We had the good fortune of connecting with Rodrigo Trabbold and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rodrigo, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe that if there is a time to take risks in my life, the time is now – while I’m young and my life is still somewhat flexible. By default, we already have the “No” as an answer, so if there is a chance to accomplish something we might as well just try it. The biggest risk I took in my life and career was moving from Brazil to the US and having to start almost from scratch. I was already on a good path as an art director in advertising agencies in Brazil and came here with no contacts or network. I started studying at UCLA’s Design Communication and Arts program – which was a great way to meet people from the industry and keep up with the latest trends. That course ended up leading me to the company I work for today. Luckily, I have a great family that has always supported me in all my decisions, which made this process a lot better. It was all worth it. I’m happy with my career, I’ve worked with people that I’ve always admired, I’ve built a great group of friends and I managed to build a good life here.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I aim to always create something new and come up with unique ideas for the projects I’m presented, always with the client’s goal in mind so that the artwork translates their concept the best way possible. Sometimes, what the client wants is not necessarily what is best for the project, so I always try to balance their vision and needs with what I believe to be the best approach creatively. I believe in clean designs and I always try to push for simple but strong concepts – after all, a good concept or idea should speak for itself. I think that’s what sets me apart – I enjoy the creative process and always try to bring good ideas to the table before I think of the execution and technical aspects of the design. I started my career back in 2010 when I went to Miami Ad School’s Art Direction Program to learn more about the advertisement design craft. My first actual job in advertisement was at Grey Brazil as an assistant designer for clients such as Mercedes Benz, DHL and Pantene, and that’s where I slowly paved my way up and learned more about the industry’s workflow. One and a half years later, I moved to Miami, FL for a six-month internship at Young & Rubicam, where I got to work with amazing people and big clients such as VolksWagen, Dell and FedEx. I went back to Brazil and immediately started working at DM9DDB, one of the biggest advertisement agencies in Brazil and the world at the time. There, I got to spend 2 years working with great clients and learning something new every day. I then moved to Riot Brazil, which back then was the major digital-focused agency in São Paulo, and got to work there for a year with clients such as Kérastase, Canon, Johnnie Walker, Renault and LG. In 2015, I moved to Los Angeles and went back to school – I started a post-grad program at UCLA in Design Communication and Arts. My goal was to refresh old skills and learn new ones like video editing, 3D and After Effects. At UCLA, I also discovered the world of entertainment design and immediately fell in love with it. I was then able to mix music, movies, and arts into a completely new form of expression. For the past 5 years, I’ve been working for a company called Global Tour Creatives. Our department is responsible for developing creative concepts to promote bands and artists throughout their entire world tours. The biggest challenge there is to create a first concept (Key Art) and from that, develop it into multiple media platforms, including web banners, social media, outdoor campaigns, promotional websites, print ads, etc. Tour projects that I’ve effectively contributed to include names such as Elton John, Paul McCartney, Blink-182, Bon Jovi, Dane Cook, Dirty Heads, Janet Jackson, Journey, John Mayer, Third Eye Blind, Shawn Mendes, Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin, OneRepublic, Reba, Sting, Pitbull, Wu Tang Clan and many others. Most people struggle at the beginning of their careers in any industry. In my case, it was especially hard when I moved to Los Angeles. It wasn’t easy to leave my home country and the career I had in Brazil to start fresh in the US. All the contacts and the network you have in one country don’t always apply to another, so I had to build it all from ground zero. It’s also never easy to leave family and friends behind – even with the internet and all the video calls. Throughout these years, what I’ve taken with me is the idea that creativity is an exercise and needs to be practiced and pushed everyday – be it through references, brainstorming, or simply through trial-and-error.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Los Angeles. It’s a city filled with art, culture, beautiful scenery and sunsets. If a friend were visiting, I would take them for a skateboard or bike ride along the Venice boardwalk, which is one of my all time favorite things to do. Then later I would take them for lunch at Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice – a very nice and walkable area with great restaurants (Gjelina being my favorite), fashion stores and interesting people. It’s also great for a first Californian vibe and experience, especially if watching the sunset at a rooftop bar – for that, I recommend the Erwin Hotel. You can’t leave LA without visiting LACMA, The Broad Museum (after a nice lunch at the Central Market nearby), and The Getty. Another must experience is to spend a day at the beach or go surfing in Malibu and later enjoy lunch on the pier at Malibu Farm. Lastly, I definitely recommend having a drink at a Hollywood bar, watching the city’s skyline from the Griffith Observatory during sunset and – if you can get a reservation in advance – going to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, which is a very unique place with superb magic shows and great food and drinks.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family is definitely what keeps me going. With all the support, feedback, teachings and much love, I am who I am today because of them. And of course the extension of supporters that are always there for me, and this includes my fiancé, my friends and all the teachers and bosses I had in my life. I would also like to give a shoutout to one of the schools I went to, Miami Ad School, which was a big part of my career as I came from a Business BA and wanted to learn the creative thinking craft. All the professionals that teach the programs are amazing and helped me open my eyes and mind to the design world, inspired me to push for that ONE idea, and always made me squeeze my brain for the last drop of creativity.
Rodrigo Trabbold at Global Tour Creatives