Creative.11 - Thiago Patriota
A creative director for your next project.
Hi, for your safety, don’t say your name.
It’s not Thiago who’s writing today. He was caught at a crime scene, and now I need to take some information off him.
So no, this is not an interview. It’s an investigation, and the files are classified.
So classified that you couldn’t even be reading it, but I managed to send you a copy - burn it after you read it.
Well, you know, he’s been interviewing people with such sensitive, deep, enticing questions, and he thought that he could pass unnoticed… Well, I wouldn’t let this happen.
It was Sunday, Sunday afternoon.
13th August 2023 - it’s fresh in my mind;
I found him on LinkedIn, people…
Working - working for our beloved Agency!
We discussed ideas, next steps, and strategies to make Agency's vision clear and helpful for our people… It’s very suspicious.
“You are guilty too,” - you may say.
Don’t you get that it was an ambush?
I was there only waiting for him.
This time, we are not using mics - because it’s not a show, it’s an
interrogation - but still, I’m recording everything (for investigation purposes).
Over and out.
Thiago, I’m running a check on your criminal record. Confirm where you were last night, where you were born, preferred drink and date of birth (so we can all send you gifts on your b-day). Do not lie to me or withhold any information. Otherwise, you will be in trouble.
Uhhh, I wasn’t expecting this. I don’t get caught off guard very often, but you are fast, Detective Amanda! I may very well just confess my offence before answering the questions. I plead guilty. Riot Games permanently suspended my League of Legends account on February 8th 2020, for violating the conduct by sharing it with my friends, and that might very well be the reason why my job applications there never turned out into an interview. Now that this issue is covered and while you think about the penitence, I shall introduce myself and plead for a second chance (or at least a gaming computer while in detention).
Well, last night was very similar to the nights of the past six months, I was at my “office” in my dad’s garage working until 4 am. You might think this is a Steve Jobs thing, but I was just lacking space in my teenage room, lol. This might sound weird, but I was turning this article into an NFT - the publishing date can confirm that, Detective.
I was born and raised in the magical Brazillian land of Foz do Iguaçu. It is a tourist destination in the south of Brazil, within the state of Paraná, it’s a place profoundly rich in nature (Check Iguassu Falls for a trip) and cultural diversity (For sharing borders with two other countries: Paraguay and Argentina.)
The 15yo Thi would very much answer the preferred drink question with this link, lol. After some good years, I’d say that a simple latte is enough for me to start the day!
If all facts and my birth certificate are eligible, on February 9th of 1996 I was named Thiago Patriota! Otherwise, I was dropped on earth by an UFO either in the past, present, future or all of them.
I wonder… How was the child called Thiago? And when did you “woke up” and get so interested in life and Arts?
Well, that introverted little dude was an 8yo kid that sneaked into his father’s room in order to use his computer and sometimes even browse the internet with an expensive dial-up connection so that he could play MU Online, I remember up until this day that I had to turn it off 30 minutes before he arrived otherwise he would feel the heat in the computer case, and I would be in trouble, and the BIOS password would be changed… again.
Art, for him, was pretty much the extremely awaited and intense Dragon Ball Z episodes that played around 5:30 PM and that he always watched with his brother. Since there were no artists in the family, It was only around 12yo that he started having more contact with art, thanks to a friend who was always drawing in class and sharing the best music he was listening to or stories about his brother, who I think worked at Vans in Mexico.
I don’t think he was interested in life at all; actually, he counted the hours (or slept) while in class in order to arrive home and be able to pick up the PlayStation controller and load the last save game on Splinter Cell. Little agent Thi. His zip bag with game CD-ROMs was his truest treasure, lol.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to do when you grew up? Or better, what did you love to do, and you wanted to do it forever?
There is a particular memory of when I was around 13yo that I have only shared with one person up until this day. I always kept it to myself for seeing it as kind of weird, but now I think I better understand it. I don’t really know why but around that age, I think we studied the holocaust in a history class, and I was deeply touched by everything that happened, I couldn’t understand how all of that could be true, so I started watching movies and documentaries about it. Movies like Schindler's List or The Pianist were perhaps my real first contact with art and catharsis, the true drama depicted on screen about those real events ignited something in me, I felt not only sorrow but also profound discontent, I became obsessed with the subject, I started researching everything about it on the internet, and maybe that was an upheaval of the journalist in me.
The particular memory that I mentioned is that of me at 13 years old, reading the Wikipedia page of Joseph Goebbels. There was something about him, up until this day, I consider him the true evil mastermind of that disaster in human history.
