Miagui is a Brazilian-based creative production studio, focused on producing advertising images. In this interview, we speak with Creative Director, Cassio Braga, who discusses the origins of Miagui and the importance of establishing harmony in a team environment.
QWelcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you’re from as well as the origins of Miagui?
My name is Cassio Braga, I am a partner and Creative Director for the studio Miagui of Porto Alegre in southern Brazil. Miagui emerged as an independent project originating within Neorama, the leading content production for the real estate market here in Brazil. Before meeting Neorama I had the experience of working within the two major advertising agencies here in Porto Alegre. This experience gave me the perspective needed to understand that there was a possibility to revolutionize collaboration between agencies, creatives, and artists so that it should be free to the shackles of conventional process in order to produce greater than average results.
During this time Neorama, (lead by my friend and partner Márcio Carvalho) also had some time to expand their expertise by collaborating with agencies in the production of content for advertising campaigns. When our paths finally crossed it all made sense and we decided to join forces to create Miagui. The support of Márcio and the entire team at Neorama was fundamental to Miagui growing so fast and becoming what it is today.
QWhat is a typical work day like at Miagui?
Lately our daily life has been extremely busy as we are experiencing a new phase of many changes. The main one is moving into a new location which has occupied much of our time. Usually we organize weekly with a meeting agenda on Monday. This is where we discuss the best way to perform each job, dividing the tasks and organizing our daily lives. The individual needs of each job always define the activities of our week.
Miagui prides itself in executing projects with a pre-established workflow. What is the importance of this workflow and how does it make your work more efficient as a company?
At some point during the long scope of our work the process became centralized in the agency, forcing the buyer and art director to get involved with technical issues they weren’t always capable of solving.
And with the amount of resources that have emerged in recent years, expectations of quality production in a short amount of time increased considerably. What was once limited to only photography and retouching, has crossed over into many mediums with a wide range of specialties. This has made the process much more complex to manage because it generates more questions than solutions in the everyday life of an Art Director. It was then that we decided to assemble a multidisciplinary team with complementary talents, led by a Director of Production who works collaboratively with both the Art Director and the client.
For each job there is a set of pre approved steps to make the process of collaboration more organized. With this method the work is spread across multiple hands, that way our clients can receive the quality of work they expect from Miagui.
QWhat is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on to date? What lessons did you take away from that project?
Normally it’s our latest project in production. With every new project we learn something new and we’re always working to surpass previous expectations. So far we have developed three images for Nike, but they were challenging. We worked directly with the client who gave us complete creative freedom. However, with a much more flexible brief comes greater responsibility.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned recently is that there is always a solution and that each case must be assessed individually. Sometimes photography may be essential to the project while other times complex 3D illustrations need to be produced. I believe that our expertise is in creating a process that allows us to utilize the best aspects of each creative technique.
Q“NatGeo - Mundo Selvagem,” is an advertisement done for National Geographic with an incredibly creative and super clever installment idea. Could you walk us through how you came up with this idea and what that process involved?
As in most cases the main creative idea comes from the agency responsible for leading the project. For this project the work was developed in partnership with Art Director, Gregory Kickow of Loducca Agency. He came to us with a set idea and our goal was to match the aesthetics that were already defined. The particular challenge for this project was to simulate the perspective from the observer’s point of view, creating the feeling that he would fall into the pit with the alligator. In order to create a high impact image, we focused on developing the hyper realism so that the image looked as real as possible. In this case it would be almost impossible to photograph an alligator in the ideal position so all the work was performed digitally. It was first modeled in Zbrush and then finalized in Photoshop to create the desired distorted effect. Everyone was very happy with the result, though I hope we haven’t frightened anyone too much as they came down the elevators in the malls there!
QMiagui has a diverse group of talented creative professionals on the team. How does the team stay inspired?
From the very beginning we wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people working in our team. I believe that the best way to keep the team inspired is to have clear goals and to create conditions for everyone to be extremely happy doing their job. Keeping the team inspired directly affects the end result of our work and every time we reach our creative goals the door is opened to new opportunities to collaborate on exciting projects. This cycle inspires us a lot and made us understand that every job is unique and requires individual attention.
QIf there was one thing you could change about the advertising business, what would that be?
Our deadlines are usually very short. Today, we dedicate a lot of time on being productive as well as doing the best that we can in the given timeframe. However, as in any creative profession, some steps are essential to achieve greater than average results. And in order to find the best solution it is often necessary to invest time in researching new techniques. We have increasingly applied this research time into our process, which has allowed us to find more solutions that elevate the level of our work.
QThanks again for the opportunity to interview you for Psdtuts+! Are there any final thoughts or words of advice you have for our readers?
Though the creativity of our work is linked to the individual talent here at Miagui, it is important to understand that to make a difference in a fast-paced competitive market, you must join forces with others and work together as a team. Strive daily to build an atmosphere that fosters collaboration. Bring together talented people who remain inspired to create their best work for each job. We believe this is the future of Miagui. Thanks for the opportunity for this interview. Hugs from the Miagui team!