We find ourselves in Vegueta, where Hashtag WorkSpace is nestled, to which Claudia Calderoni and Francesco Faggiano, designers of the winning poster for the Carnival of Las Palmas 2018 are based.
In this interview we will talk about their work, life, projects, the winning poster of the Carnival, their experience in Hashtag WorkSpace and in Gran Canaria.
Why did you establish in Las Palmas and which factors influenced this decision?
Francesco: We first came to Las Palmas to visit our Italian-venezuelan friend, who had moved some time back here with his family. When we arrived to the island it came to our knowledge that Gran Canaria had everything: beaches, mountains, kind people, good organisation and an ideal weather; As a result we started to feel a big desire to come live here to establish our communication and design company.
Claudia: Two of the decisive factors that influenced in our decision of moving to Las Palmas, were La Playa de Las Canteras, that is one of the greatest city beaches in Europe and of course the Tax advantages.
Francesco: Also we like how its organized to receive tourism, control traffic, which both are important factors to live in a city.
Claudia: In this city everything is well organized. Las Palmas is going to have a great advance ten years from now.
Francesco had been working 4 years as a freelancer illustrator and I have worked in numerous agencies in Milan. Life there was more difficult and expensive overall.
Francesco: Also in big cities as Milan, the working schedules are really hard and sacrificed, distances are longer and even though it is not as big as London, we felt like we were missing free time, to do stuff we like.
Claudia: Also we decided to come here because we are remote workers, meaning we work from the distance, thanks to the internet. Thanks to this we had the option to decide where to live; and we decided that Las Palmas was our best fit.
We work online with clients from all over the world including Italy and other European cities, The United States and also Brazil.
For us is important to consider other development factors from the city, the variety of activities it offers, not only to tourists but also to other fields, such as cultural. Considering this aspects, for us Las Palmas is perfect to live, compatible with our work and we have found a great coworking, that will help us flourish in this island.
Gran Canaria is not only about tourism, but also about gastronomy, culture and business.
Were you aware of the graphic designing field on the island?
Francesco: We knew a little about the professional field of design in the island, but we have found that there are certain activities that have had a good development but that could improve.
Claudia: In general the level is not as high as in other cities.
Francesco: Our main interest are our competitors. We think that businesses have got used to and adapted to a certain level of design, not being aware that there are better options for the business or for transmitting important messages. We are here to demonstrate our abilities.
Now its time to talk about the winning poster of Las Palmas Carnival 2018.
Francesco: At the beginning, we asked ourselves; which is the strongest most symbolic magical creature to communicate the theme of the carnival? We chose the dragon, not only because all the animated films we had watched but also because of everything that has influenced and nourished our visual culture. The dragon is the biggest and most ostentatious magical creature with a strong personality.
Then we worked with the dark blue background, embodying the night where a streak of light discovers the horizon, that’s how we started visualising what comes to be the theme of the carnival, a panoramic view from the top of La Isleta.
Claudia: A giant dragon is there to celebrate the carnival, that’s why the personality of the dragon does not entail signs of evil but something that unites it with the infantile, that creates a connection with the children. The dragon is celebrating, not as an evil monster, but a friendly magic creature. This is what happens with all magical creatures, at the end kids love them, they inclusive decorate their room with them.
Little by little we added symbolic details of the carnival, the fireworks, magic tricks, light effects and fantasy, but in a real place, Las Palmas.
How do you deal with working together?
Francesco: Each of us has their own competencies in the development of projects. Claudia is perfect for organizing and coordinating the part of Art Direction. On the other hand, I am more executive, cause I am an illustrator, but in general it depends on the project as we have a wide experience.
Claudia: Francesco uses for his work Adoba Illustrator and I am an expert in Photoshop.
Francesco: Claudia handles perfectly web or interface projects, we also help one another in different ways, in this case for the poster of the carnival we choose the theme and the images together. I’ve worked in illustrator with my style and Claudia in the artistic side, like for example how to correct a shape, what thing should be reinforced, also she decided the text, fonts and titles. Working and supporting each other in different aspects is how we make a good job.
Claudia: In general in all projects we brainstorm ideas, we communicate a lot to give the perfect shape to the project.
The best thing of working together is the company, before he used to spend a lot of time alone, without talking to anyone. I’m truly happy of working together and had taken this decision, I’m really excited about the future.
How do you relate working and living en Las Palmas?
Francesco: All we need is a good internet connection, then the ambiance is created by yourself, according to your interests and daily necessities, thats why we can choose between working in the morning and resting in the afternoon or the other way around.
Working outdoors in a park, in a coffee shop for managing like for instance, sending emails, is enough with having a good internet connection.
Furthermore, in Las Palmas you can move from a place to another walking, we dont need a car and then theres also the bikes from the city hall, thats ideal to move around the city without losing a streak of light.
What has Hashtag WorkSpace meant for you?
Francesco: We have developed several things for the Coworking. We are glad that we came across them cause we share the same vision of what can be done in the Canary Islands in order to improve the creative, artistic and professional offer.
Claudia: Hashtag WorkSpace could be a meeting point for other professionals, its perfect cause theres a lot of nomads who visit Las Palmas to have a good time, work and expand their working and social connections.
Francesco: We feel really good here in Hashtag WorkSpace, they have everything we need to work and the best of all is that here we can meet other professionals that you still don’t know are here in the island. That’s the good thing about coworking it keeps connections growing and active, new business arise and we have the possibility to create associations. Hashtag WorkSpace are prepared for what people need and satisfy every necessity.
Claudia: Hashtag WorkSpace is the first Coworking we have known and we are thankful to them cause they contacted us for designing their logo, their web and most important of all cause we believe in this kind of projects.
How would you describe yourselves?
Francesco: I describe myself as a illustrator, I feel like an illustrator and kind of a child also -something like Peter Pan- cause I have a lot of imagination; sometimes I give the impression of being a little crazy but I also have a rational side cause I have studied industrial design, so I am a mix of creativity and rational, but always natural. My style has been defined maybe as a cubist or perhaps as a modernist, and I normally represent things in a simple way, making use of basic geometric shapes and degrading colors that add a sparkle of magic in every drawing.
Claudia: I’m very curious and passionate designer specialized in User Interface /User experience design, graphic design and branding, with +5 years experience in digital agencies in Milan, Italy. I have worked for many international brands in food, beauty and fashion market
After years of experience, I have acquired a great sense of organization and management of multiple projects simultaneously; a sense of responsibility that should never be missing, and some adaptability in facing and overcoming any situation with all the means available.
Francesco: Keep on working, trying to create relations with people of the island and visit the places that we haven’t been yet.
Thanks to Claudia and Francesco, Congratulations on the winning poster for the Carnival 2018 and we hope that other professionals choose Hashtag WorkSpace as their work place.