Ricard VALERO

Executive Creative Director | TBWA\CHIAT\DAY\NY

questionnaire

1. What was your very first job? 
I actually can’t remember which was the very first one but I did a lot of them, on and off, since I was very young: Picking up olives and almonds in the Spanish countryside, waiter, construction worker, loading and unloading trucks… My very first job somehow related to advertising was at Moschino, in Milan.

2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
My job is to solve business problems through creativity. And also to make sure that, whatever that solution may be, the execution of it is different, unique and impeccable. 

That starts with making sure the teams feel inspired, confident and passionate about every project. And most importantly, they need to feel free to experiment, to play with ideas and enjoy the process. Fun is vital to any creative process. Today we work with a degree of speed and intensity that can be detrimental to that sense of joy that is crucial for us creatives to come up with good ideas. It’s imperative to create an environment where the teams do not get to work oppressed by those realities but inspired by their very own desire to create something great. I help with that too.

3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Was there a train of events that brought you where you are today?
Since I was a kid I always was very happy drawing, painting, making things and playing with my friends. I was miserable when I had to do something I did not care about. By an elimination process I grew up trying to do more and more of those things I liked and stay away from everything else.

In a way I always was attracted by good advertising. It was clear to me that some were powerful and full of beauty while the majority was just noise, rubbish. I remember I loved some specific ads that, later on, I found out to be mainly done by an agency called Casadevall & Pedereño so I already had a specific eye and a natural sensibility towards certain things. Those were smart, delicate ads made by fantastic Spanish art directors like Ramón Roda. But above everything else I loved the Benetton billboards. I remember seeing them from the back seat of my dad’s Seat Panda driving by. They were completely different . Powerful, iconic. Who did those things? Was that a job?

From an early age I was a skateboarder. I was fascinated by that culture: the graphics, the looks, the music, the fanzines, even some of the print ads for skateboarding companies were very different, fresh, raw…Many of my friends were into graffiti so I was very related with typography and the magic of letters as graphic entities.All those things shaped me and as I grew up I just continued to apply an elimination process to the choices I made so I could do something where I would be paid to create cool things, being constantly surrounded by interesting people in some sort of place that did not feel like an office. So I ended up studying advertising. 

From the moment I discovered advertising annuals I became obsessed with it, absolutely obsessed. I would look at annuals over and over again. I started to know every ad, the agencies behind it, the creatives involved. I would be fascinated by great art directors like Dave Dye, Paul Bedford, Mark Reddy, David Caballero and a whole lot of great Spanish art directors that were doing very unique things when I was growing up. At that point I couldn’t care less about the classes, I was way more interested in my own personal discovery than whatever the professors were teaching. Since then I have been in love with advertising and the obsession for every creative aspect in culture only got worse. That’s the thing that brought me where I am today. 

4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
Cliché answer: everywhere. I’m sorry but it’s true. The other day I saw this post from a young Spanish girl who found tiny love messages that his grandfather wrote to her grandma in old bar paper napkins. They were written on top of these very typical 70’s/80’s bar designs printed using only one ink, normally with quite funky typefaces. Those napkins combined with the honesty of his broken handwriting and the beauty of those short, unassuming, spontaneous love confessions was magical. I could picture the man thinking of her loved woman in an old bar in Madrid. I could hear the sound of the soccer in TV and the slot machines. I could smell the cheap whisky. I pictured a whole story. Things like that become a huge source of inspiration whenever you least expect it. Sure, also music videos, art galleries, Instagram, whatever is around us. I just try to keep a curious mind and a hunger for everything new. 

 I also get very inspired by the people around me. I am lucky enough to have worked with incredibly talented people and I love to hear what they like, to see what they see and to use their own curiosity to push mine.

5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation rather than its recognition or industry "success," what would it be?
The project that is having a bigger impact is still The Refugee Nation. It started as a huge effort by a team of incredibly passionate people working together day and night so we could make it happen. It was very difficult because there was barely any support from our agency at the time and we managed to make it happen 99% as a side project, working together with Amnesty International. It was incredible to see it grow so fast and being embraced by refugees, institutions, governments and NGO’s all over the world. We’re still involved with it.

6. Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? Which of these disciplines are you most interested in seeing at CONNECTIONS? (ie photo, film, production, social, experiential, vr, cgi, animation etc)
Everything depends on the project. I am interested on seeing everything. I just want to see something special, whatever form that might take.

jury

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Storyteller Content & Campaigning | BREUNINGER
VP Global Marketing | IMAX
Chief Engagement & Mktg Officer | EHE HEALTH
Creative Director | APPLE
Chief Brand Officer | CARHARTT
CCO | OGILVY MEXICO & LATAM
Head of Creative Operations | SPECSAVERS
VP Global Creative Dir | BUMBLE AND BUMBLE
Executive Producer | MINTED CONTENT
Global CCO | LONDON LUXURY
VP Video & Creative | SYNEOS HEALTH COMM
Creative Direction
Director of Content Prod | SEPHORA
Executive Creative Director | GTB BRAZIL
Sr Art Director | SEPHORA USA
Creative Director | FRED & FARID LA
Senior Creative | AKQA
EVP Creative Director | REVHEALTH
VP Creative Director | TINDER
Creative Director | BAUME & MERCIER
Marketing Manager | VALMONT
Art Buyer | BUREAU BRAUNE
Executive CD | ARNOLD WORLDWIDE BOSTON
SVP | MACANDREWS & FORBES
Creative Director | TORY BURCH
SVP | PUBLICIS ONE TEAM
VP Marketing & Advertising | AT&T
VP Global Creative | KIEHL'S
Senior Marketing Executive | PHILIPS
VP Creative Director | MULLEN LOWE GROUP
VP Creative & Brand director | The Honest Co
VP, Brand, Content, & Community | CANADA GOOSE
Partner | FORECAST AGENCY
Marketing Director | LUFTHANSA
Creative Director | GRABARZ UND PARTNER
President, Chief Creative Officer | HAVAS HEALTH
Director of Production | FCB INFERNO
Brand Narrative Manager | NIKE
Creative Director | DKNY
Talent Lead | ESTEE LAUDER
Executive Producer | GENERAL MILLS
Creative Director | O'KEEFE REINHARD & PAUL
Creative Director | VMLY&R
STRATEGY CONCEPT DESIGN | MAVODI
Creative Director | OKLAHOMA GAZETTE
Creative Director | PROCTER & GAMBLE
Creative Director | HERE
Executive Creative Director EMEA | HUGE INC.
Sr. Director | NIKE
Chief Creative Officer | EVOKE
CEO | DRAB AGENCY
CCO | GREY MALAYSIA
VP Creative | ESTEE LAUDER
Chief Creative Officer | VANMOOF
CD | GOODBY, SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS
VP, Global Creative Dir, Origins | ESTÉE LAUDER
VP Creative Director | AUTHENTIC BRANDS
EVP | MCCANN NEW YORK
Principal, Strategic Advisor | J WOLF ADVISORS
Executive Director | IBM NY
Design Director | PHENOMENON
Chief Creative Officer | AIR PARIS
VP, Partner Marketing | PANDORA MEDIA, INC.
SVP Marketing
CCO | NELSON SCHMIDT
Director of Content Production | MILK MAKEUP
Sr Creative Director | BANANA REPUBLIC
Art Director | GQ ITALY / CONDE NAST
Creative Director | JOAN CREATIVE
Co-Founder | HEARTY
Creative Director | MCCANN NY
Chief Creative Officer | INBRAX CHILE
Creative Director | SOLAR INITIATIVE
Sr. Managing Photo Art Director | L.L. BEAN
Exec Creative Director | R/GA
Production Director | NIKE
Creative Director
Exec Creative Director | Mischief USA
Dir. of Prod. & Business Affairs | MEKANISM
Producer / Brand Creative | CAPITAL ONE
Brand Strategy | VOLKSWAGEN
Senior Art Director | BOMBAS
Executive Producer | WIEDEN+KENNEDY
Brand Director | VOLKSWAGEN
Advertising Manager | FERRERO
Sr. Manager Content and Prod | ATLANTA HAWKS
Creative Producer | NIKE
Art Director | STUDIO LH
Head of Photography | BBC
Head of Art Buying | IRIS WORLDWIDE
Head of Photo+Art Buying, Mktg | NY TIMES
Director, Brand Design | Healthcare Company
Director of Integrated Production | FCB NEW YORK
CCO | MADE.COM
General Director | TBWA VENEZUELA
Creative Director | AWAY TRAVEL
Marketing Director | OAKLEY
Head of Video | JP MORGAN CHASE & CO
Digital Production Director | JUICE PHARMA WW
