This past summer I interned at Bloomberg Businessweek. During my time there, I got to work alongside a number of designers, photographers, editors, and illustrators whom I admired (and continue to admire) for their unparalleled creativity, talent, and senses of humor. One such designer was Braulio Amando, a smiley, tattooed, and amicable Portuguese man who helms the Global Economics portion of the magazine. Between tasks, I would google the names of the designers, checking out their websites and portfolios, when I got to Braulio’s personal site, I was blown away. Check out the interview below to learn more about one of the sickest graphic designers I have ever met.
1. What originally made you want to become a designer?
I started doing websites and artworks for bands when I was in highschool. I really liked doing it but it was only when I had to think about college that I decided to call myself a graphic designer (or aspiring to be one!).
2. What is your strongest skill that separates you from the rest of the pack?
I don’t think that I’m separated from the rest of the pack — I mean, I do try to do different stuff everytime I’m in a project, but there’s so many talented people in the same scene as me that I like the feeling of being part of something, getting inspired by it, but approach it with my own head. Maybe my strongest skill is that I get easily excited with everything and want to do it all.
3. Who is the best client you have ever worked for & what made them so great?
Definitely Businessweek. Prior to joining the team I always admired their work and I feel really lucky to be here. It’s a group of insanely talented designers, illustrators, photo-editors, writers and editors that put something incredible out together every week in such a short time.
4. It seems that music clients (tour posters, band shirts, event posters) are always super fun to work with — How and when were you able to enter that niche so successfully?
I grew up in the punk-hardcore DIY scene in Portugal, played in some bands, toured around europe with them, and through that I met a lot of people. They knew I was a graphic designer and would sometimes ask me to design stuff. But sometimes I would like a band so much that I would ask if I could design something for them. It’s still my favorite thing to work on and hopefully I’ll do it more and more.
5. Where do you pull your inspiration from? Who are your favorite designers?
It’s all over the place really. I spend too much time on the internet looking at stuff, from design to music, movies, photos, etc… I guess the mix of all of that is what inspires me, that way I’m not too attached to a certain style or mentality and I can translate that into something that’s mine. But obviously, there’s some people that I follow almost daily and whose work I love: M/M Paris, Manuel Donada, Chris Ware, Zach Hobbs, Hort Studio, Gary Panter, and a bunch of old-school classics like Saul Bass, Seymour Chwast, etc.
6. Do you have a consistent creative process or do you prefer to just play until it feels right?
Play until I get bored.
7. It seems easy to get caught up working with shit ingredients, trying to force something to be delicious. At what point in design do you tell yourself “Ok. this is a stupid idea, this isn’t working at all” and start over (if ever)?
This happens a lot. I normally sketch everything really roughly, make sure the concept/idea is there and that it works. After that I’ll make it look good. If I try to make it look nice right away it’s always a disaster and I end up starting over and over again several times. With sketches you get to explore everything you have in your head and see right away if it will work or not. But there’s nothing bad with starting over, it’s just part of the process most of the time. But it sucks when you spend too much time in a thing that ends up not working out or simply gets killed.
8. How do you handle seeing copy cats?
I feel bad they are wasting their time copying someone instead of trying to do something new. Creating something authentic is the fun part of our job!
9. Working at Bloomberg Businessweek seems to be an excellent fit, do you ever see yourself leaving to start your own studio?
I love Businessweek! For now I don’t imagine starting my own studio. I try to balance what I do here with my personal projects, and that makes me more than happy. I’m not a good business person and I think running my own studio would keep me away from doing what I love: design, draw, create. Dealing with money and clients is too much of a hassle, especially if you end up having people working for you and need to make sure they get their paychecks.
10. What is your current fascination and how is it affecting your work?
I found this comic book called Cowboy Henk from a Belgium cartoonist called Kamagurka. I have been trying to get my hands on as many of his books as possible but most of them are in Dutch, French, or other languages – although that doesn’t stop me from buying them. I’m on a quest to find the english versions as well as all the other books he put out… Cowboy Henk Rules.
11. What do you know now, that you wished you had known when leaving college?
Stop worrying about what other people think and have fun!
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