Tips to Survive Summer as a Freelance in Barcelona

survive summer as a freelance in barcelona

Non-stop activity during the year? Don’t go crazy in summer.

It seems like we spend all year waiting for summer. But I have to admit that I find it highly overrated, especially in Barcelona. Every year I completely forget how much summer gets on my nerves. I know I’m not the only one! Let’s discuss some ideas to avoid losing your cool in the hottest months of the year.

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Creative Project Manager for Ainhoa Herrera

Creative Project Manager - Vera Ciria - Barcelona

Photo by Anna Morago

As the winter months slowly crept by and spring began to make an appearance, it was time to start tackling the work to be done for Ainhoa Herrera’s Spring / Summer Collection 2016. Comprising four leather bags, this small selection, entirely handmade in Barcelona, is filled with colour and texture.

As Creative Project Manager, it is my job to first brainstorm with the client to establish brand goals for the season, tweak target audience mission and create a list of tasks to carry out with my team. Subsequent meetings to establish deadlines and organisation are necessary before getting down to the work itself.

Creative Project Manager - Vera Ciria - Barcelona

Photo by Anna Morago

Creative Project Manager - Vera Ciria - Barcelona

Photo by Anna Morago

Aside from coordinating the team, managing deadlines and organising in general, as Creative Project Manager, I cover numerous other aspects throughout the process. One of the first items was to decide on models for the photo shoot and a studio location, in other words, photo shoot production and logistics.

The chosen location was Golden Studio in Barcelona, where we had a great time on the day of the shoot. To differentiate between the winter and summer collections, I decided on a light peach background that worked even better than I could possibly have imagined. The colours and textures were popping!

Photo by Anna Morago

Photo by Anna Morago

Anna Morago was our photographer once again. Her sensitivity, good humour, and professionalism are outstanding. She seems to know exactly what needs to be captured and brings out the best in the models. She has an inherent intuition in making everyone feel at ease and greatly contributes to a fantastic work environment.

I take care of styling and logistics throughout the shoot, making sure every detail is perfect and everyone has what they need. My role is to act as a bridge between the client and the photographer while also ensuring the overall tone and style fall within the desired brand message.

Creative Project Manager - Vera Ciria - Barcelona

Photo by Anna Morago

creative-project-manager-vera-ciria-jardin-cactus

Photo by Anna Morago

Another key aspect is the communication for Ainhoa Herrera. The goal was to highlight the texture and colours of the new collection using a specific location in Barcelona that wouldn’t fall within summer clichés. I proposed the Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera, a park perched on the side of Montjuic, filled with stunning cactus and views over the Barcelona harbour.

Ainhoa, Anna Morago and I spent a long afternoon towards the end of March snapping textures, panoramic views, still-lifes and Ainhoa herself with her leather bags. Many of these photos have now been used on the Ainhoa Herrera Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Creative Project Manager - Vera Ciria - Barcelona

Photo by Anna Morago

Creative Project Manager - Vera Ciria - Barcelona

Photo by Anna Morago

While part of the team was concentrating on the communication side of the project, Tián of Coco&Co was busy uploading the new collection to the Ainhoa Herrera online store. Incredibly knowledgeable and patient, Tián is a fantastic programmer, another key member of the team.

From there it was necessary for me to concentrate on several tasks such as copywriting to create the new product descriptions, uploading the new collection to Ainhoa’s Etsy store, creating the new season presentation dossier to be sent to press and the subsequent mailing. A new addition to the work was the creation of a database of physical stores in Barcelona and Madrid to place Ainhoa’s products.

Creative Project Manager - Vera Ciria - Barcelona

Photo by Anna Morago

The results have been incredible. Ainhoa Herrera launched her brand less than a year ago and is managing to break even. The process is slow but as a Creative Project Manager and Communication Consultant, I strongly believe in organic growth. Creating true connections with a target audience through great narrative and experiences. Like I’ve said before, Ainhoa is a dream client, willing to take risks and do her homework. Faithful to her vision of handmade, high-quality accessories, she focuses on employing artisanal techniques, and works closely with suppliers and workshops in Barcelona.

The next step will be Ainhoa Herrera’s SEO, implicating changes and improvements. As more and more clients ask for help with SEO, it is another skill that I am working on in order to offer more services. It doesn’t hurt that I find SEO to be absolutely fascinating!

