For our first Digital Creative Spotlight, we spoke with Valeria Riera from Run & Hop, a brand strategizing company that focuses on bringing the shiny little beast out from their clients’ business concepts. Based in Bali and the Netherlands, Run & Hop uses technology to work across borders to build brand architecture, concepts, and visual assets for their customers all across the globe, including LA Creative Technologies.
We were excited to speak with Valeria and learn her thoughts on technology and the digital world.
Location: Jordaan, a neighborhood near Amsterdam city center
Likes: Big color boxes, triangles and to have complicated conversations through hand shadow puppets.
What are you listening to this week? (music, podcasts, whatever) Lately I’ve been lazy looking for music, so I enjoyed some “mood” playlists from Spotify. My mood was pretty happy and chill =)
What’s your current profession / project / passion? I’m an Art Director. After working several years for a big digital advertising company in Argentina, I started working for myself (together with Daniela) designing conceptual visual identities for small and medium companies.
What are some recent examples of your work that you’re most proud of? Even though I’m not equally passionate about each project I work in, I’m proud of all of them. I love doing branding, I love working from scratch. Between those projects I can name you Aire, Pik and The Jewel Box; we are still working on these last 2.
Describe your creative process. First we get a good feeling of the client’s brand and company; understand what drives them, what they love and where they need to go. That part of the discovery is done by Daniela, together with some creative and cool concepts. Afterwards I create a visual mood board that reflects those findings. It serves as an inspirational and reference tool and, at the same time, helps me check if the client is in line with us and if we are on the correct path, before the design process starts. Then we create first drafts, we get feedback on them, do some tweaks, sometimes start all over again. Of course, some days I’m feeling more creative than others. Getting away from the project and coming back some hours/days later helps a lot.
Which tools, products and services do you use in this process? For the mood boards I like to use Google Drawings, I can share the results with my client and we can edit and collaborate together. Pinterest is another cool tool for that. For the drafts I use pencil and paper! Yes, back to the basics and lots of sketches! Then I digitalize the chosen ones using Illustrator and Photoshop with my Wacom in hand.
What one major benefit do you get from technology you can’t imagine creating without? Easy, being able to work from anywhere in the world. That’s a unique possibility that technology gives me. I can work while I go back to Argentina to visit my family, when I am home back in Amsterdam or while visiting Daniela in Bali, where everything started.
What do your colleagues/collaborators always want to do manually/analog that you wish they would automate/design a system for? Maybe I’m one of those. I’m the one doing things manually: organizing my calendar, planning, sketching. I love pencils, pens and colors. I have so many things on my desk!
What do you do when you need a break from screens?I do sports. I brainstorm and doodle on a paper. I go for a walk. I do administration or accounting stuff.
Anything you want to add on the relationship between creative work and tech? Technology changed everything. It gave people the possibility of getting out; out of the offices and into the world. People are changing their mindset about working their asses off from nine-to-five for big corporations. They started choosing to become their own bosses and sacrifice their stability in order to follow “their dreams” and gain independence. It also catapulted lots of creative new concepts and big ideas (that can now come to life despite low budgets). The way we shop, bank, travel, interact with each other, etc is also changing. There is a big creative challenge out there!