In the Spotlight: Mari Mora

Name: Mari Mora
Title: Sr Visual Designer
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Favorite Quote: Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

What does a usual day of work look like to you?I basically do a little bit of everything. From banner work, videos, website designs, and even a bit of branding here and there, I always enjoy having such a diverse range of projects to work on. And it gives me the flexibility to work on different projects depending on when I am in the right mindset to tackle certain tasks.

What are some of the skills you’re known for on the Assemble team?I usually get comments on my attention to detail. I’m the type of person that makes sure to double and triple-check everything before sending. My goal is to avoid as much feedback as possible because it saves everyone time!

And since I am one of just two designers on a team of very technical-minded programmers, I get a lot of compliments on the creative work I do. Whenever I send a project over to them, they’ll comment “wow” or “that’s so amazing!” which is so funny because to me, it’s my job — it’s just what I do!

How would you describe your job to a bunch of kindergarteners/grandparents?I make things look pretty. It’s my job to make sure the most important thing about a project stands out. And of course, I get to do a lot of cool animations!

What are your previous experiences in the industry?Before Assemble, I was doing a lot of e-commerce work; from UI design to photograph retouches for the various products used in these websites. Prior to that, I was also working in marketing for a chain of sports bar restaurants, designing and creating their menus and advertisements. 

What do you love about working for Assemble?For me, it’s the sense of a family we have here. Even though I haven’t even met a lot of the guys in person yet due to various circumstances, I always feel supported by them. If I ever get too busy, I know I can go to any of them and ask for help.

And that’s really important to me working in production. I’ve been on other teams that make you feel excluded or disregarded just because I’m a woman in a non-traditional role. But I have never felt that way here, despite being the only woman on our development team.  I really love that about our culture, and truly appreciate all the incredible people I work with.

What is the best project you’ve ever worked on? Why?A little while back, we did a Star Wars themed banner campaign for Target. They were selling stuffed animals of the various characters in the movies, so I got to create a stop motion animation for a banner ad featuring these toys — it was really fun to do!

We also have a lot of clients that want their banners to essentially look as fluid as videos — which is not an easy task. But whenever they do, our team assigns these projects to me. I’m the go-to for complex animation, and I’m very proud of that!

What do you love most about working for a remote team that spans multiple countries?Working for a remote team isn’t new for me — most of my previous companies were structured the same way, so it’s what I’ve always known. But especially here at Assemble, I really appreciate that they always trust in us to deliver on time. You never feel like someone is constantly checking in; you don’t have that pressure. So you’re truly able to create your best work and even more motivated to come through for them.

What motivates you professionally?I’m very competitive, so I am constantly trying new things and taking on projects or assignments that really challenge me. The best part about claiming the tough stuff is that when you pull it off, the achievement is even more rewarding and you feel a greater sense of pride in your work.

What are your favorite things to do in your free time?I absolutely love to read. I could spend all night getting immersed in stories. And as such a visual person, I really enjoy Fiction because it allows me to imagine the characters and settings in my head and set the scene for the story myself.

But when I’m not relaxing with a good book, I enjoy hiking with my husband and our friends. We love the outdoors and with Costa Rica being such a small country, you’re never too far away from any of the great places to explore. But when we like to keep it quick and simple, we have a forest right out of our backyard with a trail we like to hike regularly.

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?Definitely Italian. I love all pasta. I would probably be fat, but I would be fat and happy.

What’s one thing you could talk about for hours?Music — it’s such a big part of my life. I’m always listening to something while working, and I love to discover new bands and artists. When I find something I really like, I get so excited and want to share it with everyone. Lately, I keep stumbling across great British bands in Folk Indie.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?Being a super productive mom! One day, I hope to successfully balance spending time with my family and taking care of my kids, while continuing to do the work I love and be great at it — it’s always been a dream of mine to have the best of both worlds.

What advice would you give your younger self?Never be afraid of new things that come your way — in work or in life.  Just do your best and good things will come.