Interested in being on the show? Applications are now open.

Apply now

Valeria Moreiro: Owner and Creative Director at NotReal a Design and Animation Studio

Jun 10, 2021

Valeria Moreiro

Season 2 Episode 6

Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to run your own design studio? In this episode, we meet with Valeria Moreiro, owner and creative art director at NotReal, a design and animation studio in Buenos Aires Argentina.  Valeria was introduced into the design medium at a very young age. From having grown up with two journalist parents who worked within the newspaper industry, she was truly inspired by the print medium and how it was distributed throughout the world. This set the stage for Valeria, and she knew that being part of the design community was for her.  

<iframe style="border-radius:12px" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/episode/4GdSDcolgRPXTfqcbFvgft?utm_source=generator" width="100%" height="352" frameBorder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" loading="lazy"></iframe>

Megan Luedke

You're listening to Design Atlas Season two.



Jens Bringsjord

Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to run your own design studio? Today we'll meet with Valeria Modise, the owner and creative art director at Not Real, a design and animation studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Megan Luedke

Andrea was introduced into the design medium at a very young age from having grown up with two journalist parents who worked within the newspaper industry. She was truly inspired by the print medium and how it was distributed throughout the world. This set the stage for Valerie and she knew that being a part of the design community was for her.



Jens Bringsjord

So without further ado, let's buckle up and head over to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to meet up with Valeria Modelo.



Valeria Moreiro 

It's not like it's about doing something that somebody else is doing. It's about how the world evolves together.



Valeria Moreiro 

I am Valeria Moreiro, our director and creative director. We are together with Gonzalez and we run the studio Not Real. We mainly work for the motion graphics industry, but we do all different kinds of work. We really like to think we're super versatile illustration and also branding and explainers and all kinds of stuff. We have a lot of fun in the studio and we work with a super talented team of people as well.



Jens Bringsjord

From an early age, Valeria had a love for art inside of her. Growing up with both parents being journalists, much of her childhood revolved around what was being printed and written in the newspapers. This certainly inspired her at an early age, showing just how impactful the practice of communications and design are in the world.



Valeria Moreiro 

When you are retired, it comes. It's more related to the art side and not so much like a design side. I wanted to draw everywhere when I was a child and I remember we used to live on a. Well, or I would draw a lot of skies over there because, well, that apartment had a beautiful view. And I used to like paint skies.



Valeria Moreiro 

And that was like what I was doing when I was a child. And then I moved a lot when I was little in and and I was always drawing. I remember that every time I had to. I don't know. I wanted, like, a doll or maybe something to have fun with. I would make it. And my mother has pictures of me, like trying to recreate a doll.



Valeria Moreiro 

That was my style because I wanted to have a doll that was as tall as me. And I would draw it. I would make it out of paper. And I was like a paper fan when I was a child. I would do, I don't know, like a huge city and cars and everything. So. So she and my parents eventually sent me to a half time art school when I was a kid like that, when I started like first grade, I would go to regular school and then in the morning to art school.



Valeria Moreiro 

So that was super, super fun and super inspiring. I used to live in a in like a small city in the province. And my parents were journalists both. And I remember my father was working on a newspaper that was on the same block. But in my house, well, there was my house, then the newspaper. And then on the other corner it was the art school.



Valeria Moreiro 

So my whole life was on that blog.



Jens Bringsjord

Growing up with her journalists parents, Valencia was frequently in her parent's office and even ended up job shadowing a designer who worked at one of the local newspapers in the area.



Valeria Moreiro 

And I remember being super connected to one of my mom's friends who was an art director and the owner very, very popular newspaper here, one sided. And she really talked to me about how the job was, what she was doing. And she showed me what the work was like and I was super enthusiastic about it, she told me.



Valeria Moreiro 

What was the world like? And I liked it. And that was my first introduction. And then I remember I really liked to I wanted to packaging it when I was like in high school, I was thinking that I would do editorial newspapers, magazines, and then somehow in the middle, I like to do packaging and I don't know, like parts of perfumes and everything.



