Spotlight: Carioca

It´s once again time for our Spotlight Interview! This time we talk to the founders of Romanian studio Carioca. They told us about how their company is all about vision and philosophy.

Link to Carioca!

Thanks for letting us talk with you guys!


The Founders of Carioca: Dragos Traistaru, Andrei Stoleru and Dragos Coman

Carioca was founded in 2005 by three friends Dragos Coman, Andrei Stoleru and Dragos Traistaru. 10 years ago they quit their jobs as senior Art Directors and laid down their own road in a field where they felt they could bring something new. Now the company have grown to 20 artists, all with the same philosophy and vision.

”From the start, we made clear our philosophy of the company and how we were going to do things, our workflow, attitude and values. To sum it up, everything was about the way we organized it.”

So how do you organize it?

”We set out to do everything in-house, by taking care of the creative direction, production, photography, illustration, CGI, postproduction (etc.) on our own.”

What did you do before you started Carioca?

”The three of us all graduated from the Academy of Arts – Graphics Department in Bucharest and ended up working as AD for Y&R, JWT and McCann for 8 years.”

Is Carioca also an advertising agency?

”Not really, advertising agencies are in structure quite different to us. We are the ones that are making their concepts possible using our vision as well.

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(Images: Work from Carioca´s portfolio)

And when you decided to start Carioca, did you master all techniques for creating digital images?

”When we started out, Carioca was fully operational – the same as it is today. This was probably our strong point which ended up bringing us recognition and a smooth growth as a company.
We all know how to paint and draw and can probably manage to earn some cash by doing portraits if plan A would ever collapse (haha!). And in regards to tools, they are not really different. Applications are only tools. More important than the puppet is the master of puppets. All of our colleagues here at Carioca are primarily people with vision and only secondly craftsmen able at bringing those visions to life.”

So artists who want to work at your company need to master traditional drawing?

”Tech aspects can be learned easily by almost anyone, vision is something that is very hard to come by and that you don’t ”learn” in a day. We look for people with vision. People that have the spark in them to explore the world around them every day. Doing visuals means you need to have a rich knowledge of everything around you, and by that you need to be observant.
That is also why we think our company is special, because of our state of mind. We try to do things sincerely and play with different styles. We also work hard to make sure we are happy first with what we produce and after that the others.”

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(Images: Carioca Studio)

Could you tell us about any new projects?

”We have many projects in mind for Carioca. Generally we prefer doing things first and then talking about them. But what we can talk about, is the development of a new department called Carioca Motion that will focus on moving image projects. This is something that we have been developing for quite a while and that is starting to take its final shape. We will make sure to integrate all of the same values that have worked for us so far and make sure that we do things as passionately as ever while aiming to push our limits in this field.”

Have you made any motion project that have been released?

”We have made a few. Pretty soon you’ll be able to see our motion portfolio on our website.”

Could you tell me about one of your image creations that you are very proud of?

”This is a question that always brings some mind storms. In the end, we think all of our projects are cute. They are like your kids and you have an instinct to love all of them. If we should pick some in the end, we would prefer to select images from our personal projects. These are images in which we have explored our artistic visions more freely.”
“With these images we have managed to have a few shows in several galleries based in Paris, Berlin and Bucharest. This is an ongoing project that is somewhat on the side but that sometimes links up with our advertising activity.”

Is this because of you art-school background?

”Yes, you can say that in a way, our roots are still there. In art school you learn a lot about different styles, approaches, moods and methods of expressions, it kind of turns your mind on and keeps it fresh, making you open for new ideas. This knowledge can also be easily applied in advertising too. Having this background, we sometimes feel the need to express more personal thoughts that are more related to an artistic field. This is something that comes naturally. Luckily for us, advertising generally borrows a lot from art, while art has also taken from advertising. ”

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(Images: Carioca´s personal projects)

What will be Carioca´s biggest challenge in the future?

”To adapt and push forward new approaches. To keep being alive. Carioca is like an organism, it functions if all of the things inside it function.”
“Tools are changing and it’s becoming easier to learn different software as they become more intuitive. Once again we believe strongly in our vision, our desire and pleasure of doing images, whether they are still, moving or interactive.”
“Romania is in recovery after the global crisis. It seem as if things are starting to roll again. Hopefully things will go better soon as the advertising world is a field where every economical move can be felt quite easily.”

Link to Carioca!