Interview with Erika Leyva and Alejandro Santamaria from Mexico

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Erika Leyva and Alejandro Santamaria | MUSE Creative Awards

Erika Leyva and Alejandro Santamaria

Erika Leyva and Alejandro Santamaria are co-founders and passionate entrepreneurs, each bringing a strong foundation in Multimedia and International Business respectively to their venture. Their entrepreneurial journey was inspired by their fascination with the blend of technology and creativity.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

Our names are Erika Leyva and Alejandro Santamaria and we are two passionate entrepreneurs from Mexico, aged 33 and 34, with a strong foundation in Multimedia and International Business respectively. Our journey in the digital world began early, fueled by a fascination for the intersection of technology and creativity.

After honing our skills in various multimedia projects and exploring the global business landscape, we co-founded a web development agency. Our work is a blend of innovative design and strategic business insights.

Recently, our dedication to creativity and technical excellence was recognized by MUSE Creative Awards for the design and development of, a project that showcases our commitment to pushing the boundaries of web design.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

Our path to becoming creatives was driven by a profound appreciation for the transformative power of digital media.

Alejandro: For me, with a background in Multimedia, it was the limitless potential of visual and interactive storytelling that captivated my interest.

Erika: With a foundation in International Business, I was equally fascinated by the way digital platforms can transcend borders, connecting ideas and cultures. Together, we saw an opportunity to merge these perspectives, creating digital experiences that are not only visually stunning but also globally resonant.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

Our web development agency is dedicated to crafting unique digital solutions, with a keen focus on functionality and strategic business alignment.

Alejandro: My role, with a multimedia background, is primarily concentrate on project management with an emphasis on full-stack development.

This involves overseeing the technical aspects of our projects, ensuring robust and scalable web architectures. My partner, with her expertise in international business, focuses on enhancing the customer experience.

Her role is crucial in ensuring that our digital creations not only captivate visually but also deliver a seamless and engaging user journey. Together, our combined strengths allow us to deliver comprehensive and sophisticated web solutions to our clients.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?

To us, creativity is the art of turning imaginative ideas into reality. It's a dynamic process that combines intuition, innovation, and problem-solving.

In our field, creativity is not just about aesthetics; it's about finding unique solutions that balance form and function. It means thinking beyond conventional boundaries and daring to experiment with new concepts.

Creativity, in our view, is also about adaptability - responding to ever-changing digital landscapes with solutions that are not only effective today but also resilient for tomorrow. It's this blend of vision, versatility, and technical skill that defines creativity in our work.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

A 'creative' idea or design, in our perspective, is one that achieves a harmonious balance between innovation and purpose. It's about breaking the mold, but in a way that adds value.

A creative design is not just visually striking; it communicates a message, evokes emotions, and engages the user. It's both intuitive and insightful, solving problems in ways that are both elegant and effective.

Creativity thrives on originality, but it must also be grounded in practicality, ensuring that the design is not only imaginative but also functional and user-centric.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

Our creative and design process is collaborative and iterative, rooted in both strategic thinking and artistic exploration. It begins with a deep understanding of the client's vision and objectives. We then engage in brainstorming, where ideas are freely shared and refined. This phase often involves sketching, mood boarding, and prototyping, allowing us to visualize concepts.

Next, we focus on design execution, where our full-stack development expertise comes into play, ensuring that the design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also technically sound. Throughout this process, we maintain constant communication with our clients, ensuring their feedback and insights shape the evolving design.

Finally, we rigorously test and refine the product, focusing on user experience and functionality, to ensure that the final outcome is not just creative but also coherent, user-friendly, and aligned with the client's business goals.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

Our favorite part of the creative process is the initial brainstorming and conceptualization stage. This phase is exhilarating as it's filled with boundless possibilities and unbridled creativity. It's where we get to think outside the box, challenge norms, and dream up innovative solutions.

The excitement of shaping an abstract idea into a potential digital solution is incredibly rewarding. This stage lays the foundation for the entire project and sets the tone for the creative journey ahead. It's a phase of discovery, both for us and our clients, and it's where the true magic of creativity begins.

8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

Our creative style is characterized by a fusion of modern aesthetics and functional pragmatism. We blend contemporary design elements with intuitive user interfaces, ensuring each project is both visually appealing and user-friendly. Our style often incorporates bold visuals and interactive elements to create engaging experiences.

At its core, our approach is about storytelling – using design to narrate a brand's message in a compelling and memorable way. We also prioritize adaptability in our designs, ensuring they are responsive and scalable across various platforms. This balance of artistic expression and practical design solutions defines our unique creative style.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Certainly, our Mexican heritage, particularly its contemporary aspects, profoundly influences our creative process. The modern Mexican style, known for its clean lines, vibrant color schemes, and innovative use of space, deeply resonates in our work.

This contemporary aesthetic, while rooted in tradition, reflects a forward-thinking mindset that aligns perfectly with our approach to digital design. It inspires us to create designs that are not only visually striking but also embody the spirit of modern Mexico – dynamic, progressive, and always evolving. This connection to our contemporary cultural roots enables us to infuse our projects with a unique, culturally-rich perspective.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Winning the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards is an immense honor for us and our team. It's a testament to our hard work, dedication, and creative vision. This recognition not only validates our efforts but also inspires us to continue pushing the boundaries of web design and development. It affirms our commitment to excellence and encourages us to maintain our high standards.

For our team, it's a source of pride and motivation, and for our company, it enhances our reputation, opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations. Overall, this award is a milestone that fuels our passion for creativity and innovation in the digital space.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

The project we entered was the website design and development for This project stood out for its innovative approach to web design, integrating cutting-edge technology with a user-centric interface.

