Marta Veludo is currently working in Amsterdam as graphic designer and art director. Inspired by pop-culture, folk art, pound shops and Tumblr and fascinated by inventions, colour, movement and compositions. She designs and conceptualises for both cultural and commercial fields. Whether in the digital realm or on a three-dimensional scale, she combines different disciplines and mediums to build engaging experiences. Oh we nearly forgot to mention her beautiful colour palette?
What memories resonate from your childhood that you feel have had a lasting effect on you choosing a creative profession?
I remember that as a kid I read a lot of comics from my uncle’s bookshelf. And I remember that I liked so much to draw clothes in a fashion wheel kind of game, where you could choose textures and colours. Oh my! From there I started to make expositions in my grandmother’s kitchen, for her and my parents. It was exciting!
Can you describe your career route to your current position?
I studied in Barcelona and after I completed my Master’s I started to intern in one of my favourite studios, No-Domain. It was a multidisciplinary studio that worked from art direction for video and motion to illustration and graphic design. They were amazing times. I learned a lot. After the internship, I stayed as a designer.
After a year the studio down sized and I started to work as a graphic designer for Ana Mirats. She focusses on branding for retail and editorial projects. From there I jumped to Amsterdam and worked in a small studio which also focussed on branding for retail and cultural projects. After a while I quit and started my freelance life. It was a hard beginning but I was lucky because my network was starting to grow and had some friends helping me out. And here I am!
What does a day in the life for you look like? Do you live far from your place of work?
My life is pretty sweet! I live in Amsterdam and I cycle to work everyday! My studio is in the north side of the city, which means I have to catch a ferry to cross the canal. It’s a 5 minute ferry, but it feels like 5 minutes of holidays before you start to work. My studio is in NDSM, an old shipyard that was transformed in a creative city. Inside we are 80 studios, divided in containers or self-made spaces. I have my network there, friends that become family.
“I think that non-industry/work influences are essential for a creative existence. It’s where you drink your inspiration, it’s where you find the new, the unusual, the interesting questions and aesthetics.”
Can you describe the layout and structure of your studio? How does the space affect your working practice and how has your practice influenced your space?
In my studio we are 7 freelancers. Everybody has a table and a surrounding space. The rest of the place is shared. We have a ping pong table that works as an eating table and meeting table and a ping pong table of course. We have a kitchen and a storage room. It’s a quite big studio, which gives me space to work more freely in size wise. We have a photo set as well, so I am able to try out sets and shoot my work and help out friends too. My corner is colourful and messy, with a lot of stuff, literally, stuff.
Do you surround yourself with objects that inspire or comfort you? If so can share some of your favourite “things” in your studio and why you love them?
Yes, I do! I always have a lot of stuff that surrounds me. My corner in the studio is colourful with a lot of props, material and special objects. Sometimes my table is such a mess that I have to take a few hours to reorganise. I have bought a carpet and some vintage lamps to feel a bit more “homie”. I have plants, candles, jumping balls, books, kids toys in my desk. Around there are 3 colour plinths with fake plants, there is a fake palm tree and a pink Eames chair. It sounds a huge space, but its not haha. I can’t survive long time in a minimalistic place.
A lot of your work involves hand-made, found or sculptural elements, have you always favoured more tactile and analogue methods and processes, where does that aesthetic come from?
It’s true. When I can, I always go look for analogue methods and processes. Before I went to study graphic design, I studied sculpture. I was always attracted by the 3 dimensional shapes and textures. But after a year, I gave up, but the hand-made feel never disappeared, I just found a way to bring it again to my world.
Do you have a hands on role in making the props and on set in general?
It depends on the project. For Adidas my role was shaping colour and finding a connection between sets from the flaming till the dress Maria was using. For Kipling was a more straight forward work. Finding and making props. For Current Obsession, I conceptualised, designed, scouted and produced it. I like all of processes and roles. But the more hands I have on it, the better!
Since the start I think I’ve been refining the steps of the process, but as well questioning more about the addictions you get while creating. I think I value more the time that I have to explore process, materials, mediums. I am not so geeky about the new technologies and new releases and updates, I just need tools that work for my needs, so there I have changed a bit but not much. Got a Wacom instead of a mouse. I can go as far as that. Haha.
I still produce personal work. I think is essential. To provoke, to try new things, to experiment. A lot of skills, new ways of thinking and processes can come from your own personal work. So I guess that is my hobby. Or my hobbies are all related with the work I do, so can you consider that an hobby?
Do you have any advice for someone interested in following in your footsteps?
Don’t do it! I mean, follow your own, get inspired by others. Be hard working and have fun while doing it. You will be ok!