Features

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Member spotlight: Learning, observing and unlearning with Luciano Koenig

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An artist with a colourful eye and a passionate heart, Luciano Koenig is a man with advertising in his veins. The photographer and art director, who is also the Creator and Editor of digital creativity magazine LIKE CREATIVITY, has claimed more than 50 international awards across the globe and is one of the most recognised advertising photographers in Latin America.

We caught up with him this week to chat all things creative and pick his brains about his varied portfolio, his creative process and how he really feels about the creative industries.

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Where are you from and how did you get into the industry?

I currently live in Ecuador, Latin America and I come from a family of publicists and veterans of the advertising medium. From the age of 5, my second home was at all the advertising agencies where my parents worked; Ogilvy & Mather, JW Thompson, FCB, BBDO and plenty more besides. So, since childhood, I have been watching and learning. Despite having lived my childhood in between media plans and marketing strategies, however, I went another way and ended up studying Film Direction and Production in Santiago, Chile. It was there that I began to work on all sides of cinema (production assistant, editor, assistant director) until I worked up to the role of Director of Photography. Then I devoted myself completely to Photography.

Explain your style and creative process?

From my cinematic education, I always see the construction of an image from that perspective. A movie where there is staging in favour of communication, narrative and the construction of a world, whether real or fictional. When I talk about staging I am talking about: Art Direction, Actors Direction, Photography Direction, etc. I apply these same parameters to everything else, whether that's a photograph, a graphic created in CGI, a book or a fashion show. Advertising is a collaborative world too, and we are all a piece of the puzzle. So I try to form my work teams with talented people who can deliver results but are also flowing with passion.

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How has technology affected your way of working?

Technology allows us to create new worlds and fresh narratives. I believe that creativity and ideas are above any technology, but what technology does give us is all the necessary tools so that the only limit to our creativity is imagination. In practical terms, the use of CGI, VR and new technologies is helping us to create incredible images and narratives that many years ago would have been impossible.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

There is a phrase by Karl Lagerfeld that I like and sums up the idea a bit: “You have to adapt to the time and culture of the time, she will not adapt to us, if you do not like it, you will stay outside.

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If you weren't in your current industry, what would you be doing?

Publishing my personal photography books or I would be working on something related to creativity and the visual arts.

What is your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Inspiration is everywhere. I observe, learn and unlearn constantly, letting myself be carried away by intuition and experimentation. I’m also passionate about researching creative methods and processes. Ideas are everywhere, you just have to find them, keep them, select them and connect them.

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What is the work achievement you are most proud of?

In the professional field, between 2014 and 2016, the photographs for the global tourism campaign All You Need is Ecuador. And as for my personal projects - having published a year ago 3 photography books with my We Are Soldiers Project, which was a photographic experimentation project.

How do you recharge outside the office?

I read, travel, discover, enjoy, spend time with family and friends. In a single word LIVE. I work on my personal projects also.

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What is your one great hope for the future of creative industries?

Collaborative projects between the different creative industries. The fusion of talents from different parts of the world that help create new narratives that connect more with people.

What advice would you give to other aspiring creative in the industry who are looking for commissions?

Invest in your own projects - experiment, do things with passion, stop talking about what you are going to do and do it. Finally - do not follow advice so much!

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