Students from Spain joined the Erasmus+ programme in Liepāja at the end of May to improve their knowledge, skills and competences. They spent two intensive months in the Liepāja company “December Design”, learning the basic principles of design, visualisation and decoration making.
During the internship from 1 June to 28 July, Carla Puigderrajols Valls, who studies scenography (CFGS sculpture applied to the show) at the Ondara Art School in Tàrrega, and Pol Salomón Monedero, who studies animation (CFGS animation) at the L’Acadèmia ARTSANTCUGAT, gained valuable practical work experience with the “December Design” team.
“When Ivars Pilips-Matisons, the founder of the Liepāja Restoration Centre, approached us with the request to host two Spanish young interns in our company, we agreed on the spot. The cross-cultural interaction, the opportunity to inspire each other and learn each other's visual language, to experience fresh perspectives and to contribute to innovation is a great added value of such internships. We let the young people express themselves creatively and their designs will be incorporated into our Christmas decorations,” says Kristaps Štobis, founder and designer of “December Design”.
Carla’s internship at the company covered processing of a range of materials, including welding, grinding, cutting, as well as project development from start to finish. Pol, on the other hand, worked on creating different visualisations, coming up with new ideas and learning basic 3D object creation skills. We shall integrate the ideas of both young people into the decorations created by “December Design”. Carla’s most extensive piece of work was creating a prototype for the Swan Christmas decoration, while Pol’s was the design of the 2024 calendar.
“Interning in another country is a great opportunity and a new, interesting life experience. I have discovered a whole new culture and expanded my own horizons of experience. During my internship I was able to grow professionally, I learnt a lot of new skills and I am immensely grateful to my colleagues at the company who so patiently mentored me on everything from sketching, to creating visualisations on the computer, to the practical creation of the decorations. The colleagues have given me a big space for my own efforts, so it’s a huge experience and knowledge that I will take home with me,” says Carla, happy with the internship takeaway.
“I am thankful that “December Design” accepted me for the internship and made it possible for me to experience these two exciting months working for a Latvian company and gaining new experience. Most of my internship at the company was spent at the computer, which sometimes may seem boring, but my colleagues gave me the freedom to express myself creatively, to design my own projects and to present my ideas. Latvian and Spanish cultures are very different, so I’m happy that we were able to introduce more colour and brightness with our ideas. I am pleased that my colleagues were so welcoming and helpful, without them I would not have been able to complete my projects,” says Pol.
Both young people admitted that the biggest difference between working for a Spanish company and a Latvian company is the work culture, style and sources of inspiration. This affected and changed the final design and outcome of the project. The young people emphasised that Latvia, compared to Spain, is a calm, relaxed place with a small population and in a continuous contact with nature, which inspires work and ideas. The young people spoke fondly of their experience in Liepāja, having had the chance to live the culture, attend a wonderful orchestra concert at the Liepāja concert hall “Great Amber”, visit the Karosta and its sites, experience Latvia during the Līgo festival, and, thanks to “December Design”, attend the unique Porziņģis vs Verpakovskis charity basketball game.
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