At Pace, we are strong believers in the idea that an agency is only as talented as its people. Pace owes its continued success to our immensely gifted employees, each of whom possess skills that are as unique as they are numerous. Today we’d like to introduce you to one such individual to give you a better look at the people of Pace.
Meet Camilo Perdomo, a senior associate art director has been with Pace for almost two years. Camilo, who is originally from Bogotá, Colombia, received a bachelor’s degree of fine arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012. His love for art begun at a young age and was heavily influenced by the rich storytelling entrenched in Colombia’s history and culture. Throughout high school, college, and even now, Camilo continues to pursue his passion for creative expression. But don’t assume that his love for art is “just a hobby” or something he does when there’s nothing else to do. Camilo approaches his art the same way a star athlete approaches their sport – by prioritizing daily “practice” and “training” sessions, constantly pushing himself to improve his skills, to experiment with new mediums, and push himself past the limits of his current success.
How does your background influence you as a creative today?
It influences me every day in all aspects of my life – my family especially. When I was young, my dad introduced me to “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The magical realism that dominates his written works heavily influences my art today, and is something that continually inspires me in the work I do outside of Pace.
I moved here with my family in 2005, and I hold my culture and our traditions close to my heart. As an individual living outside of my home country, I want to do everything I can to best represent my culture, and the people of Colombia. If someone asks me where I’m from, I don’t shy away from the question, I talk about it openly. I love to share my culture with other people.
What do you do at Pace? What kind of projects do you work on?
I started about one and a half years ago as an associate art director on the Verizon Wireless team, focusing mainly on graphic design and creating art used on the Mobile Living website. But now, my job has morphed into a combination of graphic design, working with the video team, some illustration work and collaborating with the Spanish team on sites like Vida Movil. Every day is exciting and different, and I love that I found a place like Pace that wants me to apply my skills to different areas and pursue what I’m interested in.
What motivates you to create art after coming home from a long day at work?
No matter how accomplished you are, no matter how good you are at something, you can always push yourself to be better. To train better, to draw better, to shoot basketballs better – whatever it is that you do, you can always be better. Creating is just like exercising a muscle, and you have to keep working at it every day to stay in top form and continuously improve your abilities – no matter how tired or burnt out you feel.
It’s not easy – sometimes after a long day I just want to go home and hang out on the couch. And don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have leisure time, because it helps the creative process come easier. But I know that in order to keep doing what I’m doing, and to keep getting better at it, I have to push myself.
I owe my work ethic to my upbringing and my family values. In Colombia, people only have a handful of opportunities presented to them, unlike in the United States where there are countless opportunities available to anyone at any time. The way I think about it is this: I never want to let an opportunity pass me by – no matter how many or how few there are at a time – because I might not have the chance to take advantage of it again.
Tell us about your recent art exhibit that corresponded with a film screening at the River Run Film Festival this past spring.
During the week of the River Run Film Festival in Winston-Salem I coordinated an art exhibit of my work with a reception for a documentary film screening for The Long Start to the Journey. The name of my exhibit, “Divine Spark,” comes from Charles Darwin’s quote: “Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark.” The pieces I selected for the exhibit featured animals and nature imagery, and were heavily influenced by a desire to realize my place – our place – in the world and to see the bigger picture.
If you want to learn more about Camilo’s art exhibit “Divine Spark,” check out his recent interview with local NPR station 88.5 WFDD.
What is your creative process like?
Sometimes ideas come easy, but in my experience your first idea isn’t always the best idea and you can’t expect that it will be the final product. For me it all begins with pencil and paper: doodling and sketching, constantly thinking of new ways to creatively represent a subject or an idea. This is what I call my “stretching,” because just like in sports, you have to stretch to be able to physically perform at your peak.
Sometimes when I’m stuck in a place creatively, I’ll call certain friends who are also creators. They help me flush out an idea or give me suggestions for new ways I could approach something that I hadn’t thought of before.
How has Pace influenced your creative work outside of the 9-5?
I consider myself lucky for all the opportunities that Pace has provided me, and lucky to be where I am at the age of 24. Because of the nature of the work that I do, I’ve had the chance to travel and meet fellow creatives who I never would have met were it not for an offsite project for a client. These type of experiences my work both inside and outside of Pace. Sometimes a project can change your outlook on the world and the way you view yourself. These are the types of experiences that I carry with me and that influence the art I create.
What is something you’re most proud of creating during your two years with Pace?
One of my favorite projects was called Morning Coffee. About a year ago, our team traveled to a remote location on the coast of Maine to shoot a series of videos smartphone photography for Verizon. Using the resources we were provided with, we created something more spectacular than anyone – including the client – ever could have imagined when we first started the project. That’s what I love the most: when we’re given a set of resources, and then we go out, make it happen and come back to the client with something that surprises and delights them beyond expectation. Whatever the project, there’s always a way to go above and beyond to make it work, you just have to be creative about getting there.
What is your advice for working with creatives like yourself?
What I’ve learned from working at Pace is that you never know where a good idea is going to come from. I really enjoy the brainstorm sessions we have here. When someone has a good idea, there’s a snowball effect, and people will keep adding to it more and more until it’s bigger and better than it was originally, but still true to the initial idea that sparked it.
Sometimes we as creatives can become fiercely protective of our “good ideas,” and when someone wants to change it we can take that to heart. But in order to create amazing things and do amazing work, you have to be comfortable with others adding on to your idea to make it better.