Why I Decided to Create My “Animated Me”: From the Idea to Launch


As freelancers, we all share one key thing: personal branding is absolutely critical. After working at design studios and agencies for several years, Samantha decided to embark on a journey to become a freelance graphic designer and illustrator herself. It was at this time that the concept of her animated self, Zami, was born. Check out this article to see how Samantha created an animated version of herself, and how the decision has been instrumental in her brand communications.

After almost 10 years working full time in a few design studios and agencies, I chose to keep going on my own as an independent professional. It was a courageous decision and a shot of adrenaline, since it was the first time I was all by myself.

Sometime after that big decision, I wanted to go a mile extra and then the idea of Zami, my animated “me”, was born. I was very excited about this new adventure and I wanted to share my experiences, my fears and specially, my passion for design. On the process, I decided to do this thorough conceptual illustration, as I thought it would be the nicest way to express myself.

Why Create Zami?

I always wanted to have a reason that would push me to create things and to continuously stimulate my creativity. This was the perfect project: it allowed me to be 100% free, to deliver the message that I wanted without boundaries and also to show my skills as a designer. Not just that, it allowed me to put in practice other creative disciplines that I love but I decided not to focus on such as animation.

I remember back in 2004 how I was “flashed” when I learned to use Flash. After that, After Effects made the rest. I was amazed at its uses and I felt like there were no limits at all – my favourite feeling!

Since that moment, I can’t help but getting every single idea already animated. That’s why when everyone started using GIFs, I seized the moment and created my beloved Zami. The technique was ideal because it was something relatively simple to create but was a great representation of my work.

Creating Zami

The first months were about exploring different possibilities: tone, style, etc. I worked together with my Comic teacher Ismael Diggelmann, who helped me to perfect and refine my illustration’s style. Once the character was decided, I sat down for a couple of months to decide how to integrate the character in my branding. It should finally enhance the communication of my brand.

I wanted to generate content that was useful but also amusing. It had to help fellow solopreneurs and freelancers to improve the identity of their projects. So then I decide to share tools, tips, and resources related to graphic design and with the ultimate goal of improve their brandings. This is the area where I feel more confident and where I think I can contribute the most.

Using Graphics in Branding

I am very happy and pleased to have found a way to help others while doing something that I love and gives me so much joy. It’s great to have the possibility to inspire others and motivate them to go solo. Everyone should follow his passion and make a living of what they enjoy the most.



My mantra: “Believe is Create.”

In the day-to-day work I always pay great attention to my client’s concerns and other professionals working in other fields but directly related to his brand communication. The information I get from talking to them is the most valuable information that you can get. It gives me ideas to generate useful content for them. They struggle using graphic design tools but they would like to improve their brand communications and so I’m there to help them.

I always try to do this as faster as I can so they can spend more time on their real business and project. I normally create different alternatives that express almost the same idea so they can choose the one that better carries the message.

After Zami’s Creation

When Zami Animada was born, a group of friends and other professionals around me got as excited about this project as I was. They always kindly give me feedback and tips before I post anything. This group formed spontaneously and I did not ask anyone for help, that’s why I always say that the projects are not individual people.

Whenever you go for your dream and make the first move, amazing people around you appear and help you to build something even bigger than what you initially thought. At this point, I would love to thank all that amazing people around me – they know who they are, who have been there since the first draw of Zami. Thanks to you she is still alive and I can have that much joy illustrating her!

If you want to get to know Zami, you can follow her adventures and advice on Instagram and Facebook.

Samanta Lukesch

Samanta Lukesch studied graphic design at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and worked for 10 years in different national and international agencies working in brand identity, packaging, web design, editorial design, and advertising. Now she works independently as a graphic designer, illustrator, and branding. She loves working on projects that promote a healthy lifestyle.

By Samanta Lukesch

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