Experiences from a Graphic Designer being Nomad

Interview to Janine Aigner

Claudia Herold

Hi Janine! I’m glad that we have a little bit of time for have a chat. How are you?

Good thank you. How are you?

I’m fine 🙂 thank you

Tell us a little bit where do you come from and in what do you like to work on

I‘m a water person, addicted to surfing, love diving into deep waters and enjoy being around the ocean. I’m into travelling a lot. Last Year I spent in new zealand, started my freelance career there. Did some projects for clients from germany. But also the usual backpacker jobs like working in a hostel, barista, front of house, ice cream shop, all sort of stuff.

I would like to keep that. Working at nice places close to the beach and also working as a freelance digital designer.

This year I would like to go to Europe, maybe to a surf house, but I’m open for everything. And since the season already started, maybe shorter projects for a month or so.

But yea my professional career is graphic design. In my seven years of working experience I had different assignments as UX/UI Designer, graphic designer, digital designer, picture editor for magazines and videographer. I have a wide range of experience.

Oh, I’ve seen your amazing work as a designer. How did you start?

I started in a small agency as a junior art director. After that I traveled for one year in australia. There I did just backpacking jobs. Then I did an internship at GQ Germany and stayed with condé nast publishing company for maybe 3 years

I was in the pictures department were I organized photo productions and art buying and all that stuff

And how did you get your first freelance design job?

Hm during my regular work, colleagues and friends always asked me for help. So I already did some small stuff while I was working full time. And last year it was through connection. Old work colleagues

Yep, mostly like that…

I’m amazed at how beautiful your design style is 🙂 at the end of the interview I’m gonna leave a link to your web. The beautiful thing is that you could connect the passion into design and your other passions like traveling and boardsports. You also are not just digital designer you are also into other things like photography or stuff design like skateboards. Am I right?

yeah true

that would be my aim to connect both of my passions.

(For you readers that are into outdoor brands and boardsports. You have to see her amazing work!)

How many languages do you speak Janine?

german and englisch

I would like to learn more started with french and spanish couldn’t decide jet which one for sure.

Mmm… I also would like to get back into french. Is a beautiful language. ANd how did you learn english. During your trips?

Yes, in school and during my trips one year in Australia and one in NZ.

Where did you go first? Australia?

Yes, in 2012

Did you travel alone?

Yes, both times. In australia i bought a van with a friend. I met her in the Perth area, then we travelled together for almost a year. And New Zealand alone but I had friends all around, which I met there. When you travel alone you find easy new friends

True! So you just arrived with your backpack there and there you had surfboards and stuff in your van to enjoy the area. Which places would you recommend to see in Australia?

the west coast in australia I didn’t surf that much. This was a classic backpacking, sleeping in a van and seeing a lot of things.

The part up from perth is awesome, but also down really nice beaches and no one.

How are the australian about nomad-van travelers?

Did you get any trouble?

No, it was easy. Australia is definitely easier than NZ. You don’t need a sticker for your van. In NZ you need a special sticker on your can, that says you have a toilet in your van. There are a lot of big free campsites in Australia.

We didn’t sleep that much illegally on the road but if we did just take care that you look like a regular car. Take your rubbish, stay just for one night and be quiet 😉 easy.

Nice tip! Are you planning to go on a van life again or are you more to stay at a place for a while?

I’m staying for a few months at one place. You experience more the local life, if you just stay short it’s not so easy to make friends. I prefer more, to get to know the local people.

In New Zealand, are there enough community places like, I don’t know…. Eco-villages, hostels,… ?

Hm a few but not that many like in Australia.


Returning to your last point about staying for a while. As you also told before that you would like to go somewhere now in Europe. Which spots would you like to go?

Maybe Spain, Portugal or France. But I’m open for everything. Just need a good internet connection

Good choices! Personally I like Canary Island. Morocco looks pretty fascinating too! Also Portugal is beautiful, specially the people, really friendly. So as coming to an end of the interview. If there is any reader owner of a surfschool I think you should really think about contact her. Like often surfschools asks for people that can manage also their digital side so as take care of their ghests. Also that you speak well english and german is a big plus 🙂

Before finnish if you want to leave anything more, like advice, future projects, thoughts, suggestions, feel free…

Ok cool. Yeah that’s right I would like to have a look at all the surf camps. I don’t have anything in mind now.


Nomad traveler and graphic designer
Claudia Herold
Nomad traveler and graphic designer