Valeria Moreiro 

And even I don't know, like things from the grocery store. I would look at the packaging from the from the grocery store and see how they were. I was. I really like that. I don't know. Everything changed when you start actually learning graphic design. I remember my first memories of a, I don't know, like an offset machine for printing ah, from the newspaper.



Valeria Moreiro 

They even had like a linotype press prior to having the offset. Yeah. I remember that day when we just moved in. This was like in 1991, guys. I was like in my first year of, like, primary school and I remember that they had brought the offset machine and it was like shown into a huge window. So you could see it from the street.



Valeria Moreiro 

And it was like it was like the nobility of the town and they had like they are like they help us with the machine. So it was a huge it was a huge thing. And I also remember when they started working with computers, so my dad would bring me, I don't know, like this sketch by then. And he was like, if we're working this way right now, so we have everything on the computer and they don't have to do the headlines like this anymore.



Valeria Moreiro 

Everything goes to the computer to the brain. And so I kind of like was super in touch with a enough of that once.



Jens Bringsjord

But today I graduated high school and was ready to take on university life. She decided to stay pretty close to where she grew up. She began studying in La Plata, in the Faculty of Art. The program was called Design and Visual Communication. This was the stage in her life that I really fell in love with design.



Valeria Moreiro 

I started college in 2003 and I remember on that first year I was like super excited about all of the things that I got to know and it was like I fell in love with a career. On the first year, I was like, Oh my God, this is so much more this is so much more great that that than what I was expecting it to be.



Valeria Moreiro 

And I remember getting into history of graphic design, for example, and I remember like enjoying everything like and showing how it changed over the years and everything and how the world actually and the history of the world actually was impacting the way that designers were thinking or the needs of the people. And how would typography change from one minute to the other?



Valeria Moreiro 

Because the world was changing.



Megan Luedke

And looking back, Gloria realized that all the deep connections she made with her studies at her university really prepared her for any design project that came her way out in the real world.



Valeria Moreiro 

I didn't know by then. I realized that everything that I learned in university, they make you read about history, about what happens in the world and make you think of things that is not only learning how to do the work, it's about creating you as a human being that can think of, that can be involved in a society, and it doesn't matter if you choose to do motion graphics or packaging or editorial, you are like you have all the tools to be a professional.



Valeria Moreiro 

So that's what matters the most. And I, I, I remember I couldn't sleep that way back then because I wanted to work, work, work the shelves and do beautiful things. But now that I feel like I had the chance over the years to do a lot of work, I get to really appreciate all of the different areas, the different perspective that university brought me, that maybe if I had just playing graphic design and learning typography and only being on the field, it would have been different.



Megan Luedke

Around 2005 motion graphics started really taking off in Buenos Aires.



Valeria Moreiro 

It wasn't until the third year of college that I started like listening to this idea of motion graphics. And by then Motion Graphics was a huge warm by then and a lot of companies from broadcasting it started to have offices here in the States. So a lot of studios were doing broadcast design with motion graphics and we had a boom in the industry and it was amazing by then because you kind of had the by the something exciting was happening.



Megan Luedke

For Valerio choosing between the university of Argentina and the Faculty of Arts was a bit of a challenge to make her final decision.



Valeria Moreiro 

Yeah, and I wanted to come to one side at first, and I wasn't sure where to go, but then a level that I was super close and I had amazing references as well. So it really didn't matter because education was good in both sides. So it's like I was closer to home, I was closer to my family, so I decided to go there.



Valeria Moreiro 

But then over the years you I remember like being on, I don't know, like fourth grade. So university. And I remember looking at the things that people in when the fighters were doing. By then we had a huge boom of flicker. I don't know if you guys remember Flickr was the thing everybody was posting on speaker and I remember looking at what people were doing, hearing the site is and it was a lot more experimental than what I was being taught in La Plata.



Valeria Moreiro 

I remember being jealous a little bit about it and I was like, Why don't we do that? Here is so much more experimental, so much more like into like the shapes and how does it look like? Because the location in my school was a lot more into functional, you know, not only from the visual side, but what are you doing as a designer to contribute to the society?



