How We Make Our MARK – A Day in the Life featuring Mariana Canale

Get to know us … even better! Learn more about what makes On The Mark the creative, dependable and client-centric organization that it is. Take a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of our team, their experiences, passions, advice and personalities! We’re excited to bring you on this journey.

Next up – we caught up with Graphic Designer Mariana Canale. Let’s jump into it!

What does your weekly morning routine look like?

“I work fulltime and am a mother of three so if I want to fit in exercise and hobbies, I wake up early! I always start my day with a hot cup of mate tea, which is a popular and ritualized drink in Argentinean culture. I was born in Buenos Aires and lived there for 20 years, so it’s my way of keeping the tradition alive.”

A standard mate gourd and bombilla
Pictured left to right; Jonah and Mariana with her mate

What are your favorite podcasts or commute inspiration?

“I listen to National Public Radio. I prefer it over local radio stations as it’s not commercialized but rather an effective way to remain informed on current news and politics.

The only local radio station I listen to is the one all the way in Argentina! And I’ll stream it on my computer. I like to stay aware of the current state of events over there.”

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?

“I value extensive creative campaigns. I appreciate the process – the brainstorming of ideas, the teamwork, the forward thinking regarding the campaign in its entirety. Having a creative theme that transcends multiple projects or multiple pages of a book requires a deeper involvement.

I prefer to spend most of my energy enveloped in creativity, so I’m grateful that the clients I work with allow me the opportunity to do just that. It’s why I gravitated toward OTM – my work here allows me to pursue these intentions of mine daily. Living an intentional life – both professionally and personally – has become very important to me in my later years.”

How do you remain intentional when life gets busy?

“With my vision board! Back in 2021, we all created our own vision boards here at OTM as a fun team-building exercise and I kept it ever since. I even framed it!

I believe the path to happiness is to be intentional with your time because if you define what you want in life, you’ll have clarity. It puts you in the driver’s seat and helps you remain focused on the things you want most in life and less distracted by things that don’t serve you.”

Mariana’s framed Vision Board

In your opinion, what is one of the most important skills for a graphic designer?

“I think an important skill is being able to execute your ideas. Creativity can only go so far if you’re unable to bring your ideas to life. I mean this both realistically, with design tool capability or feasibility of print manufacturing, as well as metaphorically, being able to take a vision and transform it into a work of art.”

What is a challenging part of your field?

“As creatives it can be challenging to consistently come up with original concepts. Just like writers deal with writer’s block we too can feel stuck or as if we’ve depleted all our ideas. That’s where I think brainstorming can be so powerful. When multiple minds come together and collaborate it can be a strong catalyst for new ways of thinking.”

Where do you find creativity?

“It’s everywhere. If you truly look, you’ll find it in everyday life. Of course, when I travel, I’ll study the work of other artists and bring those inspirations home with me and try to implement them into my client’s projects in unique ways. But even as simple as driving around town running errands my eyes are constantly drawn to the billboards and advertisements and I’ll reflect on their marketing and design approaches.

My favorite place of all to observe creative design in everyday life is actually in the packaging at the grocery store – and the best aisle is the tea section! Food photography has really evolved over the years, and I’ve noticed that their approach is about depicting an experience. It’s not just about the tea leaves. It’s the feeling that comes with it. There is so much to learn around us. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll remain a student and will be receptive to creativity.”

When you’re not at work, where can we find you?

“Well, I have three teenagers, so I do a lot of driving! The library, tennis, soccer, a friend’s house – you name it. However, I still find time for myself, and I’ve picked up learning the guitar, as well as advancing my understanding of the Italian language. So, on Tuesdays I have an Italian lesson and Fridays I practice the guitar.

Spanish is my first language, but my father was born in Italy and lived there until he was a teen. And while my mom was born in Argentina, both her parents were also originally from Italy. So, I learned Italian from my father and grandparents at a young age, and I always felt passionate about it. I even spent some time studying abroad in Italy. Now, I have a weekly Italian class which gives me the opportunity to deepen my education and connect to my roots. It’s never too late to learn new skills!”

Mariana playing the guitar

What song are you currently learning on the guitar?

“Three years ago, I gave my husband, Jonah, piano lessons as a holiday present and seeing him get so much enjoyment out it I thought I would also gift myself with guitar lessons. I used to play the guitar when I was little but never pursued it. So, I ended up finding a great teacher in Buenos Aires, which makes it even more special to me because it gives me the chance to be connected to my home country. However, there is a two-hour time difference so on Fridays, when my teacher starts at 9am, class starts at 7am for me! I learn different songs from Argentinean folk to rock to pop. Right now, I’m learning to play the Spanish version of an Italian song “La mia storia tra le dita” (Italian), “Mi historia entre tus dedos” (Spanish translation), “My story between your fingers” (English translation). And the best part is that Jonah is also learning how to play this song on the piano. So, our goal is to be able to play together in 2024!”



Do you have any closing advice for someone beginning their graphic design career?

“Love what you do. When you love what you do it leads to an intentional life while also giving you a sense of control. If you have that mindset, then no matter what situation you end up in you’re always ‘doing it for yourself.’ That’s powerful.”

BONUS! With winter approaching, we played a game of This or That with Mariana.