Don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you feel that I could help you with your projects: vera(at)veraciria.com

Meatpacking Bistro in Barcelona

Meatpacking Bistro in Barcelona

New York-style has been slowly creeping into Barcelona consciousness for some time now, yet the Meatpacking Bistro was always ahead of the game. With a gorgeous atmosphere and killer menu, they are packing quite the culinary punch.

The Meatpacking Bistro makes the concept of perfect seem underrated. The mix of lighting and pony-skin chairs, plush sofas, white tiles, shelves of books, every single detail has a purpose and meaning. Each aspect gathers together in perfect symphony, a classy atmosphere to sit and have a great bite to eat. The only downside is the amount of icky rich women, tanned to an orange crisp, snickering away while they talk about their fabulous lives. (Frustrated sigh…) I suppose you can’t avoid this when anything is located above Avenida Diagonal.

Meatpacking Bistro in Barcelona Meatpacking Bistro in Barcelona

The Bistro menu is slightly more varied than the Café, offering six starter options, five salads and great main dishes. There are also several daily specials; I had the pastrami wrap and almost died. It has been years since I last had one and this hit the spot. The cheddar was thick and full of flavour, the meat was thinly sliced and the honey-mustard was divine.

There are seven burgers on the menu, a great choice for all palettes. A definite contender of Barcelona’s best burger. And then… there are the fries. Last time I had fries this good was in France. Pure and utter perfection. This is French fry heaven. These are hands’ down the best French fries in the city.

Meatpacking Bistro in Barcelona Meatpacking Bistro in Barcelona

The other good thing? The price. Two main courses, a side of fries and a big bottle of water were just under 20 euros. An in-between cost that doesn’t leave one penniless or hungry, as the portions are on the generous side. The weekend brunch is amazing, with fantastic options that will leave you groaning, salivating and full all day.

Address: Travessera de Gracia 50-52

Telephone: 93 200 8908

Email: meetme@meatpackingbistro.com

FGC: Gracia

Any of the buses that go up Aribau.

Opening Hours:

Mon – Wed 8:00am to 00:30am

Thurs – 8:00am to 02:00am

Fri – 8:00am to 02:30am

Sat – 11:30am to 02:30am

Sun 11:30am to 17:00pm

All photos courtesy of Meatpacking Bistro.

Pluja of Links – June 2016

Finally summer is here! The warm promise of longer days, endless evenings spent with friends, and the alluring escape of vacation. A time to have fun, to relax and enjoy. A month filled with events and music festivals. Barcelona in June is perfect, still not too hot. So between planning that long-awaited holiday, here are a few links to marvel and dream.

Have you seen the graphic work by Annie Atkins? Absolutely amazing. Watch this video to know more.

nike air day still life

Absolutely love this series of still lifes by High Snobiety for Nike. Wish more brands would go out on a limb to create something different.

Absolutely love Kourtney Roy’s images. Very filmic and haunting.

Joël Penkman paints mouthwatering food, because in his own words, “I love food and I love to paint, so combining the two seemed like a good idea”.

How great is it when people do creative stuff with food? Set designer Nicole Heffron and photographer Henry Hargreaves bring us “Celebrated for You“, a series of creative birthday meals for legendary filmmakers.

Grabr is so fantastic it almost gives me a headache. Need something from another country? Through Grabr you can contact travellers passing through who will bring you what you need.

Aleksandra Kingo’s images are popping with colour and are fantastic.

Sensual and magical, paintings by Soey Milk are incredible. Her Instagram account is pretty great too!

Museum of Brands and Packaging in London, definitely on the wish list for the next visit.

I want these! I wanted these when I was little!

The FIDM Museum in Los Angeles now has their collection online to consult. Such a great tool!

More links coming your way in July!

Picnic Restaurant in Borne

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

Yes, there are so many new places to try in Barcelona, sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming. Every week sees the launch of a new foodie haven in the city. But sometimes you just want a tried and tested classic, someone that has been around the block a few times. A place you can depend on, the perfect spot for a weekend brunch.

Wide windows let the light pour into Picnic Restaurant’s open space, which is dominated by a Y-shaped bar. The egg-shell blue stools are outfitted with chintzy seat cushions. If you don’t like “high seating”, there are also a tables. This is a friendly spot that invites you to spend some time inside.