Valeria Moreiro 

So it's more like a more like a human side of it. And, and I remember like, I wanted to, to create that for my side because I was I was feeling that that was my university or my college was lacking. So I wanted to reach out and do this feeling of, okay, if I have to do, I don't know, like every brand for a bank, which was one of the things that we had to do at school or redo a packaging of milk that you have to do so many things at school.



Valeria Moreiro 

I remember that even though it had to work, even though it had to be functional to what the problem was, what there has to be communicated. I remember that I wanted to look good and my my feeling was, okay, it does work, but if it doesn't look good, nobody will look at it. Nobody will buy it. So I remember that that wasn't something that was it wasn't courage.



Valeria Moreiro 

It wasn't brought up during school at this in my school. And I remember that I was looking everywhere to see how could I learn about it, how could I do it better, what it was like my perspective or trying to create the way I would do things.



Megan Luedke

The way you wanted to make sure that all the work she created looked good and who could blame her? That basically every designer's goal. But something changed on her when she shifted her mind from creating work for others to instead create work that she enjoyed making for herself.



Valeria Moreiro 

It was super important. It was super important that everything that I would do, they had to look good. What what looks good for somebody doesn't look for somebody else. But but in terms of that, I would say that I started like to trust my God and do things that I would like and that I would make something like somebody else.



Valeria Moreiro 

You start just like to trust your gut. You start to trust your intuition. You start to, to, to create a I don't know, like an athletic of your own and how you would do things. And, and that eventually makes you like more confident in what you do and creates a bond with the people that you work with, with the clients, with the portfolio you go with how the people see you.



Jens Bringsjord

In 2007, Valeria applied to a Fulbright scholarship from the Rhode Island School of Design.



Valeria Moreiro 

So I went there for for a summer. It was amazing. I met a lot of people, or somehow I realized that there was a world like in multimedia and interactive and things in motion that really had something that I liked that was like one of the first approaches into like the motion world or and not only doing static things.



Valeria Moreiro 

Yeah. So not only doing something editorial or packaging or something that would have more.



Jens Bringsjord

After coming back from her summer experience in the U.S. and graduating from her school in Argentina, her mother, they are moved to Buenos Aires.



Valeria Moreiro 

I moved to in a is I got a job here. It was in the packaging field. They used to do a lot of packaging and I started there and I moved here. I remember during the first month I moved to one of my mother's best friend's house. She was living somewhere else, so she gave me her house. So I start living here.



Valeria Moreiro 

And then three months afterwards I was called for a different studio that they would do motion graphics and I switched and then I moved again to a different house, a different neighborhood. So I started like doing my life here and it was a great job because not not because what I had to do, but because of the people that I met there and remember meeting a lot of talented people, a lot of people that wanted to do amazing things and it was beautiful.



Valeria Moreiro 

I really look back and and I appreciate the time of my life and the people that I met and then I worked or worked, worked in different studios. I went from one studio to the other and met a lot of people here. I want to say, as I realized that the the medium wasn't that big, if I imagine it would be, I realize that everybody else, everybody that was that was really good.



Valeria Moreiro 

And it's really challenging because you see that somebody else, like it's a peer to you, is doing something good and has, I don't know, like the willing to grow and that makes you want to do something more.



Megan Luedke

Well, Valerie isn't an animator. She loves working with animators to make her designs come to life in movement and flow.



Valeria Moreiro 

I really like to do and think about the sequences and think about the compositions and how they would look like in motion. By then I remember feeling if I didn't animate or if I didn't do animations, then I wouldn't have a part on the motion graphics industry. And it wasn't like that at all. If you I mean, at least you have to know how it works.



Valeria Moreiro 

You have to have some idea about it to complete different work or show. And it's good that sometimes it's even the animator, but you have to have your knowledge from a design perspective and that's what makes it better. You do what you do best and somebody else does what they do best. So we evolve as professionals because we are in a context as well.



