Interview: Barbara Carcangiu

Barbara Carcangiu

Name: Barbara Carcangiu

Where do you live: Madrid, Spain.

Known for: I’m a graphic designer.

Currently working with:
I’m currently working in the communication department at BQ, a Spanish company that takes care of designing, selling and retailing smartphones, tablets, e-books, 3d printers and educational robotics.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
I enrolled at industrial design course because I liked product and interior design. But, during the course, I attended a typography workshop in which we had to  measure, rebuild and digitalize an ancient inscription’s font. It was a thorough work, which required a lot of perseverance and method but, as long as I was going deep in the work, I was becoming more passionate and I enjoyed the time I was spending working on that topic. I realized I wanted to feel like that again and again, and so it was, at the end of the day.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
I’d like to live in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean. It may look strange because I come from Sardinia, an Island in Mediterranean Sea and I literally escaped from there because I needed more space to grow. But Lanzarote’s landscapes are awesome, always sunny, it doesn’t rain, there’s no traffic and the food is excellent.

How would you describe your creativity?
A couple of years ago I realized a little comic book telling this story: Inside a chrysalis, where the Little People come from, the protagonist of the story (me) is floating quietly in the air. Suddenly, the chrysalis collides with something that destroys it. My head, in contact with the air, begins to grow out of control until I overbalance and fall. I can not either get up or move, but the Little People help me to remove from my head things that have weighed it.They make me eat all this things so that my body regains the same proportion. Now I grew up and I can go free from the chrysalis!

This story describes in metaphor the stages of my creative process: the initial worries, hard research work, finding the idea and developing it putting the knowledge into practice, and the final result.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?      
A couple of months after my graduation, a friend of mine who’s a marketing and communication manager, offered me to take care of graphic design in a project aimed to promote a national event that was about to take place in Sardinia. With that first job I started a continuous collaboration as a freelance with Neve Comunicazione agency.

What do you do at the moment?
I work as a graphic designer at BQ. I mainly take care of design of corporate identity items for online and offline use. In part of my spare time I keep working as a freelance.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Work hard, be self-critical and always push to the top.

Tell us how it all started.
It was in 2010, the time of my first internship in Madrid. I never had spent so much time abroad before that and, even if in the beginning I was scared, I became soon excited for this new experience. Three years after I was back in Spain. Two months of study in Barcelona and two months of internship, again in Madrid, again happy to be there. I decided I wanted to live there and, after some job application I had the interview with BQ. Now it’s two years that I’m living and working in this city.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Criticism, recognition and people. Those with whom you can confront and whose offer you starting points to keep grow. But, apart from that, what I can’t really do without are headphones, whichever work I am doing. If I need concentration to find an idea or think about a concept, I listen to classical and instrumental music. When the idea is already there and I need to develop it graphically, I listen to an audio book.

What is your favorite film?
I like Woody Allen movies. My favorite is “Take the money and run”. And then “Annie Hall”, “Zelig”…and Michael Radford’s “The postman”, Roberto Benigni’s “Il mostro”, Radu Mihăileanu’s “Train de vie”, Ascanio Celestini’s “La pecoranera”, then the movies of Pedro Almodovar, Alejandro González Iñarritu, Wes Anderson….I can’t name just one movie.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
I’d like to have a dinner with my girlfriends. At the moment all of us live in different cities, so it’s hard to find a way to meet together.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
Have a break with tea and home made cookies.

What is luxury for you?
Tele-transportation. It would allow me to be everywhere I want to be in every moment and, consequentially, I would have more spare time.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
“It works”. I can’t quote no one concretely. In our work it’s easy to ear something like “I like it”, “That’s good”, but these expressions don’t have so much value to me. The aim of our projects is to communicate, to convey an idea, a concept to a certain target. Then, sure, aesthetics is important too, but firstly you have to make it work.

What do you fear most?
Get bored.

What is a happy life to you?
Night walks. Sudden sprints. Laugh.

What does a regular day look like for you?
I define my day as regular when, after work, I have enough time to spend doing the things I like: running, making dinner, watching a TV series, reading a book.

Tell us about your dream project.
I’d like to write a book.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration? 
I’ve got more than one role model. Names change depending on the project and sometimes they’re not strictly related to graphic design world. Since long ago I’ve been inspired by: Isidro Ferrer and Gerd Arntz (graphic designers); Hieronymus Bosch, Hopper and Pierodella Francesca (painters), José Saramago and Haruki Murakami (writers), Vinicio Capossela and Sigur Ros (musicians).

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion  style, or both, or something entirely different)?
I think my style is clean, smart and effective.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
Cheese and ice cream, I love them.

What inspires you?
Long walks. Once I’ve analyzed the project and watched references and images, I shift focus from work and take a long relaxing walk. This allows me to open my mind to creative solutions.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
As for the movies, it’s difficult to find just one title. Reading is a passion I had since I was just a little girl. It started with Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, which I read several times. Now that’s how I run away from everyday life. How can I reduce all to a single title?

I’ll give you just a little list: Fëdor Dostoevskij’s “Crime and Punishment”; José Saramago’s “Ensayosobre la ceguera”; Murakami Aruki’s “1Q84”; George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”; Franz Kafka’s “The metamorphosis”; Edwin Abbott Abbott’s “Flatland, romance of many dimensions”; Currently I’m into Zerocalcare’s graphic novels.

Connect with Barbara via LinkedIn & follow her on Instagram
Check out her Domestika profile
Visit her awesome website
Get in touch with her via Skype (barbaracarcangiu) and send her an email right here
Watch her video here

COLONIA from Barbara Carcangiu on Vimeo.

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