/now: updating identity

exploring the big thoughts.

February 20, 2023

Heading West

After almost a year of moving away from the West Fjords, I’m again back amongst mountains and fjords. Since coming here for the first time back in 2016, the West Fjords of Iceland has become a place that inspires me like no other and coming back always feels like home.

I come here to breathe, get inspired, get my ideas in order, disconnect and recharge when I need it the most. I come here to think and explore my mind. The vastness of the ocean and the fjords allows me to think differently, creatively. This is where I become my most artistic and inspired self. 

The road from Reykjavík to the West Fjords.
Cold roads. From Reykjavík to the West Fjords.

coliving westfjords

This time I’ll be based in Ísafjörður for 3 months working on one of my current projects: Coliving Westfjords. The idea behind is to create a digital platform that can connect people who want to move to the West Fjords with available housing.

Searching for available housing is an extremely difficult task in Iceland, and especially in a remote place like the West Fjords. But people such as myself want to explore and work from these remote places, and we want to do it in a friendly, flexible, hassle free way. So I’ll be building the solution that I wish already existed.

If you want to know more about this initiative, you can find more info here: www.colivingwestfjords.com or you can join the Facebook group.

There is no individual, there is just subject and his relationship to society. — Gilles Deleuze

Coliving Westfjords homepage.
Coliving Westfjords: A friendly, easy to use digital platform for finding roommates and spaces for rent.

design, collaboration and ai at hyper island

I got invited to give a workshop to UX DESIGN students at Hyper Island!

This was a very exciting challenge for me to take on and I got to talk about all my current loves: design, global collaboration and AI.

The topic of this 6 hour class was using personal branding as a tool for global collaboration, and how to use AI to power out personal brands. I strongly believe in the power of personal brands and identity to get our ideas out there, speak our mind, and attract global collaborators.

I guided the students through exercises I use on my branding projects and adapted them for personal branding. They each explored their core values, personal brand attributes, and USPs.

They’ve been working together as teams, so they gave each other feedback on what their strengths are a team member and how they could use this for their advantage on their personal brands.

I then showed them how to use AI, specifically ChatGPT and Midjourney, to create content that felt authentic to their voice and values. They loved how easy it was and were fired up by the possibilities of AI applied to personal branding.

Exploring around Karlskrona. The Maritime museum behind me.
Exploring around Karlskrona, home of Hyper Island.
Design, Collaboration and AI Workshop.

This is a lecture I designed based on the concepts and ideas I would have loved to been introduced to back when I was 20 years old and starting my career as a designer. I was mainly inspired by these books and the core concepts they talk about:

- The Almanak of Naval Ravikant
- Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestly
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
- Mastery by Robert Greene
- Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed
- Hell Yes or No by Derek Sivers
- Share Your Work by Austin Kleon

If you happen to be interested on the topic of personal branding in the age of AI, you might want to check them out. 

I also recently launched my studio’s website: www.cerrodeplata.design

It is still very much a work in progress. As a designer I think there's not a more difficult task than designing your own website. However, “starting is better than getting it right.” So I build and share, take feedback, and improve as I go.

Cerro de Plata (Silver Hill in English / Silfurhæð in Icelandic) is my branding design studio. I work locally and globally with clients designing their visual identities, creating uniquely crafted websites, and creating striking visual content.

If you are interested in branding your business, let me know! I’d love to help.

Cerro de Plata is a branding and web design studio based in Iceland.

Finally, I’ve been considering moving away from Iceland to a bigger city.

For the past year I have found myself craving music, culture, food, architecture, and a much bigger design industry. I want to be close to events, friends, and peers without having to take a flight.

I have lived in Iceland for the past 8 years and living here completely changed me forever as a person. I always like to say I was born in Honduras, and natured in Iceland. It will always be my home, my favourite place in the world. I know the change will be hard, it always is. But I’m ready to take the leap.

I asked Chat GPT to give me a recommendation list of cities that would be amazing for a graphic designer who loves music, architecture, nature, and design, and it came up with these:

- Amsterdam
- Berlin
- Copenhagen
- Malmo
- Zurich
- Barceloma

So far my number one option is Amsterdam, or somewhere in the Netherlands. I visited for the first time last summer and fell completely in love.

Amsterdam <3
MoCo Museum

For the past year I’ve chosen to take many risks. Opting for a slow digital nomad lifestyle. Pursuing my need for exploration, following my genuine curiosity. The day before I gave my class at Hyper Island, working on some last minute changes from my hotel room, I stopped to think and reflect on how much fun I was having. I was having a blast. I learned about Hyper Island around 10 years ago as a 20 year old visual communication student. I dreamt of going to a highly innovative design school. A few years ago I did, as a student. And now a few weeks ago I went back, as a teacher. 

I’m really hopeful about the future and excited about the advances in AI and how that is empowering our creativity. I’ll be sharing my journey along the way and welcome you to come along. 

Thanks for reading. See you soon :)

- Leiry.