Designer and Illustrator
Now an established designer and illustrator, Maria Pineros was diving into freelancing on her own before participating in ArtWorksTO in 2018. This program offered insight throughout every step of the way, from communicating ideas, and implementing feedback, invoicing, writing a proposal, and sharing ideas. Maria completed two projects during her placement, one with Shelter and Housing Support Administration creating pamphlets that contained resources for youth at risk of homelessness, and another for Parks, Forestry, and Recreation which resulted in a community mural, of which Maria designed the display component and the illustrations which were inspired by five words provided by the City: accessibility, Indigenous rights, diversity, welcoming (immigration) and Toronto.
Maria said she learned a lot about collaborating with each division, and that it was interesting to work on two different projects because the components and deliverables were so different, even within the city. The divisions had different dynamics and offered varying levels of creative freedom and structure through their guidelines and requests. When asked about what she gained from the program, Maria said that “as creatives, we are not always taught professional development skills but it is so important we learn about this element of being a professional creative. Part of the program includes being able to communicate your process with your clients, and knowing how to be assertive when we need to regarding budget, tool limitations, requested edits, and much more. I also feel more confident in replying to RFP’s. Now, I feel very confident writing proposals, and as someone for whom English is not my first language, my ability to talk about my work and skills has brought me to another level of confidence. Getting used to the process helps you learn how to talk about your skills and sell yourself, as well as communicate the advantages of giving me the opportunity compared to someone.”
Maria is currently a full-time designer and Illustrator with over six years of experience managing the branding, communications, and marketing needs of social enterprises, non-profits, government agencies, and start-up organizations. She was hired as a freelancer to design the creative materials for ArtWorksTO: Skills for a Creative Future (2020).