We talk very often here in Agency about how having talented artists or professionals as references is essential for us to grow, dream big and aim towards new horizons, but knowing the references not to follow is equally important. I realise today that Goebbels, the chief propagandist of the Nazi Party, was my first contact with communication, not because I admired his work but precisely, fundamentally and truthfully because I felt the urge to be an antithesis of what he represented. I felt I could be anything but that.
Looking back now, I realise that Steven Spielberg was my first favourite movie director. My passion for cinema only matured more and more after that cathartic period. That’s what I did daily back then, I was either binge-watching movies or playing games, and so I considered following four different academic paths: Cinema; History; Computer Science (To make games) or Architecture (Thanks to The Sims), I remember I even downloaded Google SketchUp and designed our home in the weirdest proportion lol.
This sounds absurd when I say it, but thanks to gaming, I had the privilege of living a thousand different lives in a thousand different worlds through the skin of a thousand different heroic characters! At a given moment, I was even a member of the KISS band slaying demons at a circus, that game was quite scary!
When a teenager, did you have any difficulty, conflict or opposition to finding and following your path?
Truth is, I’m a blessed little egg yolk head. The difficulty was actually not having any conflict or opposition at all, my parents never imposed any career or some type of duty, they were too busy working and being an example so that they could provide comfort and education to me and my brother.
In a way, this lack of discipline and excess of freedom was extremely good, around 15yo, I could play at any time for how much time I wanted as long as I navigated through high school without failing. That I did, but not without spending many classes sleeping (due to early morning marathon gaming) and getting scolded by some teachers. lol.
The true difficulty was only one: getting high grades — I liked researching and studying things on the Internet at home, but I hated having to study subjects I didn’t like in school. I took notes in classes and gave the best attention I could to the teachers, but It was very rare for me to study at home. Exam week meant only one thing: literally reviewing notes some minutes before the exams so that I could get at least the average score or be close to it. The assignments were my strategy to compensate for the scores lol, I gave my utmost best on them.
My incessant curiosity, plus the admiration I had for an older cousin, who today is a brilliant father and a manager at Banco do Brasil, took me to start learning Photoshop, and thus, I started creating wallpapers for my father or fan art for my favourite bands; when I suddenly realised I had a technical skill that could help pay bills I didn’t even have. I even remember an artwork from the internet that I really liked: “Skills Pay the Bills” lol.
Finding my path in advertising was as natural as those refreshing summer rains with petrichor scent, I had to pick a degree, and I considered graphic design, but it wasn’t available in my city. Some months before, I had binge-watched Mad Men, a tv series from AMC about the advertising industry in the 60s, I was in awe of that profession and even more inspired by Jon Hamm’s character, who was the creative director of the agency and crafted ads for brands like Heinz, Lucky Strike or Hershey. I realised I wanted to make a living making brands and products and so I studied communication through advertising while I pursued graphic design studies on my own through books and videos.
The wealth of ideas and your spiritual riches have been grabbing attention, more attention than you would like to… Tell me now, where did you find them? From who or where did you steal it?
Games as an artistic expression filled my heart and mind with not only references but also logic, fairly because every single game has its own system which needs to be learned, I remember that I was addicted to not necessarily games but to starting new games and understanding how they worked and the logic of the developers. Cinema and movie directors like D. Fincher; C. Nolan; M. Scorsese, R. Scott and D. Villeneuve told me so many beautiful stories, so perhaps that is where most of my fiction comes from.
My ideas are very much the sum of the ideas I passionately consumed, they are a byproduct of the inner-child curiosity that I have nurtured carefully ever since I realised I was… a person. lol.
We usually spend a lot of time asking questions with a taste of: “What?/How?/Who?” like we are running against time, but when we stop, sit on a lotus flower position and just think, then we can finally ask “Why?” —Meditation is much more simple than gurus sell it, meditation is the action of sitting down to think. Think without an objective, think and wait for a chaotic transit of thoughts to go by until there are no more vehicles and you can peacefully cross the road. Imagine someone asking you what you were doing, and you just answer: “Oh, I was thinking”. Nobody seems to do that nowadays. To think and to question yourself is the same as to philosophise, but you don’t need to be a philosopher in order to think, you just need to want to understand things and people rather than trying to be understood, accepted or loved by them.
