Interview for Publicis Hawkeye
I was super lucky to get interviewed by the amazing Sam Miller for Marcel Publicis Groupe's AI platform. Below you can read the interview.
Superstars surround us. Here’s another co-worker you didn’t know was an amazing artist.
Featuring Alejandra Camargo. Nov 5, 2020
We know you’re out there.
The secret rock stars, the side-hustle artists, the influencers in our midst. The ones who log off of work and then log in to write gorgeous poetry or paint magnificent murals.
That’s why we created Nights & Weekends, to sing the unsung praises of the colleagues you didn’t know were amazing.
After checking out our last Nights & Weekends, Dallas-based Hawkeye Account Supervisor Taylor Prince dropped us a line to let us know that Senior Art Director Alejandra Camargo was also an incredibly accomplished artist. We checked out her art and were blown away—so of course we had to reach out to her for our second edition of Nights & Weekends.
Read our interview below—and then let us know if you or someone on your team has an awesome artistic side hustle the whole world should know about!
Thank you for speaking with us, Alejandra! What do we need to know about you, your work, your art?
First of all, I consider myself an immigrant, even though I have my blue passport. I was born in my Miami because my grandparents lived there for a while, and my mom wanted to give me and my sister both nationalities. And I'm very grateful, because when Venezuela began dealing with a horrible crisis, I was able to move to the United States and work without facing so many of the problems that immigrants face here.
I've painted all my life. I am a very anxious person, and I have been since I was little—I was very badly behaved and I had a lot of energy. I was kicked out of school because I talk too much. I was not focused on class. And my aunt got me started painting as a way to help me focus. And from the age of 12, I've loved to go to museums.
When I graduated, I didn't know what to do, because my country was struggling with the economic crisis already, and my aunt was telling me “As an artist, you might starve, because there are no jobs for art, and maybe you should study graphic design." And that's what I did and it was a great idea.
I was passionate about graphic design from the beginning. I was struggling, but I loved it. This was actually a very exciting time in Caracas because things were bad, but people were creating. There was music everywhere. There was art everywhere. People were making art from nothing.
Moving to the United States was difficult. I had to leave so much behind. All my paintings, my brushes, my family—my life. And I had to start all over in the industry, working crazy hours, but I decided—I'm going to keep painting.
“That's a huge part of my style—not having a lot of time. I realized, if I'm trying to make it complicated and perfect, it'll never happen. It has to be simple. And graphic. That's who I am as an artist.”
How do you balance creating your own work with a demanding job in an industry like ours?
You work hard. You don't rest. Be strategic with your time. Don't second-guess yourself. That's how I am as an art director, and also with my art. Right now, I have a mural project and I have to do it in two weeks—I cannot spend hours and hours on it, because they are not paying me for those hours. Sometimes those decisions are difficult, but they're necessary.
Do you ever feel like your day job feeds your art, or gives you something crucial creatively?
One-hundred percent. For one thing, people like artists. They like knowing you have more on your mind than advertising. So, I think being an artist helped me get hired when I was first entering the industry.
And the job requires discipline, and so does art. I try to paint and sketch every night and on the weekends. But, yes, thanks to my art director work, I am faster as an artist and I am very responsible and professional—like I am with my clients.
Do you have any advice for other employees of Publicis Groupe who might have a creative project that they're struggling to make space for in their lives?
I would say: stop complaining and just do it. The opportunities and the materials are out there. Everybody that has ever achieved something that they are passionate about has had to make sacrifices. So, nothing is going to be given to you. You are never going to have “enough time.” It is never going to be “the right time.”
If you start today, and you’re working hard and making sacrifices, you will always feel great. You might feel tired, but you’ll also feel happy. You can do everything you want, but you have to plan and be strategic and make it happen.