Jaume Estruch

Graphic Designer,  and Japan lover

33 Salo comic Barcelona. Bittersweet feeling.

One year, we went to visit the comic book Salo Barcelona. As usual, we decided to go the first day a few hours of opening the drawing room that day was party to avoid the crowds that weekend usually occur in this type of event.

On this occasion, the hall of comics featured two spaces: one on the top floor where most exhibitions, table talks and several exhibitors related associations and schools and one on the lower floor where we found the usual met: stands and some other more exposure.

The truth, though I liked the room, in the sense that I liked the exhibits and bought some stuff that had long wanted, I was a bittersweet feeling. Although expanded the space, gave me the feeling that the number of exhibitors has dropped and many of those who were dedicated almost exclusively to merchandising, ie figures, t-shirts and various objects that occasionally had to do more with the manga, movies or video games with the comic.

On the other hand, one of the things I liked comic salon was able to visit the small stands of fanzines, which this year have been conspicuous by their absence, due to the "strike" of fanzineros the vast majority this year decided not to attend the comic book lounge. The reason, so I could read comments of people involved Facebook and some other blog, is given by the high fees that the organizer, Ficomic imposes to hire a space at the event. It is seen that not only space reservation conditions are quite poor but also prices rise every year, making it harder to hire a stand. Besides this type of stands used to be in the worst area of ​​the enclosure, one that is never happened and that you purposely only if you intend to visit.

Having thus gives the impression that the organization ever thinks more money and less on spreading the culture of comics. I understand that after all is an event that is organized for people to buy and spend money, but another problem is the cost of entry, which is 8 € discount if you have some kind. This makes it difficult for many people to think twice before paying the entry for with those 8 € may well buy a pair of comic books in his library forever.

That said, is not the main problem but it all adds up. I remember my first salons of comics in France station Barcelona and even some not so distant that were already on the premises of Fira where going to the salon I was especially excited because I knew it was movement, there were people who cared for you liked them comics, fanzineros wandered around the grounds trying to sell his latest self-published number (I myself have these) and especially because year after year, returned to meet many people who only saw those four days (which times when I could go 4 days at room). The latter is not so easy, we grew older and many of my friends do not go to these shows either by work, family or unable to pay a stand that does not ensure you recover the investment. But first, the salonero spirit ... I notice you're missing. Sure go back next year, I will give it another try. And another one if needed. But for me it is no longer what it was. What was once a single event at Spanish level and a reference even at European level, is becoming "one more" where only the stands of publishers and department stores stand to gain and small The betting and risk their publications whether self-published or unknown authors, do not go so lightly. Hopefully with time things change and lounge back to what it was.

I leave you with a small gallery of random photos I took in the living things that caught my attention. That said, although the feeling of this room has been bittersweet, does not mean that I would pass well :)

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Let's talk design interviews

I'll tell you something that not everyone has. The two companies rejected me how. Of course, others have told me that if I do not want you to think I'm a loser, but explain that I was wrong sometimes necessary to reach a final conclusion and that you, who are reading this, you would think twice before making a wrong decision.

I once had the opportunity to be interviewed by two companies that were leading to my liking. You work in those places I would love (and I would still charming). I will not say names, but is an online marketing company and a well known online store.

I will explain how the interviews were:

In both cases the interviews were very similar.

Event marketing company:

Location: It is a leading company at the time, in the heart of Barcelona, ​​with many workers, super cool projects and working people I know (for Twitter, not in person), who give me good references. Bring brands and online projects in which many people want to work.

The thing was like this:

  1. Someone human resources company contacts me because I sent them my information through its website, as I saw they were looking for someone with my profile.
  2. After a couple of mails, we specify date and time for the interview and ask me to take my work.
  3. The day of the interview all great, I teach my works treat me well, I teach office and tell me and call me.

The funny thing is that to date, no one has called me to tell me if I have to go to sign a contract or not. In any case, even so normal. At the end of the day, it was I who "I asked" interview, sending my CV and all. And even I can perfectly understand someone else's profile ajustase they were looking at. Come on, an interview design failed in the history of humanity design interviews. Hump ​​you do not call but nothing happens, I guess would interview dozens of staff and can pass them call someone.

Come with case 2.

Case online store:

Location: Publicly just landed in Spain, in Barcelona and looking for people to begin their adventure here and try to conquer the market that currently dominate other companies. Although they are starting in Spain, is a very big level to Asian and American business.