Valeria Moreiro 

And that context is it's not only up to us. That's my feeling. It's not only up to us. It's about your surroundings. How is the world evolving and it's not that you can choose definitely who you are or who you're going to be depends on so many things you can choose whether to apply to a job or not, whether you like something or you feel more comfortable doing something or something else.



Valeria Moreiro 

But it is connected somehow with the environment and with what's happening in the world. We have so many screens to fill, so many screens, I need to do water again. So we have a lot of work to do, which is amazing because there are so many things to do. But yeah, new challenges, never ending new challenges. That's right.



Jens Bringsjord

After working quite a few years in the industry on a variety of agencies in Buenos Aires, she turned her attention to freelance or the possibility of starting her own agency.



Valeria Moreiro 

I started having this idea of going freelance and I went for some months freelance. I was dating Minton and we were just we were staying and then we moved together while I was freelancing and he was having his own studio, which by then was called Sublime. He was working with a friend of mine that actually she was the one that introduced us.



Valeria Moreiro 

They were they were working together by then. But then she moved to she moved to Germany and so sublime started to work differently and meet on E he, he told me that he was having a lot more work than he could handle. So. So I started doing some projects for Sublime and then we realized that he was working well at the beginning.



Valeria Moreiro 

I would do the shop myself, but then he he was like, okay, I'm free to animate what you are, what you are designing. Do you mind if I do the animation of the things that you are doing, the design? I was like, okay, let's give it a try. And it worked out well. And then over the whole year of 2017, we would do that without even mentioning that we wanted to have a studio.



Valeria Moreiro 

It was like, okay, let's do this project together. And this other we had, we had just moved in together. So it was like natural in at the same time. And by October 2017, we were like, okay, what is happening here? Let's, let's, let's put an end to it. So that's when not really started.



Jens Bringsjord

We asked Mother, they are about how they named their design studio not real.



Valeria Moreiro 

We wanted to name the studio and we even bought like a English and English dictionary and we were like, Open the dictionary at any point. Okay, so these name. No, no, let's, let's flip it and let's do it again.



Valeria Moreiro 

And that didn't work. Don't do it then do it. We really like this idea of like a negative that would be catchy and short name. We wanted to have, like a catchy short idea and then we really like this of denying something. Something wasn't happening. And then we were like, okay, not real. Well, that sounds good, right? Yeah, sounds good.



Valeria Moreiro 

Okay, let's see if somebody has a domain. We were checking and I think somebody has. I mean, what about Instagram? Does anybody have. They're not really Instagram. No, it's available. Okay. So let's use it. So basically that was it.



Megan Luedke

As not real. Continue to grow. Bellavia and Milton's roles evolved as their studio kept getting more projects and expanding.



Valeria Moreiro 

And we have designers and we have animators and more and more meeting. And I grew into creative directors instead of like art directors or motion directors, so. So it's a constant communication between what we want to do and, and how are we going to organize and do the projects. And I always have, like my perspective from the design point of view, how can we make it better and what are my tools to make it work better?



Valeria Moreiro 

And he would bring his perspective from, from the, from the animation side, how to make it better. So it's a combination of both. And then we always I mean, we worked super close with the team. We like to be as much as organized as we can and you know, you have this idea when you go freelance or when you start your own studio that you you own your own time and you can do whatever what you want with your time.



Valeria Moreiro 

And it's not that real. Is not that real. And you have to like organize a team. You have to be aware of other people's times. Your client's time and organization is key to make a beautiful project to Valencia.



Jens Bringsjord

Collaboration and transparency is key to achieve great success in a design project. Working with multiple teams and a variety of people with different backgrounds, organization is also extremely helpful to get the job done in the best way possible.



Valeria Moreiro 

I mean, our ideal is to have everything as transparent as possible with all the team, and that's what makes it more efficient, I think. And the outcome is better. Most of times we start together with the creative ideas and I lead the design team and whenever that is good to go to, animation is something that we meet on and it starts leading.



Valeria Moreiro 

So it has a sit situation between one side or the other. We try to keep it all together and super connected, whatever I am doing in the design meeting has no and whatever is going on with animation, I have to know what's going on.



