We interviewed the owner of one of the most active and awarded design studios on GoPillar.com, Mariana Guevara of the Tea Arquitectos studio in Caracas, Venezuela. Taking a peek at her profile on the platform, what immediately catches the eye is the high number of times that her projects have reached a top-position placement in the contests over the years. Because she has been so successful, we wanted to learn more about her experience and ask her some questions about her work.
Her workday starts very early, she scheduled us an interview at 7 in the morning Caracas-time, and promptly connected to our online chat. Initially, she was a bit embarrassed, so we immediately tried to make her feel at ease!
Here is how our interview went:
Nice to see you Mariana, how are you? First of all I want to thank you for the time you will dedicate to us for this interview.
Thank you so much! I am happy that you guys have noticed my hard work on the platform and I will answer your questions with great pleasure.
Great, so let’s start right away with the first question, how did you learn about GoPillar and what did you like right from the start about the platform that convinced you to sign up?
The first time I heard about GoPillar was because a university colleague told me about the platform, we had just finished university and my design studio was newly born. I connected to the platform and found out that I could sign up for free and meet the demands from customers from all over the world. It was fantastic! I had the opportunity to work with real clients, learn about their real needs, all over the world. The ease with which it was possible for me to start proposing my design ideas to real clients was the thing that fascinated me the most, no costs, no complications, just work.
I feel the enthusiasm of your answer, tell me specifically how GoPillar helped your work as an architect?
Yes I was enthusiastic, GoPillar helped me to do a lot of practice, to understand customers and their needs, it helped me to tear books aside and to confront myself with the real world. I also learned to understand what the customer expects, recognize his tastes, and propose the best ideas. This is an important part of the job and when you have to participate in a contest you know that the one who best understands what the customer expects, wins! After all, for many it is about realizing the house of their dreams, you feel like the genie in the bottle!
Your point is very fitting and certainly reflects one of the main reasons that attract our customers to use the platform, collaborating with thousands of architects to find the best project. How long does it take for you to participate in a contest and how do you organize your work on GoPillar to fit with your schedule?
In my design studio I don’t work alone, but I collaborate with my boyfriend, who is also an architect. We usually work together on each project, obviously it’s not a full time job, we still have our local client to carry out; let’s say we reserve at least a couple of hours a day to look for new contests to participate in or to prepare materials for the contests to which we signed up for.
Did winning contests on GoPillar allow you to grow your design studio too thanks to the new income?
Obviously, it’s nice to win both from a professional point of view, but also from a financial aspect. Still, if I were to mention the main benefit of participating in GoPillar contests, for me, as I said before, it is the personal growth that has brought me.
Do you and your boyfriend work on different contests or collaborate on projects together?
We always choose together and decide together which way to go and for each project there is a complete four-handed collaboration, no matter who practically designs the tables and other contents depending on our other commitments.
How do you choose the contests to participate in? Is there a type of project that you are most passionate about?
Well obviously the first thing we look at is the cash prize (she laughs, editor’s note) then we pick the single contests based on the deadline and the material requested. As I told you before, we check the platform everyday, so our picks are different depending on the period and the amount of work from the studio. Sometimes we have the possibility to participate in several contests at the same time, other times we have to select only the contests that we are sure we can wrap up. If I were to mention the projects I’m most passionate about, I would choose medium to large renovations, not only because the prize at stake is higher, but also because they allow you to give more space to creativity.
Thank you Mariana, it was a really nice interview! Before I leave you I want to ask you one last question, if you could give one piece of advice to your colleagues from all over the world, what would you tell them about GoPillar?
I would certainly recommend them to register immediately to the platform, start reading the contests, and participate. Put the books aside and throw yourself into GoPillar with the utmost commitment. Working with real clients allows you to grow much more than any school assignment. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn by comparing yourself with the whole world!
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