ON BEING THE OUTSIDER: BRUNO NAKANO
When WNW Member #6752 Bruno Nakano sent in his answers to our questions for this interview, he prefaced them by saying, "Feel free to change/correct the spelling of what you want. I'm not a native English speaker." However, as we read through his answers looking for errors, we couldn't find much at all. In fact, Bruno's insights into his globetrotting adventures (from Mexico to Brazil to Spain and now Australia) are creative, self-reflective, and often poetic. Calling four continents home before hitting 30 has given Bruno a unique vantage point. He's taken the best of each culture to develop his own creative world, one celebrated by the likes of ADC, Cannes Lions, and One Show.
Always being the outsider is not without its challenges, but Bruno knows a shortcut: "Understanding the local culture is always the biggest challenge. First of all we are communicators, so it is necessary to face two great barriers: the language and the context of where we live. Unfortunately I will never fully understand the local culture as a foreigner... However, my shortcut for this is to think in universal insights and simple ideas. A smile is a smile anywhere."
You’ve worked on three different continents. Do you follow work or does work follow you? Do you like to be on the move?
What drives me to work abroad is to stay as far away from my comfort zone. The challenge of being in another country with a different culture is my daily energy. Sometimes working with different people is really painful but certainly very worthwhile.
I love to be on the move and I’m really lucky to have worked with a lot of great people. I’m grateful to those who taught me in all places I've been. It's amazing how much I have learned since I left my hometown.
What are some of the primary similarities and differences between Brazil, Spain, and Sydney?
Australians have a very different way of working compared with my experiences in Brazil and Spain. They are more rational and philosophical. Everything needs to be well-thought and there’s a lot of reviews and approvals, not just by the client but by the agency as well.
Thus, the final product is more polished and generally better-executed. There is no pressure to do much but to do correctly. Latinos are more anxious. We are always in a rush and we love to run. But often we don’t know where we want to go.
On the other hand, we have the ability to do a lot even in adverse circumstances. The lack of resources is what make us creatives. We make mistakes and we learn from them. And in most cases we focus our work on the essence of the idea and not in big productions. Sometimes high budgets can be tricky and have the role of covering the absence of content.
Any specific challenges encountered from living in each of these places?
Understanding the local culture is always the biggest challenge. First of all we are communicators, so it is necessary to face two great barriers: the language and the context of where we live. Unfortunately I will never fully understand the local culture as a foreigner. I'll never feel with rugby the same emotion that I feel watching a football match.
However, my shortcut for this is to think in universal insights and simple ideas. A smile is a smile anywhere.
What led to your most recent move to Sydney? Tell us about Sydney, and how it inspires you. How long have you been there?
Having the opportunity to work in a world class agency like Leo Burnett Sydney in one of the most important markets worldwide was what motivated me to come here.
I’m a guy who grew up in a big messy city and I always loved the urban chaos. But since I arrived in Sydney two years ago, I've started to appreciate things that I didn’t care before like the silence, waking up early, or how important it is to live in conjunction with nature. Not sure how this affects me as a creative. I’m still connecting the dots.
What are some neighborhood spots in Sydney that you love? Things to do there?
One of my favourite spots in Sydney is the Observatory Hill, just a five minute walk from Leo Burnett. It's a really peaceful park, a quiet little refuge with lovely views across the water to the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.
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