Creative Director | INDUSTRIAL COLOR
Sr Producer | UNILEVER, U STUDIO
Art Buying | TRACK GERMANY
CEO | CFS KRUG
Creative Director | GOOGLE
Creative Director | UNILEVER
Executive Creative Director | HAVAS DUSSELDORF
Creative Director
Creative Director | ANDIE SWIM
Head of Art Production | DROGA5
Sr Content Producer | CARMICHAEL LYNCH
Creative Lead/Art Director | IKEA
Marketing Director | HARRY'S
Group Creative Director | HAVAS CHICAGO
Creative Director, Founder | JAM
Marketing Communications | DESKO
Executive Creative Director | WE BELIEVERS
Executive Producer | OGILVY & MATHER CHICAGO
Creative Director | G-STAR
CCO | GREY DÜSSELDORF GMBH
Executive Creative Director | BBH
Director, Head of Production | LINKEDIN
Creative Director, Luxury Studio | COTY
Sr. Marketing Executive | UNITED TALENT AGENCY
SVP, Communications | HERMÈS
Creative Director | LA MER
Creative Director | MICROSOFT
Executive Director | MERCK
Sr Creative Director | UNDER ARMOUR
Director of Marketing | PEPSICO
VP, Creative Content, CBS Photography | CBS
Creative Director | COTY
EVP, Executive Creative Director | VELOCITY
Executive Creative | PROOF ADVERTISING
CCO | WUNDERMAN THOMPSON
ECD | BBDO PAKISTAN
Creative Director | VMLY&R
SVP, Brand Creative | KATE SPADE NEW YORK
Sr. Director, Brand Mktg & Creative | SOUL CYCLE
Group Creative Director | DOLLAR SHAVE CO
Founder | SMALL AGENCY
Senior Art Director | SEPHORA
Photo Editor | HEARST ENTHUSIAST GR
SVP Integrated Production | GSW WORLDWIDE
Digital Visuals Dir | PAT MCGRATH LABS
Creative Director | BSSP
Creative Director | MOTHER LA
Creative Director | BROOKS RUNNING
Creative Director | TLGG
Creative Producer | CALVIN KLEIN
VP of Photo Production | MACY'S
Creative Director | EBRU PINAR INC.
Content Production Manager | KATE SPADE
EVP | LEO BURNETT
Senior Designer | JKR GLOBAL
Creative Director | CHANEL
Dir. of Creative Production| CONVERSE
VP Creative | BURBERRY
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER | (EX DON BUENOS AIRES)
Executive Creative Director | GEOMETRY
ECD, Chief Creative Officer | CLOROX
Group Creative Director | SPOTIFY
Creative Director M&C SAATCHI SPORT & ENTERTAINMENT
Dir. of Comm. | COLOSSAL MEDIA
Founder | MATTE PROJECTS
Group Creative Director | INTER PARFUMS
Founder, CCO | MOJO SUPERMARKET
VP, Creative Services | WARNER RECORDS
CD | DONALD SCHNEIDER STUDIO
AVP of Design | SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Art Buying | PHILIPP UND KEUNTJE GMBH
VP of Marketing | BEAUTY BLENDER
Art Director | DENTSU INC
Creative Director | HUGE NY
Sr. Creative Director | OLD NAVY
Dir. of Creative | INTERSCOPE RECORDS
Creative Director | VIACOMCBS
Creative Director | TRANSLATION
Executive Creative Director | SERVICEPLAN
Art Director | DISPLEY COPY
AVP, Creative Director | SKINCEUTICALS
Executive Creative Director | McCANN/MRM
Sr Art Director | COTY
Head of Creative Svsc. | WALT DISNEY LATAM
Sr Strategist | MICROSOFT
Creative Director | VALMONT
VP, Global Creative | ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES
Creative Director | APPLE
CCO | THOMSON REUTERS
Creative Project Director |DENTSU TOKYO
Exec Creative Director | SID LEE
Executive Creative Director | TBWA\CHIAT\DAY\NY
Marketing Manager | HEINEKEN
Sr. Photography Producer | APPLE
Creative VP | THE COMMUNITY
Art Director | FACEBOOK
VP Creative Marketing & Operations | VERIZON
Creative Director | APPLE
Executive Creative Director
Creative Director | AMAZON
Founder | NR2154
Creative Director | WOLFSTREET
Creative and Artistic Director | NWA
Creative Director | MSMEYAGI CREATIVE
Head of Digital & Design | WPP
SVP | SK TELECOM
Creative Producer | NETFLIX
Exec Creative Director | BLUE STEM BRANDS
Exec Creative Director | McCANN/MRM
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