When we ask “Why?” in regard to our profession, our purpose, our friendships and our interests, then we start finding what is really important amidst so many things in life. Understanding that my creativity was what paid my bills was the first step to nurturing my own methodology in regard to my creative process, understanding my values and principles — the lines I couldn’t cross, being up to date with trends, absorbing aesthetic references on Behance and Dribble, watching the most recent movies but also going after forgotten treasures like the movie It's a Wonderful Life, where one of the most beautiful quotes was written: “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”
I could elaborate a lot about spiritual riches, but every single one of us has our own personal journey in regards to the meanings we give to life and the meanings life gives to us, I had ayahuasca experiences at Instituto Estrela Azul that saved my life and reconnected me to the healing power of nature and fraternity as much as I have found in many different books words of hope that helped me get through the worst. I shall say that I have very close to my bed three books that are the cornerstone of my beliefs: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, The Bhagavad Gita and a King James Bible.
Some people say that when we pursue the meaning of god and live in truth, we start not only finding but also manifesting hidden and unknown talents within ourselves — that is true. I spent the first 23 years of my life being agnostic, science was quite enough for me until I decided to start making questions and found true reasons to get up in the morning and get to work (or maybe it was the reasons that found me!) — Better ideas, more creativity, more determination, more resilience, these are all consequences of when you have a healthy relationship with yourself, but for me, self-knowledge is very much a synonym for spiritual knowledge.
To me, spiritual richness is a byproduct of a very simple task that is essentially impossible to truly grasp: understanding the meaning of love. This is something I learned from Plato’s book “Symposium” - We all search for love in the external world, outside of us, in others, but that doesn’t mean we will find it, regardless of how much or for how long we look, there is a moment where we all realise that it was within us the whole time and that was the only reason we search for it in the first place: because we want to stay close to it and just by trying to be close to it, we become it.
In the same way, Alan Watts has taught me the true meaning of “Nirvana”, which means to exhale. Being that, the opposite of inhaling. Nirvana, as a noun, is a place of perfect peace and happiness, like heaven. But Nirvana as a verb is exhaling, as in, letting go of air rather than absorbing it. Giving, rather than taking.
I talk a lot about my philosophy of life in my first published romance: Farewell, Aurora.
If you could choose the long-term project you would be going to start with a new or old client this month - no limitations… How would this dream work be? Give us the details!
I would love the opportunity to manage the brand of Discord, Nubank, EBanx, Editora Aleph, Substack, Blizzard and Santa Monica Studio for one day, all at the same time.
Sorry, I got carried away, that was definitely too much. Let’s forget about them because being able to nurture and develop a brand like Agency with such a bright mind like yours is the only thing I could ever ask for, Detective Andrade!
What do you feel is the most rewarding output of a professional, commercial project? What are the elements that keep you working?
I think there are two specific moments on projects that always make any struggle or difficulty behind the process worth it: First, when I achieve that one concept or idea that I know is exactly what the client was looking for, and second, when I present it, and I blow the client’s mind up to the point where I can feel his or her excitement towards the project.
People don’t realise the hidden importance of marketing because on a branding project, for example, it doesn’t matter if the logo design is the most beautiful thing that could be conveyed, what matters is how the client feels because it is precisely that feeling that will help the client close new projects, partnerships and sell more products. If we are to think about it, marketing is the spirituality behind every CEO because it regards creation and gives not only traction to the project but also the necessary hope, confidence and juice to achieve the goals.
When a client or a business partner gives you a brief or an idea, what happens in your mind next?
Most of the time, I just listen mindfully and take notes. Sometimes, depending on how excited and passionate the client sounds about the project, the ideas already start cooking, and I start throwing some of them in order to measure the temperature of the recipe.
But the right ideas always come at the most unexpected moment, it is important to let them mature in the background, if too much pressure is put into it, then something will come out, but it won’t be as natural or impactful.
It should be, more than anything, an action of empathy, if just like a night dream, an idea is birthed in the mind, then the project idea I’m discussing with the client could very well be their life dream being discussed at day, so before being about the money or the actual service, it is about a potential dream, that is the importance I give to the client, the briefing and the ideas - as if they were the landscape of their dream.
This will sound bold, but “dream doctors” don’t exist simply because people don’t tend to realise the true importance of marketing and design in society. If we think about it, real dreams can’t really be priced, can they? Well, people tend to undervalue their own dreams and save money on the most fundamental of steps, their creation, which starts with something as simple and visual as a logo.
Do you have any other hidden talent that few or nobody knows about? It can’t be related to design and writing.
Photography, for sure! It is the only true hobby I have, different from writing and designing, which are also jobs. But I’m about to say something that might infuriate some friend photographers: I use the automatic mode in my camera lol. To me is not really about capturing the perfect depth, light or shadow, it is about capturing the information and context. That one building, that one person, that one landscape… As in photojournalism. I tend to think that with the amount of technology in cameras nowadays, the auto mode delivers a pretty good output, but when the moment is right I intend to better understand the technicalities of these beautiful apparatuses we call cameras.
