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Jungle, nostalgia and award-winning storytelling from Latin America - #AnnualSpotlight

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As an Annual awards veteran, Leo Uehara isn't new to the Creativepool community and the team here isn't certainly a stranger to his incredibly unique and amazing style.

The motion designer was able to snatch a Bronze in the Annual 2020 competition with the Streetopia project you can see below, a perfect blend of nostalgia, storytelling, dystopia and style to celebrate one of the most popular basketball festivals in Latin America. Leo is clearly an ambitious creative and, now that he purchased his shiny new VR device, we definitely can't wait to see what's next for him.

In this Annual Spotlight, we are learning more about Leo and his unmatched creative passion through a closer look at all his incredible works – Streetopia and beyond.

Annual 2021 is accepting submissions until 27th May. Enter now to grab your slice of creative immortality!

What feels unique about The Annual?

Creativepool is a huge community made by talented studios and individuals that many people, including me, admire. The Annual reunites the best works of this community, making this a compilation of some of the most creative projects around the globe.

How does it feel to have won the Creativepool Annual Awards?

It feels awesome! I felt delighted when we won this award because we worked so hard on the project and put all of our energy into getting it right. We took it personally, we brought new ideas to the script and kept improving the graphics and animations. This award showed us that effort brings rewards.

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Will you be entering again this year? If so, what are your hopes?

In the past year I've been working on a personal project with a musician friend. I haven't worked on any passion projects since 2018 so I am very excited about this new one. I am experimenting with various techniques and, at the same time, telling a short story about my childhood. I want to submit it to the Annual, I don't know if I'll grab a prize but I will definitely try it.

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Can you tell us more about your winning submissions and what you think impressed the judges?

I submitted a project called Streetopia, which is an annual basketball and pop culture event, the largest in Latin America. Together with my friend Thiago Dantas and illustrator Fernando Molina we created a promotional video for the occasion, in which elements of nature and basketball mix together to show a dystopian time where no humans exist anymore, and dinosaurs reign over the earth once again.

That year's event theme was "The Jungle", so the client wanted an animation that had the jungle as the main background. We started to think about different situations that could happen in the jungle in a humorous way, getting inspired by retro cartoons such as Looney Tunes and Hannah Barbera's productions. We also tried to create visual metaphors combining basketball and nature.

The client gave us plenty of creative freedom and we had a lot of fun doing this project. I think you can feel part of that positive energy when you watch the movie, mixed with a bit of nostalgia and some visual metaphors. The combination might have impressed the judges.

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What advice would you share with other agencies and individuals looking to grab a prize?

I think awards are important but to chasing them shouldn't be the goal that moves you when you are creating something. You should just follow your own passions and try to do your best for every project. Awards come later, as a recognition of the hard work you put in.

How do you feel Covid has impacted the creative landscape in 2020?

If remote work was a benefit for the few before the pandemic, I think now it’s here to stay. Or at least you will have the choice to decide if you go to the office or stay at home. Remote work not only proved to be possible, but also efficient, we continued producing engaging campaigns and creating fantastic graphics throughout the year 2020.

The Annual is a proof of how we stay creative and hopeful even in the worst situations. 

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What are your hopes for 2021 and beyond?

After all we passed in 2020 and 2021 all I really wish for the next years is some normal life, go for a beer from time to time with my friends or go on a trip with my family.

What is your most exciting project in the next year?

I just got a virtual reality device, I'm watching and experiencing all kinds of content to see how far we can go with these immersive experiences. I definitely would like to try to creating something for VR.

Promotion is always welcomed, I’d love to get in touch with new clients, studios or creative platforms such as Creativepool. Although an award doesn't make you a more creative person, it does certainly grab attention to your work and consequently you get contacted by people interested in working with you. And collaborating with different people from around the world is something I find very exciting.

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