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

The attention to detail in Picnic Restaurant is magnificent. An eclectic mix of knick-knacks jostle for space above the bar. There are fresh flowers in jugs and pots, tastefully dotted around the restaurant. I love when an eating space looks a bit like a vintage shop, with lots of little keepsakes.

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

This place often receives a lot of flak as it is overrun with tourists but, get real folks, we live in Barcelona. There are tourists everywhere. It almost seems like we are jealous of what we have and don’t want to share. So just go, if you haven’t been, the food alone is worth a taste.

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

The menu consists of finger-lickin’ dishes, loosely based on American cuisine. Fluffy pancakes, luscious French toast, fried green tomatoes. The open-plan kitchen allows a bird’s-eye view of the action and the staff are always very friendly.

Picnic Restaurant in Barcelona

So, what are you waiting for? Arrive early on the weekends or make a reservation. Try out the lunch menus during the week. In any case, you’ll keep on returning. Comfort food at its’ best.

Picnic Restaurant

Address: Calle Comerç 1

Telephone: 93 511 6661

Email: info@picnic-restaurant.com

Metro: Arc de Triomf L1

Z is for Zen – The Alphabet Imaginarium

Z is for Zen - The Alphabet Imaginarium

Photo by Anna Morago

Z is for Zen, as we come to the end of our Alphabet. That calm that fills you with a certain sort of purpose and meaning. The sigh at the end of the day. The contemplation of what has been done, the satisfaction.

Animals seem to understand. The absolute abandon of a dog at rest. The uncanny joy of a cat in the sun. That elusive sensation of full emptiness, so hard to capture. The quiet of nature. The small details that fill your life. Observing your breath and your mind. Paying attention to your thoughts and emotions. Letting yourself be guided by the magic within and surrounding you.

With Z is for Zen, we bring The Alphabet Imaginarium to an end. An emotional journey through 26 letters that has allowed us to connect with yourselves and with you. It has allowed us to experiment in our different areas of professional life but in an intimate and personal manner. It has made us more vulnerable and aware. I want to thank everyone who followed along and to Anna especially, for sharing her time and friendship with me. For believing in the project and the need to do something for us.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ll be posting each letter here on my blog, two per week. And if you’re just on-board, you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. If you just want to see the images each week, you can follow The Alphabet Imaginarium directly! Hope you’ve enjoyed the journey.

Check out the rest of the letters!

Y is for Yoga – The Alphabet Imaginarium

Y is for Yoga - The Alphabet Imaginarium

Photo by Anna Morago and mind-numbing posture by Sandra Arnaiz

Y is for Yoga, such a necessary practise in our busy lives. A time and space to disconnect from the noise. A quiet calm to search inside. A stretching of the body and mind. A fluid circle of breathing and consciousness.

How else to deal with all the stress and noise? How to block out the distractions? How to reconnect with yourself? How to stop the anxiety and pressure? With life moving faster and faster, the constant distractions clamouring for your attention, no wonder we get a little crazy. If you don’t already practise yoga, then this might be the answer.

I know that yoga, together with acupuncture, practically saved my life a few years ago when I was suffering from huge bouts of panic and anxiety due to all the pressure I tend to put on myself professionally. To be able to allow time for myself several times a week, to turn off the thoughts in my head, to focus on breathing in and out, to come back to the basics, this is still part of what keeps me sane.

Yoga is also very physical, it is a challenge to keep up the pace and see how your body responds. To stretch and to pull, to understand how one movement affects another. How breathing and moving creates actions and reactions.

With Y is for Yoga, we want you to take a break and breathe. To hit pause and connect with yourself. To let go of the pressure and anxiety. You are allowed to make time for yourself. We also want to thank Sandra for her time and her impressive skill in posing for our photo. Without forgetting to mention that Sandra is my yoga teacher and is incredible sensitive, kind, warm, and firm.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ll be posting each letter here on my blog, two per week. And if you’re just on-board, you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. If you just want to see the images each week, you can follow The Alphabet Imaginarium directly! Hope you’re enjoying the journey so far.

Check out the rest of the letters!

X is for Xmas – The Alphabet Imaginarium

X is for Xmas - The Alphabet Imaginarium

Photo by Anna Morago

X is for Xmas, such a special time of the year. Love it or hate it, Christmas leaves no one indifferent. A time for friends and family, for gifts and parties. Mountains of delicious food and quiet naps. A winding down of the year and a preparation for the next.