We chose to enter this project because it encapsulated our ethos of blending creativity with functionality. The site featured immersive interactive elements, a clean and modern aesthetic, and a seamless user experience, all while effectively communicating the brand's story.

We believed this project not only showcased our technical skills but also our ability to create a digital experience that resonates with users on a deeper level.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Absolutely. The biggest challenge in the project was intricately weaving the enhanced elements of the brand's identity into the website's design and functionality. We aimed to not only create a visually captivating site but also to deeply embed the brand's renewed identity into every aspect of the user experience.

Balancing these sophisticated brand elements with technical performance, and ensuring seamless navigation, was complex. This required us to think creatively about how to incorporate these identity elements in a way that was both aesthetically pleasing and functionally effective, reflecting the brand's essence at every touchpoint.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning in the MUSE Creative Awards has significantly impacted our practice and career. It has elevated our agency's profile, attracting attention from a wider array of clients and industries. This recognition has opened doors to new, exciting opportunities and collaborations. It has also boosted our team's morale, reinforcing their commitment to excellence.

Professionally, it's been a catalyst for growth, allowing us to expand our services and explore new creative frontiers. The award has also enhanced our credibility, making it easier to gain trust from potential clients and partners. Overall, it's been a pivotal milestone that has spurred both personal and professional development.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

Constant Innovation: The industry is always evolving, offering endless opportunities to experiment with new technologies and creative concepts. This dynamic environment keeps our work exciting and challenging.

Creative Collaboration: We love the collaborative nature of our work, where we can combine diverse skills and perspectives to create something truly unique and impactful.

Global Impact: The ability to create digital experiences that can reach and resonate with a global audience is incredibly rewarding. Our work not only connects people but can also transcend cultural and geographical boundaries.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

Definitely! Guadalajara, where our agency is based, is often hailed as Mexico's tech hub, significantly contributing to the country's uniqueness in the creative industry. Known as Mexico's Silicon Valley, Guadalajara is a melting pot of technological innovation and creative talent.

This environment fosters a unique blend of cutting-edge digital expertise and rich cultural influences, allowing us to push the boundaries of digital design and development. Being in the heart of this tech mecca enables us to stay at the forefront of technological advancements, infusing our creative processes with the latest trends and insights, setting our work apart in the global creative landscape.

16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

Over the next 5-10 years, we anticipate significant evolutions in the creative industry, particularly in web development and digital design:

Integration of AI and Machine Learning: These technologies will increasingly automate and enhance design processes, enabling more personalized user experiences.

Virtual and Augmented Reality: The rise of VR and AR will transform how users interact with digital content, leading to more immersive and interactive web experiences.

Sustainability and Ethical Design: As global awareness of environmental and social issues grows, there will be a greater emphasis on sustainable and ethically responsible design practices in the creative industry.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

For students or aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitters, our advice is:

Stay curious and keep learning: The industry is ever-evolving, so continuous learning is key. Embrace new technologies and creative methodologies.

Cultivate your unique style: While technical skills are important, developing a unique creative voice sets you apart.

Network and collaborate: Building relationships within the industry can lead to valuable collaborations and opportunities.

Be persistent and open to feedback: Rejections and critiques are part of the journey. Use them to refine your skills and approach.

Work on passion projects: These projects often reflect your best work and can be great portfolio pieces for awards like the MUSE.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

To improve skills in the creative industry, we recommend:

Online learning platforms: Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare offer a wide range of courses in web design, development, and other creative skills.

Industry blogs and publications: Stay updated with trends and insights through resources like Smashing Magazine, Awwwards, and Behance.

Networking events and conferences: Attend industry events and workshops to gain knowledge and connect with professionals.

Practice and personal projects: Nothing beats hands-on experience. Regularly working on personal projects can significantly enhance your skills.

Feedback and mentorship: Seek constructive feedback from peers or mentors in the industry to refine your approach and techniques.

19Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Throughout our journey, we've drawn inspiration from a diverse range of individuals. Cristiano Ronaldo's unparalleled dedication and work ethic in football remind us of the power of persistence and discipline in achieving excellence.

Alan Turing's ground-breaking work in computing highlights the importance of innovation and thinking outside the box. Richard Branson's entrepreneurial spirit and risk-taking in business encourage us to embrace challenges boldly.

Lastly, Travis Kalanick's role in revolutionizing the transportation industry with Uber inspires us to disrupt traditional models and think creatively. Each of these individuals exemplifies virtues that resonate deeply with our personal and professional ethos.

20What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Our key to success is a blend of relentless learning, adaptability, and genuine passion for our work. In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, staying curious and open to new ideas has been crucial. We believe in the power of teamwork and the importance of building a culture where creativity can thrive.

Our parting words of wisdom for aspiring creatives would be: Never underestimate the value of persistence and resilience. Embrace every challenge as an opportunity to grow, and always stay true to your vision while being open to new perspectives.

Winning Entry

Selfish Website | 2023


As a web development agency, we believe in the development of ideas. Our purpose is to connect brands with their target audience, …
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Erika Leyva and Alejandro Santamaria

Erika Leyva and Alejandro Santamaria are co-founders and passionate entrepreneurs, each bringing a strong foundation in Multimedia and International Business respectively to their venture. Their entrepreneurial journey was inspired by their fascination with the blend of technology and creativity.

Read more about this interview with Chien Tung Chen of Quaaware Ltd, a, the Silver Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.