Dazed Digital

Santiago / Español

Inside/Out: Paty Leiva

July 25, 2011

We speak to the director of popular website Zancada on city inspirations and the success of her women's mag

  • Text by Nico Castro

Paty Leiva was born in Chile, but grew up in Mexico. Still, she thinks and moves like a Chilean, after living in Santiago for over 19 years. This graphic designer created, almost by accident, a women's orientated website. Six-years-later, Zancada gets nearly 850,000 hits per month, becoming not only the leading female blog in Chile, but also one the most overall read sites in the country.

Satellite Voices: What's your occupation… a) during the day & b) at night?
Paty Leiva:
a) Running, coordinating, managing and writing for Zancada from my living room, and b) running, coordinating, managing and writing for Zancada. Being independent means that you don't ever stop. I try to get some decent amount of hours to sleep (beauty sleep is necessary).

SV: Where do you live and what inspires you about that area of town?
Paty Leiva: I live at Pedro de Valdivia, a street very close to Providencia. It's my headquarter. On the same block I have little shops, bookstores, friends, schools and even my lawyer! Time is valuable and limited, so I try to avoid long car trips. I like places to be within walking distance. I'm inspired - and relaxed - by its trees with large green leafs in the summer, and yellow in winter, when they cover the mended pavement.

SV: How long have you lived in your city and what brought you there?
Paty Leiva:
I've been here for 19 years. I grew in Mexico City, so I thought you could explore it right away. I liked that, even though my adaptation process was tough. The city itself made me love it, agains both my time and will. It all ended up fine once I assumed that it all belonged to me.

SV: Can you talk about the best creative youth cultures in your town?
Paty Leiva:
I love what Francisca Meneses (aka Frannerd) is doing. She's a 23-years-old graphic designer who specialises in illustrations. She doesn't just draw - each of her images tell a story that gathers naivety, humor and wit. It's such an honour to have her in Zancada. Pablo Luebert is another young illustrator that I like. He intrigues me so much. I also love bands from independent record labels like Cazador. Adrianigual are on fire! Musical freedom delivers great things.

SV: How did you come up with Zancada and how did it become such a success?
Paty Leiva:
I'm a graphic designer and I used to work with six other designers at the experimental workshop Cuerpos Pintados. We spoke about everything, and that conversations derived in the basic premise that guides the contents within this collective blog. It's basically everything that you'd chat with a friend. I started it and the idea grew on some of my mates. Word of mouth did its job and we became the most read women's blog in Chile. The success is maybe based on the fact that Zancada started in a very spontaneous way, unlike other marketing projects that try to fulfill a niche. Editors write whenever they want and about whatever they want. We don't have a schedule, but we do post every single day, getting more than 300 comments a day. Without them, it would not be even half as fun.

SV: What are your future plans for the website?
Paty Leiva: We are about to turn six-years-old. As usual, we will be celebrating with a party gathering our real life and virtual friends. We will also publish our special anniversary issue - a downloadable mag with 100% own content, focused on one new subject (you can download our previous issues here). Besides, I'm always open to create, listening and developing the fresh ideas of my team, just like did a web series (NSPQ). We can do whatever we like. We just need the drive, and we have plenty of it.

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