It all depends on how you feel about Christmas. Yes, there are crowds of people everywhere, everyone is pushing and shoving, consuming and being silly. Normal errands become extremely difficult. But there is a magical quality beneath all the hum and buzz. The streets are awash in twinkling lights, the tree glows in the corner of the living room, and there is the food, of course.

In my case, my family is far away, so I get to spend Christmas with friends, which never disappoints. Or, I make the trek to Canada and enjoy time with that distant family. Either way, Christmas reminds me of my childhood and the anticipation. I appreciate the winding down of the year, the pause before jumping into the new. I love searching for the perfect gifts to give.

With X is for Xmas, we challenge you to see things differently this year when December rolls around. Prepare early so you don’t have to deal with the last-minute crowds. Go away on holiday, decide to spend time with friends if family is a hassle. Try to slow down and appreciate the moment. Celebrate the origin of Christmas as the true debauchery and fun it was always meant to be.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ll be posting each letter here on my blog, two per week. And if you’re just on-board, you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. If you just want to see the images each week, you can follow The Alphabet Imaginarium directly! Hope you’re enjoying the journey so far.

Check out the rest of the letters!

W is for Writing – The Alphabet Imaginarium

W is for Writing - The Alphabet Imaginarium

Photo by Anna Morago and lovely calligraphy by Laura Meseguer

W is for Writing, such a complex and interesting process. So filled with nuances and emotions. So many different ways to place thoughts and concepts on a blank page. Writing bares the soul and lays open the heart.

Writing has so many varied facets. From old-school banging out words on a typewriter to more sophisticated keyboards on our gleaming computer and phones. From achingly beautiful calligraphy to hand-written scribbles, writing is a part of who we are as humans.

Whether writing a grocery list on a post-it, crafting the perfect birthday message on a card, to more momentous work such as penning a novel, there are key elements that are present. Our brain activates ideas, thoughts and emotions which then must be transmitted down to the arms, the hands, our fingers. Sometimes, what seems beautiful in your mind is incontrovertibly awful on a page. Writing is a struggle, a battle, 10,000 wounds inflicted in the process of becoming vulnerable.

With W is for Writing, we want to push the words forward and out, laying out the thoughts and emotions that are an intrinsic part of who we are. We want to thank those brave enough to push through the struggle and give us the glorious gift of books. We also want to thank the lovely Laura Meseguer for her time, her hands and her stunning calligraphy, perfect for our photo.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ll be posting each letter here on my blog, two per week. And if you’re just on-board, you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. If you just want to see the images each week, you can follow The Alphabet Imaginarium directly! Hope you’re enjoying the journey so far.

Check out the rest of the letters!

V is for Vermut – The Alphabet Imaginarium

V is for Vermut - The Alphabet Imaginarium

Photo by Anna Morago

V is for Vermut, so very delicious and refreshing. So intrinsically linked to lazy Sundays and gorgeous summer days. The perfect amount of ice, the sweet taste offset by bitter orange and luscious olive. The intense flavour and sensations.

Vermouth is an institution in Spain, or at least in Barcelona. Until recently, considered passé and only fit for grandparents, this mellow tipple has become the star of hipster gatherings. It might take some time getting used to but once you are hooked, there is no going back. I think this popularity is also largely due to the fact that you can drink several and not end up horribly drunk = horrific hangover the next day for anyone over 30.

Sharing a vermouth is a social act, a moment to share with friends. This is a drink that demands entire afternoons or evenings, with the curious ability to make time pause for a few hours. This is a drink that creates memories, slightly nostalgic. This is the adult version of you, the person with responsibilities and pressing issues. The slightly more wrinkly version of you, with more knowledge and experience. This is the drink that you savour and enjoy.

With V is for Vermut, we wait in anticipation for those summer days to arrive. To savour each moment and create lasting memories. To suck the last drop from that oh-so-important olive and to instinctively know there is still time for another round.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ll be posting each letter here on my blog, two per week. And if you’re just on-board, you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. If you just want to see the images each week, you can follow The Alphabet Imaginarium directly! Hope you’re enjoying the journey so far.

Check out the rest of the letters!