From the middle of Germany to a design studio overlooking the the Majorcan sea.
Miriam Spann aka suyani is an award-winning graphic designer with over 20 years experience working with packaging & product design as well as in editorial design, illustration to conception and corporate design development. Originally from Kassel in Germany, she moved to the Spanish island of Majorca at the age of 19 and had her own design studio next to the sea by the age of 24.
She introduces herself as a lover of coriander, chocolate and summer rain! Since 2013 she has been mixing her passions and skills, running the vegan guesthouse Villa Vegana with her partner Jens and creating awesome designs for good people.
Miriam has been an active member of jovoto’s global creative community since 2011, she has joined a total of 82 projects and worked on an impressive 253 ideas – 52 of which won her awards. She’s earned around €44 000 on the platform – in Community and Client’s Choice Awards and licensing fees – that’s ca. €7333 per year. Continuing our series of featuring successful jovoto creatives, we thought we’d check in with Miriam to see what an average day has in store for her.
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A day in the life of a designer…
I start my day with a big, fat latte macchiato in bed… with almond milk, checking my emails and cuddling with my two lovely rescued dogs Sheela & Django. I also always check facebook in the mornings – I am very involved with animal rights activism and I find it’s the best source to check up on what is going on out there… it’s important to me to share information about animal cruelty and the livestock industry, as well as to promote the vegan lifestyle within my networks and beyond.
When I’m up and out of bed I head to the to the kitchen and help to prepare the breakfast buffet for our guests at Villa Vegana – it usually consists of freshly baked onion bread, croissants, bulgur with fruits and nuts, fresh veggies and salads, vegan tortillas, scrambled tofu, coca de verduras, a selection of vegan cheeses and sausages and spreads like hummus.
Once breakfast is over and the kitchen cleaned then I do my morning workout and have a swim in our pool. Afterwards, I drink my morning smoothie – either green (kale, cucumber, ginger, apple and celery), orange (carrots, melon, kiwi, banana & ginger) or pink (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, banana & coconut milk).
I usually head to over to my “other office”, aka my design office, around 10 am. I like to think I have two offices – my design office and my lovely kitchen. It’s great that they are 20 footsteps away from each other, so, depending on projects and the cooking schedule I can switch between the two spaces during the day. For example, when I have a cake in the oven, I use the baking time to sit on my computer and work on something else.
I like to work on projects that combine my passions/professions – a good example of this is our recently published cookbook. We wrote up the recipes for many of the dishes that are part of our daily menu and it was fun to work on every stage of the process, from cooking to doing the final touches to the layout. My favourite type of design project is magazine-design – it always has been! For the last two years, I’ve been doing the art direction and graphic design for Germany-based vegan lifestyle magazine, Welt Vegan Magazin.
Fortunately, during summer season we always have amazing food in the house, whether it’s leftovers from the night before or the evening meal already prepared… so I can always find a little something to have for lunch around midday.
After lunch, I like to stretch my legs and the dog’s too! I take them for a walk on the beach. Often a few design ideas for whatever I was working on in the morning will come to me while I’m out there – relaxing and overlooking the sea.
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In the afternoon, it’s back to the studio. I am a big fan of Pinterest, it’s one of my go-to sources for inspiration… whether for design or new recipes… so I am on there almost every day. I often also check in with jovoto – it has become somehow part of my life during the last 6 years – although I am busy enough I always try to have an eye on the projects and join the ones that interest me, it’s like a little holiday from daily life! 😀 I found some good creative friends on jovoto too – I really trust them design wise and when I need help or am unsure about a layout or typeface choice, I send them my drafts to get feedback…
I think my favourite jovoto project was Get The Shoe Business Walking! It was so much fun – I remember giggling to myself all the time about my own ideas! The jovoto community loved it too – it’s my most popular idea on the platform I think. But there are many other projects I’ve enjoyed, especially the packaging design projects and my collaborations with voto – we are the perfect match! He always has great concepts and I bring the design know-how… it just works!
By 3 pm I need to be back in the kitchen to prepare dinner for our guests. Every day we offer a 3-course menu with fresh fruits and vegetables bought from the market that day. We prepare famous dishes from around the world, but all “veganized”. We often hear that our versions taste better than the originals!
While we are cooking, I always take the time to check-in with my partner and maybe bounce some ideas off him. I always check his opinion before I start a new design project or a new recipe… he is very critical and honest – his comments are a great help.
The guests are seated for dinner – we love it when they all become quiet when the first dish is served… and the most special moment of my day is when they take their first bite and I hear that sweet sound “mmmmhhhhhhhmh”… it’s like music to my ears!
In the summer I never go out after dinner – I am always surrounded by the amazing and lovely people who stay in our house. We sit on the terrace or gather around the pool, chatting and drinking wine together… sometimes we go for sundowner overlooking the sea at Sa Foradada or set up a projector in the living room and watch an interesting documentary. But in wintertime it is different, I give myself a break from cooking and go and try out one of the amazing restaurants with vegan options here on the island and meet friends I don’t get to see often during the summer season. My favourite restaurant is La Rotana in Palma. It is a Lebanese restaurant with amazing food and great atmosphere.
My “workday” is very long, finishing sometimes around 11 pm. I say “workday” because I don’t really see my work as a separate unit of the day or my life… and as I really love everything I do. In 2002 my daughter, Marilu, was born. She was handicapped and had serious health problems, so I had to give up everything in Majorca and moved to Berlin for a few years to do therapies with her and to get financial help from the government because I was not able to work anymore as we spend a lot of time in the hospital. 4 years later I moved back to Majorca. After my daughter passed away in 2011 I found jovoto and it saved my life somehow…
Joining the jovoto community, I found something to distract myself a little, I learned a lot from other creatives and I taught myself new things to be able to join in with more projects… jovoto helped me a lot to come back to life.
Villa Vegana is somehow my daughter’s legacy – she taught me to protect those who have no voice… to live without harming anyone and to appreciate life itself. Every morning when I open my eyes, the first thing that comes to my mind is “What do I want to do today?” I always have hundreds of ideas and projects I want to work on – I wish there were more hours in the day!
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