New Talent: Julia Velo
Julia Velo’s pathway to advertising was, in her words, “a calculated accident”. That might sound like an oxymoron but when you hear her reasoning why it does all make sense. Her calculated accident has led to her creating for the likes of Coca-Cola and, nowadays, she plies her trade as a copywriter at FCB Brazil, one of her home country's best and most awarded agencies.
LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with Julia to find out how childhood boredom led to her creativity and the reason she had to work in accounts before becoming a creative.
LBB> Where did you grow up and what kind of kid were you? Were there any clues that you had a particular creative spark?
Julia> I grew up in Mogi Mirim, a small town in São Paulo's countryside. In Mogi, life is not very lively and I had a lot of free time to spend. I was always looking for new ways to entertain myself as an unstoppable - and a bit of a handful - kid. I wrote a lot, danced a lot and tried to play all kinds of instruments (even though I was not good at any of them). I was hungry for fun and creating things always made my heart warm. I think boredom has made me extremely creative.
LBB> Was it always an aim of yours to work in advertising or more of an accident? What was your first job in the industry and how did you end up there?
Julia> It was a calculated accident, if that's possible. I always knew that I wanted to work with something that would embrace the creative wave growing inside of me but I didn't know what it was. One day, a friend of mine told me that advertising may be a way to be creative and make some money. I like creating stuff and I like money, so it was a match for me.
Before becoming a copywriter, I worked as an intern in account management. In Brazil, it's not that simple being a creative woman in an area dominated by men - you always have to prove yourself twice - and I didn't have a portfolio at the time. But as an account manager I had the chance to be inside a big agency and talk to creative directors directly. So that's what I did - little by little I tried to show them that I wanted to work as a copywriter, and one day they told me to take a seat in the creative department. Later that day I celebrated so hard that I got a scar on my forehead. It was totally worth it.
LBB> Which projects that you've worked on are you most proud of and why?
Julia> I've had the chance to work on some amazing projects. Some of them were really big, like FanFeat, for Coca-Cola - that became a huge-global-master-thing and that's cool. But the ones that I am more proud of are the ones that made me learn with other people and grow as a person, like the project we made for A.C. Camargo, a cancer hospital in Brazil, called ‘Almost Perfect Hands’ to warn women about the importance of early diagnosis of breast cancer. I've met some really amazing women with life histories that would make you laugh and cry at the same time. That job taught me things that any giant brand campaign could never do, so I'm really proud of it.
LBB> You joined FCB Brazil earlier this year - what was it about the agency that tempted you to join?
Julia> Basically, everyone that has ever worked here just loves it. Myself included.
LBB> What’s your opinion on the current state of Brazilian advertising?
Julia> I think that now it's getting really interesting - with everyone talking about feminism, diversity and other essential things, brands are being forced to adapt to that speech if they still want to be relevant. Selling things is not enough anymore - you have to have an ideology behind it. So advertising is becoming a way to amplify voices and ideas that make so much sense to me - and I think that's amazing.
LBB> What’s São Paulo like as a creative city to live and work in? Is there a vibrant sense of creativity outside of advertising?
Julia> Yes, for sure! São Paulo is a wild beast that scares you but you'll learn to love it. Everything in here is movement, chaos, information and, of course, inspiration.
LBB> What / who are your biggest forms of inspiration?
Julia> My mom, it may be cliché but I swear she is. She works as a child dentist in a community in my hometown. Watching her do what she does with so much love and dedication makes me want to do what I do even better every day. She's, like, the most amazing thing that has ever walked on this planet and my infinite source of inspiration. *dries a teardrop*
LBB> What do you get up to outside of work to relax?
Julia> It may sound weird but I tend to write to relax. And making funny voices with my amazing boyfriend is also a very effective way to put a smile on my face.
LBB> Do you have any advice for younger, budding creatives who want to work professionally in advertising?
Julia> Yes: be yourself, do your thing and be nice to others. Things will happen. Period.