1. Who are you?
My name is Arthur “Daniel” Alexander, and I’m a Brazilian-American born and raised in a small town in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil.
2. What do you do for a living?
I’m currently working as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for a global nonprofit called Amizade, which means friendship in Portuguese. As their coordinator, I’m in charge of social media, branding strategy, and communication outreach. I’m also a site liaison for our Brazil site, where every year college students travel to engage in service-learning activities with our local partnerships. Before that, I worked as a freelance graphic designer, videographer, and photographer assisting other nonprofits in the Pittsburgh area.
3. Why did you get involved in the creative field?
Since high school, I designed t-shirts and posters for friends. As I start my undergrad in Social Communications and Advertising, the creative persona sort of grow naturally in me – logically, with its given challenges and obstacles. For eight years I worked in advertising agencies in Brazil as an advertising art director and creative director, but I believe that my shift to Pittsburgh showed me that I could use my skills to help catalyze social action. It’s hard when you’re creating campaigns for products or services that sometimes you don’t feel inspired by. However, when you’re immersed in something that you believe, things get more comfortable, and creativity flows.
4. How do you find inspiration?
In a place such as Pittsburgh, I find inspiration in meeting people and different cultures. You meet global citizens from different corners of the world that one detail such as clothing, habits, jewelry, etc., drive you to an interesting chat and later on to doing research on Google about iconography and imagery presented in their countries. Other than that, reading books, talking to other creative professionals, and checking online portfolios.
5. What is your dream project?
I want to work with the creative team behind the advertising campaigns of the United Nations. It’d be cool to team up not only as a graphic designer but also as a photographer, meeting people working on the ground and also immersing in their reality.
6. How do you get past creative blocks?
In my opinion, there’s no formula. Sometimes, you need some time away from your sketchbook, notepad, and computer. Sometimes it works, other times don’t. As an optimistic person, it’s good to take a look back at what you’ve done right – and also wrong – in your portfolio to remind what you’re capable of when creativity is kicking in. At the end of the day if nothing is working, perhaps you have to accept that you need a reasonable idea to guarantee that you can deliver a consistent product to your client.
7. How and why did you get involved with AIGA?
Two months after moving into Pittsburgh, I was looking for graphic design and communication events. In my research, I found AIGA – the main branch, not the local office. I connected the dots and got connected with people here.
8. What is your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?
There are many things that I like about Pittsburgh. The city has been treating us super well since my wife, and I started our adventure on U.S. soil. I have to say that playing pick-up soccer in places such as the Schenley Oval and CMU is one of my favorite things. It’s an opportunity to meet unique people with origins from all over the world.
9. What are your hobbies?
Riding my bike – speaking of favorite things! When I have the opportunity, I’m riding my bike everywhere. Other than that, I’m spending a lot of time reading books about spirituality, fiction, and biographies.
10. Advice to fellow creatives?
If you have the opportunity, get out of your comfort zone. Travel and go meet people. Go to the beaten path but also avoid the beaten path. It’s amazing what travel can teach us as human beings, and for creatives, it takes creativity to another level. Leaving the office to go on an adventure is not only leisure but also an investment to your career. It’s like renewing the inner energy to get ready for new challenges.