My favourite part is fine-tuning the raw data in the picture so that I can improve the colours, shadow and tone, sometimes giving a completely different meaning to the pic.
I also really like making music album covers and minting some NFTs every now and then.
I have been experimenting with the artistry behind tarot cards lately as well! There is a lot of symbology and artistry behind the archetypes they represent, it is very much an ancient art expression, behind every taboo, there is history, knowledge, meaning and even love to be found.
Was there a moment - a difficulty or a challenge - that almost made you break inside, or that changed you professionally forever? Or that at least changed you significantly?
Do you know that feeling when you scratch a chalkboard with your nails? That’s the best way I could possibly describe these moments of breakthrough, or maybe, in Buddhist words, having a burning chalk stuck in your throat. I think that going through these moments is essential to any professional because theory differs from practice in many different aspects, we need to truly get our hands dirty in order to learn how to beat professional obstacles, and that means sometimes wanting to drop everything, running away and deep diving in a rabbit hole like Alice did in wonderland.
Back in 2017, Halfway through college, I had a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work as a Marketing Designer in a Cannabis Manufacturing company in California, the first of its kind. It wasn’t just a job, it was a calling, we were manufacturing organic medicine for patients with autism and many other conditions, and it justified stopping every single plan I had with pursuing a UX Design career in order to deep dive into a real-life B2B marketing school in one of the most challenging industries there is. Suddenly I was responsible for the communication, growth, website, social media profiles and every single marketing and sales material of a company worth millions of dollars in equipment, we were spearheading the industry with a seriously impeccable quality standard and the brightest scientists/executives in the team.
I accomplished tasks I never thought possible – organising, writing, and designing beyond my imagination. I only managed to do so because I had a mentor. I learned the unthinkable from the absolute best.
I remember our mission statement up until this day: “To enhance society and heal the world by manufacturing safe cannabis products”
I know you enjoy music so badly… Do you play any instruments? And if you couldn’t choose any other playlist to listen to for the rest of your life, what would you choose for that playlist?
I don’t play any instrument, but I have two, lol. I have an acoustic guitar and a Digital Yamaha Piano P125. I only know how to play the beginning of Oasis - Song Bird on one and the twelve first notes of Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement on the other. I don’t push myself to learn and practice with them as I want it to be quite natural, when the time is right, it shall come!
When it comes to music, I think I listen to more music that is healthy. In Issue.14 I talk a little bit about that, but I essentially spent 25% of my time in the last three years… listening to music while working.
I have around 300 playlists on Spotify simply because I don’t organise them, and sometimes I make a playlist just to save a single piece of music lol. Picking one would be quite a hard task, so I rather pick an album.
The punk rock in Appeal to Reason is from the band’s logo that the crazy teenager version of me tattooed on my ribs at 19yo. Rise Against is a punk rock band from Chicago known for their socially and politically charged lyrics. Their music often addresses a wide range of issues, such as social injustice, political activism, environmental concerns, personal struggles, and human rights. They advocate for positive change and raise awareness about various societal problems through their songs.
Also, they are a "Straight edge" band, this term encompasses a lifestyle and subculture that emerged within the punk and hardcore music scenes, characterised by abstaining from alcohol, drugs, and often other recreational activities that can be seen as harmful.
But if I could pick a single piece of music, it would probably be this one from Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, it is timelessly good vibes.
Do you consider yourself a group person or a solitary person in your daily life? In other words, most of the time, you live your life exchanging/communicating or observing?
By myself for sure, I think I learned how to pass the time with myself by exploring my interests while finding new things to do, new movies to watch, books to read or games to play.
But frankly, I think consuming is a state of mind when compared to creating - with that, I mean that writing fiction has been one of the most transformative therapies I could possibly find! The only thing I know to be more peaceful and pleasant is to grab my camera, go for a trip and photograph new places and landscapes.
Ps. I have been publishing my latest novel online at:
Well, I won’t ask you to name a planet because you already are the most creative person that I know in terms of characters’ names, Agency’s issues and Sci-fi’s titles (laughing). So please tell me: if I say that I’m founding a new land somewhere beautiful, pure, non-technological, sunny, for a new civilization… What shall I name it?
Such an awesome question!! May we call it Helix, detective? Nah, too technological. How about Andradis? Would there be music there? How about Sophrosyne? It has the perfect meaning behind it!
Over and out!!!
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