Megan Luedke

Buenos Aires is a very vibrant city, both in culture but also in color. From street art to signage, the use of graphic design is visible throughout the radio. Remembers one such time when color really played a role in the political issues of the national government.



Valeria Moreiro 

If you go to the street, everything has to be is political. Even, I don't know, like women, women power into the streets over the last years and I feel super grateful and super encouraged by all of the women's rights movement. And and if you if you go to the street, you would see it. You would see graffiti as you would see, I don't know, flags on the balconies last year.



Valeria Moreiro 

And finally, abortion was removed. So I had to say like isn't is legal by now but you would see on the street girls with like a green flag or a green handkerchief like that would mean pro-abortion. And you would have like the religious or the the PSI. The more conventional PSI with a light blue, a handkerchief or flower.



Valeria Moreiro 

And that would mean, please don't do this. Let's save both both of the lives. And it was super controversial. And there were they were super I don't know her. It wasn't a special time really. And you would see you can even see right now if you go to the streets, I don't know, like what was painted in in green and only by painting them in green, you know what that means.



Valeria Moreiro 

So a lot of political issues, a lot of political stuff are on the street. I'm super grateful to have a team that is more women rather than men. I feel really connected to. I don't know. Over the last months and years, I've been wanting to feel a lot more connected with my femininity. How to say like my my girls side and and I have been really the girl power.



Valeria Moreiro 

And and I would say that a lot of things have to still shift in our industry and our community and. Well, my my one of my challenges for for the future is how to integrate more women into the industry and how to unleash. One of my dreams is to to be in a place where I can inspire and teach and be like an image for somebody else who says, okay, I can own a studio, I can honestly, I can run a studio.



Valeria Moreiro 

I can discuss, but just with somebody else, I can talk to clients from the industry. So as a role model, that would be my challenge, let's say, is not something that you can handle, but it's something that I would say I would love to make a contribution in this moments of of the world history, all this journey of not real and working with Milton and Robert and Ukrainian and all the team, it has made me a better person and encouraged me to the same better and led me to different places that changed my life, my character, my personality that made me more mature person.



Valeria Moreiro 

And I'm super thankful for all the people that are next to me and are supporting me on. All right. Without even noticing.



Megan Luedke

That is constantly evolving and the has a clear view on how graphic design follows the changes happening around us, but also how design can directly impact the world.



Jens Bringsjord

As designers, we all have a part to play when it comes to using our skills in ethical and good ways that communicate what is right. And we all know deep down that by including diversity within our teams, we will build a stronger, more vibrant future together from.



Valeria Moreiro 

This design and this.



Jens Bringsjord

We hope you join us next Thursday as we travel to Amman, Jordan, to meet up with Bashar on the body. The talented, creative who uses his skills to bring awareness to humanitarian concerns. Producing digital content for UNICEF in Jordan. Want us to remind you of when the next episode comes out. Simply subscribe to our email updates by visiting design atlas pod dot com.



Megan Luedke

To find out more about Valerie Amadio and Not Real, we've included her studio's Instagram and website links in the show notes. We definitely recommend you check them out.



Jens Bringsjord

Also, don't forget to join us for our next episode by subscribing to the show and leaving a positive review. We really appreciate it.



Megan Luedke

To learn more about Design Atlas and to sign up for updates, visit our website at Design Atlas Pod dot com. If you want to get in touch with us or have a topic idea for our next episode, feel free to send us an email at Hello Design Atlas Podcast or DM us on Instagram at Design Alan's Pod. Thanks for listening.



Megan Luedke

I'm Megan Luedke.



Jens Bringsjord

And I'm Jens Bringsjord..



Have a show topic in mind?

We’re always on the look for new and exciting ideas.

What will you bring to the show?

Sign up for our newsletter.

Join the Design Atlas newsletter for additional design resources and to stay in the loop. Don't miss out. If you don’t subscribe, you’ll never know.

©2021-2024 Design Atlas Podcast. All Rights Reserved.

Created with love in Barcelona, Spain and Los Angeles, CA.