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Agency Life

Positivity and Passion

Positivity and Passion

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

August 21, 2018

Mix in talent, and you’ve got an unstoppable force.

"New York was a slap in the face. A punch in the gut. A kick in the teeth."

In fact Icaro Doria, chief creative officer at Arnold, says that this combo is the formula that’s inspired even more creativity at his Cannes Lions-winning agency. Here, he shares his journey from Brazil to Portugal to NYC, and now Boston.

 

So, tell us your story.

My story is of a person who’s very eager to embrace different cultures and learn from it.

I’m from São Paulo, Brazil, which is where I had my first few years as a copywriter. And as soon as I could, I jumped into an opportunity to work in Lisbon, Portugal. It was my first opportunity to embrace a new culture and to appreciate my Brazilian one without taking it for granted.

And what’d you take away from living and working there?

Portugal taught me a lot. I became a better creative by adding new sources of inspiration and by observing how Portuguese creatives worked. Also, it allowed me to look at Brazilian creativity from a distance and embrace a few things and let go of some others.

How about your time in NYC?

After my time in Portugal, I got a job as a copywriter in New York. I was in awe, inspired by the energy of a new city. I had to embrace a new culture, a new way to work, and new sources of inspiration. From New York, I looked back at Portugal from a distance and was able to once again embrace a few things and let go of others.

New York was a slap in the face. A punch in the gut. A kick in the teeth. My English was not very good, so I couldn’t really be myself. Back then, this was my favorite sentence: “Trust me, I’m really funny in Portuguese.” I was lying.

It took me a good eight months to adjust, to figure out the dynamics of an agency with several creative directors—versus Portugal and Brazil where you’d usually have only one. After that, I became myself again. My English improved. I understood my role in the agency and had, by then, fully embraced America.

Fast forward 14 years, and I’m at Arnold in Boston. And I’m the happiest I have ever been. Actually, I don’t really know what to do with myself now that I’m happy. Arnold is amazing. I’m very inspired by the people I work with. I’m incredibly lucky with the quality of life one can have in Boston. I’m super excited with the opportunities our clients offer us.

"Inspiration is what pushes me forward. I’m addicted to the feeling of being inspired by others."

What’s the biggest impact that you’ve made on the team and their work, so far?

In my first 10 months, I have put most of my energy on building excitement around our collective goals at Arnold. I find positivity and passion the only two things, apart from talent, that you need to have in a creative company. We most definitely have the talent, so I’ve focused on increasing the positivity and the passion of everyone who works at Arnold.

Who is your creative muse?
Inspiration is what pushes me forward. I’m addicted to the feeling of being inspired by others. That is the sole reason I moved from city to city, from country to country—I’m always looking to work with people I haven’t worked with before, and to be inspired by people that I would not have known had I not moved. I truly hit the jackpot at 10 Summer Street.

I’d say, outside of the office, a source of inspiration that I always turn to is the book, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. It takes a fascinating look at human evolution. If you haven’t, please read it.

How’s it feel to win Cannes Lions with your team in Boston?

Winning at Cannes with everyone from Arnold is a good cherry on top. The world deserves to know what I witness on a daily basis when I come to work. The world deserves to see the ideas that are generated here, and those ideas deserve to be celebrated.  So when they are, I have to ask: What else is there to wish for?

Must-see in Brazil?

If you ever make it to São Paulo, I strongly recommend you go to a Corinthians game. Corinthians is a multi-sport club, and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, in my opinion. Corinthians is bigger than life or death, seriously.

Must-see in Boston?

If you ever make it to Boston, just sit by the Charles River and enjoy.

"New York was a slap in the face. A punch in the gut. A kick in the teeth."

In fact Icaro Doria, chief creative officer at Arnold, says that this combo is the formula that’s inspired even more creativity at his Cannes Lions-winning agency. Here, he shares his journey from Brazil to Portugal to NYC, and now Boston.

 

So, tell us your story.

My story is of a person who’s very eager to embrace different cultures and learn from it.

I’m from São Paulo, Brazil, which is where I had my first few years as a copywriter. And as soon as I could, I jumped into an opportunity to work in Lisbon, Portugal. It was my first opportunity to embrace a new culture and to appreciate my Brazilian one without taking it for granted.

And what’d you take away from living and working there?

Portugal taught me a lot. I became a better creative by adding new sources of inspiration and by observing how Portuguese creatives worked. Also, it allowed me to look at Brazilian creativity from a distance and embrace a few things and let go of some others.

How about your time in NYC?

After my time in Portugal, I got a job as a copywriter in New York. I was in awe, inspired by the energy of a new city. I had to embrace a new culture, a new way to work, and new sources of inspiration. From New York, I looked back at Portugal from a distance and was able to once again embrace a few things and let go of others.

New York was a slap in the face. A punch in the gut. A kick in the teeth. My English was not very good, so I couldn’t really be myself. Back then, this was my favorite sentence: “Trust me, I’m really funny in Portuguese.” I was lying.

It took me a good eight months to adjust, to figure out the dynamics of an agency with several creative directors—versus Portugal and Brazil where you’d usually have only one. After that, I became myself again. My English improved. I understood my role in the agency and had, by then, fully embraced America.

Fast forward 14 years, and I’m at Arnold in Boston. And I’m the happiest I have ever been. Actually, I don’t really know what to do with myself now that I’m happy. Arnold is amazing. I’m very inspired by the people I work with. I’m incredibly lucky with the quality of life one can have in Boston. I’m super excited with the opportunities our clients offer us.

"Inspiration is what pushes me forward. I’m addicted to the feeling of being inspired by others."

What’s the biggest impact that you’ve made on the team and their work, so far?

In my first 10 months, I have put most of my energy on building excitement around our collective goals at Arnold. I find positivity and passion the only two things, apart from talent, that you need to have in a creative company. We most definitely have the talent, so I’ve focused on increasing the positivity and the passion of everyone who works at Arnold.

Who is your creative muse?
Inspiration is what pushes me forward. I’m addicted to the feeling of being inspired by others. That is the sole reason I moved from city to city, from country to country—I’m always looking to work with people I haven’t worked with before, and to be inspired by people that I would not have known had I not moved. I truly hit the jackpot at 10 Summer Street.

I’d say, outside of the office, a source of inspiration that I always turn to is the book, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. It takes a fascinating look at human evolution. If you haven’t, please read it.

How’s it feel to win Cannes Lions with your team in Boston?

Winning at Cannes with everyone from Arnold is a good cherry on top. The world deserves to know what I witness on a daily basis when I come to work. The world deserves to see the ideas that are generated here, and those ideas deserve to be celebrated.  So when they are, I have to ask: What else is there to wish for?

Must-see in Brazil?

If you ever make it to São Paulo, I strongly recommend you go to a Corinthians game. Corinthians is a multi-sport club, and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, in my opinion. Corinthians is bigger than life or death, seriously.

Must-see in Boston?

If you ever make it to Boston, just sit by the Charles River and enjoy.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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