

Design is what you are trying to say.


 59:42 Ana encourages everyone to travel, to leave their surrounding. Once you are alone to absorbing the energy to create.

 1:00:32 I share my advice for everyone to go get there passports.

 1:01:12 Ana shares where we can find her through Instagram and her website. Also, follow Iron Design Instagram and Facebook page.

After Show

 1:06:52 I share the two winners of the giveaway. There is still one more chance at a give away, the link is on the email.

 1:07:45 Ana shares her next trips would be Israel, Switzerland, Croatia and Greece.

 1:09:58 I talk about going back to Jordan, we tried to take a trip to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. I have also traveled to Egypt, Sharm el Sheikh and Cairo.

 1:07:45 Ana confesses she might like Italy more than Spain!

 1:13:32 I talk about how I want to move my family to live in Paris for one year.

 1:15:53 I share my gratitude for Ana and wish for her to come back to share more of her experiences.

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