  1. The director of the company in Spain contact me via LinkedIN because he wants my profile. Know that currently have a job but still accept an interview.
  2. I show the date and time agreed in offices. Huge, many meeting rooms, many people working and everything in an open space and with young people. The company is starting in Spain but things are looking great. Over an hour of meeting with the director of the company in Spain. I have overcome difficult conditions, a very flexible schedule and although I warn that work very hard and it is not certain that things go well. But I like the idea, it's something new and was ready to leave my job for that. So I asked to perform a series of designs as if they were for your online store. I more than you asked me and less time as I wanted them to see that I liked the offer and looked forward to working with them.
  3. I send the designs they asked me (I repeat: designs made on purpose for them exclusively) After one week to contact me back for a second interview.
  4. The day of the second interview, I received the creative director of the company, a very nice young man who returns to explain more or less the same as the director explained, but more focused on work that would perform about 45 minutes with him and tells me to keep in touch.

And even there, it was the last time you heard back some of that company. They did not call me, or send me any mail or anything. Of course, they did not pay me the designs I did for them. And that they were the ones who contacted me directly.

Now I give a third case also happened to me and I preferred to leave for last.

Case company taps:

Location: I sent my CV to a company that manufactures faucets. If taps. What we all have in the kitchen and bathroom. They needed a designer and I showed interested.

  1. I called because they received my CV and we arranged an interview. They told me carry my work.
  2. I showed up the day and time they told me. I must say, to reach the site had to catch metro, bus and walk about 15 minutes. They showed me the site and explained what they wanted: someone to help the editorial department of the company to lay out their catalogs (eye, very beautiful catalogs over 300 pages). I was a good time with the company director and head of the editorial department for an hour or so and was told that since I would say something.
  3. After a couple of weeks, I called to tell me he did not choose me because there was another boy who lived next door and also liked (and at that time I had no driver's license), but they liked a lot of my work and desanimase not me. They wished me luck and thanked me for coming to the interview.

You see, three different situations although they ended badly, one can describe the "good" other "bad" and a "worse".


  • No mola a company not to call you after an interview, either to tell you whether to say no. It is normal if the answer is no, take longer to tell you something, because until you do not have someone signed, will try not exclude anyone "just in case". But when after a year do not have said anything .... Okay, if that happened to us all a thousand times, but I think it costs nothing to send an email or make a call even if to give the bad news and get along with someone who has shown interest in you. Or, conversely and much worse: to show interest in someone, you spend your time because you can order it and then not give nor thanks.
  • Think twice before working free design for an interview. Or at least, if they will not pay you for testing whether you know it beforehand. Not you, but I felt ripped off in the second case. More than once I've tested design not collected because then I did not want to even tell me that the company would pay me. That is, it is not the fact that you pay for the tests or not, is the knowledge that the company in question trusts you and knows your work and your time is worth money. It's what makes them human, what makes a designer knows that in this Site is valued.
  • Never say no to an interview. Input may not like the company or the offer, but you never know what you find. In the third case, I was rejected, but so that I did not feel cheated and felt I had spoiled my time going to the interview. In any case, I prefer that I discovered that there are people that values ​​your time and cares about you and that makes you not give up and keep trying.

Before ending this post, I would like to clarify that I do not write this as a "revenge" for the companies that rejected me because many of them have treated me better than some I've worked with. In fact these three cases occurred to me several years ago. But so far he had not written anything about it and it seemed interesting to share. If this article serves one person to think about whether or not to go to a job interview and make a better decision, and will be worth the while been in front of my laptop writing these lines.


Iron motivation blogger Blogger

I recently found a website that supposedly helps you motivate yourself when writing your blog and publish it regularly.

Iron Blogger is an online community that aims to help you grow as a blogger, meet other bloggers, motivate you to write a post a week (minimum). With this you can get more coverage of your posts thanks to recommendations from users, links from other bloggers, etc ...

Sign up is as simple as entering the website and fill out this short form . Then it's as easy as checking your email and confirm the subscription. Once inside, you commit to publish at least one post a week.

To access the community you have to pay 5 € to invite a "virtual beer" to the community by paypal or in person at any of the meetups organized in several cities. From what I've read, this is symbolic.

Iron Blogger standards are as follows (copied from the website itself):

  • You commit to publish at least a weekly post. Later your commitment can be stricter, according to Blogger you want to be.
  • Whenever incumplas your commitment, you will a beer of 5 € to the community of Iron Blogger (up to a maximum of 30 €).
  • At least once every two months, the coordinator of your city will organize a meetup for you to spend a good time to share your passion, anecdotes and impressions.
  • If you have any beer to the community, this is the time to pay and that money will be spent to pay for beer (or soda) that hangout.
  • Exhausted budget "mataos" all put money into a fund to keep the party or each bear their own, that's your decision.

