I almost didn't move to NYC because of Carlos (my curiosity got the better of me). I worked for him briefly after graduating from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and I will always cherish what I learned from him. I am truly a better designer because of my time spent with Carlos. He is fearless and incredibly open-minded in his creativity. It's true what he says here...he sees things that no one else notices and everything inspires him.
Carlos's Creative Process :
What is the most creative thing you have made or are most proud of? When I was growing up, I had every opportunity to mess it up. Where I came from, where I grew up, who I was hanging around with, and the things that I did, but somehow the real miracle of what I've done is the improvement of my life.
When you create something, do you follow a linear path? Non linear? Is it fluid and organic or planned out? chaotic or organized? My process is as unpredictable as the creative it generates. That said, I always shoot for the obvious strategical needs of an assignment, but I believe there a millions ways to get to a solution, so the final achievement has the potential to vary quite a bit from your first to last thought. The critical thing for me is to try to stay away from what I call the "NO" room. Keep an open mind. Really keep an open mind. Don't worry about budgets, production limitations, or even if the client will like it or not at the beginning. This can all be toned back if necessary. It is way harder to push things forward then to hold them back. Going as far as you can is what real creativity is for me. Most of the time, once a client sees what is offered, and they have a way to do it... they will. They can not say "yes" to something you don't show them.
Do you remember how you made things when you were young ? Has your method of creating changed or evolved over time? How I make things has obviously changed, but the results and what it represents has not. In other words, concept is king. It is great to have something that looks good, but it is greater to have something that is smart. I never assume or even conclude that the target is "not as smart" or "won't get it" (as I often hear). It is just not in my method.
Where or when do you feel most creative? This feeling is quite random as well, but I am a very curious person, so I am always thinking of something. Equally important is that I am always looking for something. And I mean really looking. Up, down, sideways, left and right. I am often out with friends and while walking may recognize something and then point it out. Almost without fail they ask how I even saw it.
What environment did you grow up in that helped foster your creativity? I do believe that the environment I grew up in helped me foster my creativity in the sense that it forced me to always be aware of my surroundings. The time that I grew up in Miami was a little bit confrontational, so I always had to look over my shoulder.
How do you make something out of nothing? Where does the initial seed come from? I will try to answer this question, but the truth of it is that there really is no answer. No one really knows how the human mind functions in the sense that it creates something out of nothing. Particularly with me, I honestly do not have any idea. I have no formal education, I had no idea there was a difference between advertising and design, and I just simply went with my gut instead of following standard rules. For me I think it boils down to the fact that I was not afraid to fail because I didn't know the difference between the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do. The one thing that I was always aware of however is the importance of doing something that felt proper. I was very conscious of building a reputation. And while I often get asked how someone not as well-known can get away with standing their ground, I try to remind them that this is is how I have always been, not something that has come from being well-known. Your reputation comes from the investment you make in yourself, not from "fame".