Paola Batiz is a true visionary when it comes to her eye for all things creative. Whether it is on her Cintique working on designs and illustrations, or in the studio handling art direction, she is one well-rounded BOSS!
Pao is the founder of Paohaus, a creative digital HAUS (agency) based out of downtown San Diego but works with clients from across the globe. Talented and bilingual, she has taken the industry by storm and paving the way for many more women to join the creative forces. Read more on Pao below!
The Intro: Hiiii! I’m Paola Batiz, but most people call me Pao. I’m a visual and product designer in San Diego, Ca. My knowledge combines visual design, user experience, branding, prototyping, and a tiny bit of motion. My journey starts in SD, where I studied at the Art Institute. After graduating I eventually made my first website while at a small boutique agency in town and my obsession with the Digital world grew. From there I’ve flourished into a disco-loving creative striving to create good in the industry!
1. What was the driving force to get you into the creative industry?
You know how you think of a person and you tell yourself, “Yep! That’s the moment I knew I wanted to go into [BLANK] field!”? Well that was me, but a long time ago. If we go back in time to when I was younger, I was always striving to be like my mom. The one who decorated and created all sorts of cute accents for our family holidays — even as a single, working mother. If she could be a Boss Lady by herself, then so could I! That was my moment. The moment where my obsession with all things creative started. From spending countless hours making my science projects “pretty” to designing printable cards on my Windows 95 Hallmark Card Maker Deluxe, I’ve come a long way.
That drive has obviously transformed now that I’m older into the need for more and not just creatively. It’s the need I see in this industry for more inclusion, more acceptance, and more empathy.
2. In what other ways do you express your creativity? – Not work-related.
I consider myself an introverted-extrovert, so I’ve always put even more self-expression (or creativity) into what I do. I’m huge for gift giving — but the cool, thoughtful gift-giving where you spend countless hours creating something incredible for a loved one.
Another example, (which we obviously don’t do much anymore) could be how I used to throw shows around town with my boyfriend and one of my best friends. My main priority was to help my music-making friends network and find more opportunities, but it was also to create unique dance floors or ambiances that allowed others to feel included and really express themselves. We were definitely “ballin’ on a budget”, but we made it happen. We’ve decked the place out with plants before (With a special appearance by Nicholas Sage), used glow in the dark paint on the walls and floor, and even turned the place into a silver foil wonderland.
3. How has COVID-19 impacted the design field for you?
I’m over the moon grateful with the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to retain my clients and even the ability to create better partnerships (Love you Rachel Sylvestro!).
“Pandemic-Ok” is what I like to tell others of how the design field has been for me these past few months. I exited my favorite job ever with people that I loved the day that Quarantine was started in San Diego. My anxiety was through the roof calculating how in the world I would find a job with everything going on. After a week or so of freaking out, I just decided to go for it! I set up an LLC and hit the ground running (Also so scared!). I said yes to every project that came my way and also donated a bunch of my time to projects doing great things for others during this time.
I can’t explain how grateful I am to the world that things are going “pandemic-ok” for me, so a HUGE thing I’ve been working on is networking with others who 1. are already in my network or 2. finding new connections (Lunchclub.io is amazing) so that I can help them. Whether it’s shooting over some work and eating up some of that cost, or mentoring some designers either starting in the design world or thinking about getting into it.
4. Where do you see the future of UX/UI design going?
Dang, loaded question! There are so many ways to answer this as there are so many other industries influencing the way this one functions. Definitely crushing those who use Dark UX Patterns to monetize their business! Apart from that obvious blurb 😉 I think that Covid-19 really paved the way for some industries that refused to innovate digitally to visualize that need and jump into the next steps. If all goes well, I really believe that UX and UI will continue to enhance these industries.
If we’re talking about innovation — I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure. There’s SO much to learn now, especially with AI coming into play and even animation, development BUT IM HERE FOR IT.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is trying to get into UX/UI design? -Anything different you would say to women heading into the creative industry?
Here’s my list of what I tend to tell someone trying to break into the industry:
- Do it your own way and don’t get discouraged if someone doesn’t like your concept initially.
- Learn from those around you
- Accept when you might be wrong
- Leave your ego behind
- Never stop learning
- Stay Humble
- Be kind
- Never ever compare yourself unless you’re trying to learn!
As much as I love how the industry has changed and become even more accepting, there’s still a way to go for women. I definitely have my own story about being a woman in the industry which even I am not sure if other women have had similar experiences and am hesitant to share. There are joy-producing creatives and businesses out there, so go with your gut if you get that creepy “butterflies-in-your-stomach-but-they’re-really-bats” feeling about a certain situation. To close, don’t ask a man for permission, you got this!
6. Did you develop a quarantine hobby? If so, what?
I’M OBSESSED WITH GARDENING! I recently got set up with a raised garden bed and I’ve been growing what I can. Failed miserably the first time around, with bugs completely murdering my lettuce and broccoli (my sadness was unreal!) but I’ve been learning how to bring them back from the dead. Stay tuned… I might kill them all again by accident or I might just have some zombie broc’s coming up.
7. I heard through the grapevine you are a bit of a disco fiend, what three disco songs do you listen to on repeat while designing your best work?
Yes!! Disco beats make me so happy. Here’s a few that I absolutely love:
- One More Time – Daft Punk (Because Duh.)
- Relight My Fire – Dan Hartman
- Le Freak (Dimitri from Paris Remix) – Chic
- Shameless plug, My boyfriend’s mix: https://www.mixcloud.com/brian-rose2/disco-jams-north-park-farmers-market-8-30-18/
Where people can find my work:
Currently developing my site for paohaus.com but I’ve been posting some work on its Instagram (@Paohauscreative) and on Behance. Stay tuned 🙂