Then there are other more specific obligations that you see here .

When you register, you are automatically an "Iron Blogger", that means you will publish a post a week. As you grow as a blogger, you can go up in level and make "Super", "Hyper", "Supra" or "Ultra" Blogger, depending on the amount of weekly posts that you see yourself able to climb.

In short, a system that "forces" to be aware of your blog and update it to not see obligated to invite a beer the other members of the community when you go to any of the meetups.

At the time of writing there are 1234 members from all over Spain (I forgot to mention that is a Spanish community =.

It certainly seems like a good price to pay and at least you know your money will be well spent.

I hope to meet my weekly post as I've been doing some weeks.

You can follow updates to Iron Blogger in your blog .

Fon WiFi network overall

Note: This is not a sponsored post.

Years ago I talked Fon in this post , but I wanted to write about it, since recently found my old Fonera and I'm going to use.

Fon is a global wifi network.
And when I say overall, I mean that, it is (almost) everyone.
It works this way: you buy you a kind of selling Fon router (called the "Fonera") and connect it to your router, creating a wifi network that any user can connect Fon if you place near your home . These wireless networks are called "Fon Spots". It also lets you create a private wifi network. In many countries, operators offer Fonera routers with integrated option, so in this case do not need to buy anything to belong to the Fon community.

Before using the Fonera for many more things, but now many of those things and I can do with the Synology , so the only use I give you now is to use it as a bridge to replicate the wifi signal house and go farther. And also to create points wifi in places where there is no wifi but if network connection (mainly hotels). In Japan without going further create a private network wifi that reached the two rooms. This is great because the wifi hotels usually pretty poor if the room is far from the router in question. This way you have a private network wifi high speed, since the networking of hotels usually good. Brutal.

In any case, I do not rule in the future buy a Fonera new, not whether they can do the same as the old (I do not have much chance as router) but there is one thing I love is that you can create a wifi network to connect your FB friends. Example: invite several friends home and all they ask for your password wifi. For if they are yours FB friends can connect directly connecting to your account.

Fonera 1

This is my old (but fully functional) Fonera 2.0N

This new Fonera

This new Fonera

While returning to the subject, one of the things that have made me return to the world Fon is precisely the premise of being a global wifi network. Over the years, many people already belongs to Fon and in many places there are people sharing your connection.

The fact is that before you had to go looking for these wireless networks and if you saw that in one reading "FON_" (all WiFi networks Fon begin with these initials) because you dialed in, having to login with your user Fon, etc ... come useful, but a roll patatero every time you want to connect.

But recently I discovered that drew an iPhone app that streamlines all that surprising.

From the app Look Fon Spots based on your location or by typing the name of any city in the integrated searched. Not only that, but you can test the speed of a Fon Fon Spot you found in New York from home in Spain (for example). This is very useful because based on that you can find accommodation in that area, because you know you'll have a good Internet connection. Besides the application itself will install a profile on the iPhone so that it will automatically connect when you see a Fon network. So you no longer have to go looking for "hand" while logging networks and ever. Very useful, really.

Locurón Fon Spots in Tokyo

Locurón Fon Spots in Tokyo

In Shibuya Station there are good connection thanks to various Fon Spots there

In Shibuya Station there are good connection thanks to various Fon Spots there

If the connection is poor, and the app tells you that there are things you can do

If the connection is poor, the app since December you that there are things you can not do.

If your carrier does not offer Fonera router with integrated function (in Spain I think any), buy a Fonera costs 39 €, a price worth paying if we enjoy wifi throughout the world.


Encants Vells

The market for "Encants Vells" (actually called Fira de Bellcaire) is one of the oldest markets in Europe, which since the fourteenth century became one of the most powerful commercial areas of Barcelona. I remember going to this small market with my grandparents and my parents and myself later visit regularly, since I worked alongside for many years. This market was located just above the Plaza de Les Glories. I say was because due to urban plan that affects the whole area (intended to make the new city center), since a couple of years the market has changed location, dramatically improving the site does, facilities and conditions traders there are grouped to perform their activity.

Previously, the market was practically outdoors, with traders who had their fixed stops and each market day opened there. Now the market is much larger and is divided into two parts, an upper fixed indoor and also fixed stops and a bottom where traders come and put their items to sell (especially antiques, second hand things ... typical in these markets. Note that now remains outdoors, but covered, which both the visitor and the merchant thank bad weather or conversely, if the sun hits too.

Anyway, since I did this renewal has not visited him recently and I could go, so I took the opportunity to take some pictures now leave here and hope you like.

Here you have the link to the official website of the market (somewhat outdated at the time of writing).

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