Profiles: Desi Sanchez

Born and raised in New York City and educated at SVA, Desi Sanchez is a TV personality, artist and musician with credits in print, broadcast and online media. Best known for her VJ work on MTV2, Sanchez was also the 5-year host of the FOX TV show LatiNation, and is currently a Fill-In Anchor on E! News Now as well as the face of iO TV’s Optimum Insider commercials. Desi also lends her voice to national radio imaging on Sirius XM for stations such as Octane and HairNation.

Desi is the moderator for the upcoming event on October 5th, Strategizing Visibility for Latino Creative Professionals.  She has previously collaborated with SVA’s Division of Continuing Education as moderator of the inaugural panel Hispanic Professionals in the Arts.

Photo by Rod Savant

Q: As you know, we’ve been asking all our speakers this one question: what do you think is the role of the Hispanic visual professional is contemporary America?

A: As the Hispanic population grows to ever greater proportions, so does the need to communicate to this demographic in specific, targeted, multi-cultural marketing efforts. However, simultaneously, the Hispanic experience is becoming more and more universal – we’re no longer a small minority, and our participation in mainstream American media and culture has transformed the American cultural landscape. This means that even in general market campaigns, it is necessary to keep us in mind – “we” are “them” now, too.

With a natural solution to this need, comes the Hispanic creative professional. Well-versed in this bi-cultural and bi-lingual world, we are able to draw from both sides and create visual media that is universally relatable, culturally relevant, and linguistically accurate. In addition, I feel it is also our responsibility to do so in ways that uplift, respect, and promote a sense of unity.

Q: Do you think there’s a need to educate people on this niche market?

A: Here in NYC it would seem impossible that anyone could not be aware of the need to address this market, even to the point of perhaps not even considering it a “niche” at all. With the huge Hispanic population in this city, it seems practically mass-market, these days.

That said, when I watch national commercials, take a look at print campaigns, and look at some of the product design on shelves, it often appears that some of the efforts to market to Hispanics were done with a clumsy and heavy hand – palm trees and red lipstick abound. So perhaps some educating is in order.

I think the challenges here, are the same as with any other perceived racial or cultural issue – fears, misconceptions, ignorance …as well as many of the challenges associated with teaching people in general: inertia, laziness and inflexibility are always downers. But specific to this market, sometimes the very diverse nature of the Hispanic population can cause its essence to be elusive, or over-generalized. So it’s important, I think, to always ask and not assume when it comes to what resonates with Hispanics – and accept that often, there will be conflicting responses.

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For more details on the upcoming event, and to RSVP, please click here.

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