Designer of the Week Andrezza Valentin is the founding partner and creative director at Bossa, an integrated production company that strives to push the boundaries of digital storytelling. One visit to Bossa’s website makes it pretty clear that the young studio offers a unique approach to creative work—no doubt owing in part to the wildly creative Valentin, herself a multidisciplinary artist with several awards under her belt and a client list including Google, Nike, P&G and Toyota. Under her leadership, Bossa has been a winner at Cannes Lions and has just opened a new office in London.
Name: Andrezza Valentin
Name of Studio: Bossa NYC
Location: New York
Design school attended: Design was actually an unexpected surprise for me. Since I was very little, I always wanted to be an artist. I started painting at a very early age—I think I was around 10 years old—so I knew that I would end up going to a fine arts college, as I did at FAAP in Brazil. However, when it was time to go to high school, I decided that instead of spending three years (average time of high school in Brazil) on general academic studies, I would prefer to go to a preparatory or trade school to focus on my desire of being closer to the arts. On that search, I uncovered a trade school in Graphic Design, SENAI “Theobaldo De Nigris.” The school required us to do an internship in order to graduate and since then I’ve never stopped working with design.
How would you describe your work?
I see my work as a multifaceted collection of all the different things that have inspired me. The medium I focus on most currently is digital; however, throughout the years I’ve experimented with a wide variety of things from interactive installations, animation, illustration and print. I studied graphic design in high school and later fine arts in college, which makes me very versatile creatively. In the past four years, my work has shifted to more of a management role as I started Bossa NYC, a digital production company. However, I’m still very involved in all the projects, working with other designers, creatives and developers.
Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration stems from art and technology. I’m always looking for experiments—hacks between design, art and technology. Creative Application and Rhizome are my go-to sites, but I also use Tumblr and Pinterest a lot when looking for more specific references. I love books, so I still buy reference books from time to time. Most of what I do is ephemeral, meaning it exists on a URL for a short period of time and then it is gone. So books, for me, give a special feeling of a more lasting possession.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
Definitely David Altmejd. I just went to Montreal and was happily surprised by a retrospective of his work at the MAC. I’m also inspired by UVA, Zimoun, AntiVj, and Kimichi and Chips. I’m drawn to installation type of work.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
This is a hard question. Each project is special in its own way, but if I have to pick one I would say the Driveway Decision Maker we did for Hyundai. This was our first client project. It was very fun and challenging at the same time. We had a lot of creative freedom as well. I had the crazy idea of creating an interactive Projection Mapping sequence on top of hacking Google Maps and the agency totally went for it.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
I think every new project is a big challenge. My team and I are committed to doing innovative work and always trying to be ahead of the curve. The bar is set high, so every project is very challenging because we are always doing something we’ve never done before. The most recent one was the Drinkable Billboard, an installation that was part of a bigger campaign we did for Coke Zero in collaboration with Ogilvy.
We built a 26 x 36 foot, 3,000 pounds drinkable billboard. A first-of-its-kind structure, it featured a massive contour bottle and a swirling straw, spelling out the words “Taste It” that poured ice-cold Coke Zero.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I want to find more time to collaborate with artists and friends that inspire me. Running a company takes a lot energy and time, so I want to find the right balance between work, life, and creative space to try new things. I also want to be able to explore new ways of expressing my creativity: like creating a jewelry line with a friend or taking up pottery again to create a weird and funny line of objects. Of course, in addition to sharpening my coding skills. My wish list is long!
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Get your hands dirty. Don’t overthink things, and throw yourself into various kinds of projects. Unfortunately, I hear a lot young creatives, especially in advertising, that they only want to concept. They see the design work as something beneath them. But this is a catch-22. How can you be a good creative if you don’t know how to design? How can you grow if you don’t know the limitations of your skills and tools?
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