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Interview with Larissa Moraes

Home > Designer Interviews > Larissa Moraes

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Larissa Moraes (LM) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Larissa Moraes by clicking here.

Interview with Larissa Moraes at Monday 30th of November 2020
Larissa Moraes
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
LM: I grew up in colorful household filled with art history books, canvases and brushes. Being the daughter of a struggling artist, I sought refuge in the pursuit of a stable career in law. After studying law, I started working as a legal aide in Brazil´s Senate and the federal government in Brasilia, Brazil´s capital. After years of exposure to heavy state bureaucracy, I realized that my heart was not where my work was and strived to find other employment opportunities where I could satisfy my creative desires. A friend of mine introduced me to the jewelry world and it was love at first sight. I initially started drawing and designing after I would return home from work… Shortly after those designs became my first few pieces… and now it has become a fulltime labor of love. I began designing fulltime towards the end of 2018. In early 2019 I started working on my “dream collection” and finally found the courage to post some of my works on Instagram. These posts changed my life. Shortly after, I received invites to participate in several jewelry exhibits after which I decided to show my collection at the Brazil Jewelry Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The feedback I received was so positive that it only reinforced my decision to design fulltime. That was when Larissa Moraes Jewelry was born!

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LM: My studio is at home. I don't need much to create: computer, internet and printer for my research, paper and my giant collection of pencils, crayons, pens of all kinds, erasers, chalk and even glitter. I love stationery stores. I feel like I’m in an amusement park! Whenever I travel I always make time to go to the best shops and I return to Brazil with the suitcase full of pencils of all colors, pens, erasers and new products that have not yet arrived in my country.

FS: What is "design" for you?
LM: Efficiency associated with beauty. it's caring, connection. A design piece is thought of in all its aspects: beauty, comfort, fit, durability... The raw materials are exquisite. It is possible to feel the love and dedication applied to the object, to the jewel. Each piece has its own story and it makes us connect with it. The encounter with a piece of design is always unforgettable. Design is how life should be.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LM: Designing jewelry is my obsession. I think about it all day. I love a necklace. Preferably one designed to be worn and worthy of a red carpet… or even one that makes any Monday a special day. We all need those!

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LM: I don’t have any favorites, not even food, movies, or music… I don't think I have any favorite pieces. I love them all because of the story behind every jewel. What I can highlight is the gratitude I feel for three jewels from the Van Gogh collection (Sunflowers Earrings, Almond Earrings and the Gladioli Necklace) the jewels awarded in A' Design Award and Competition and MJSA Vision Awards! These awards have elevated my self-confidence and made me believe that I am finally in the right place! I am grateful to the contests and grateful for the jewels that presented me to the world and opened so many doors to me!

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LM: So far my collections have all been designed for my own brand. I have not yet had the opportunity to design a range for a specific company, but I am excited about the future and I am are sure that when the time is right, a partnership will arise for me to work with a like-minded brand.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LM: My jewelry is unique, handcrafted in 18k gold and natural stones. My inspiration comes from art. I imagine a way to turn the art of great masters into a piece that can be worn. In my first collection, I immersed myself in Van Gogh’s work and created pieces that challenge logic through textures, twists and colors. I am currently working on three collections where I seek to recreate in jewelry the emotion I feel when observing the works of art.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LM: I have a romantic soul. I find art in almost everything I see and do. I bring this from my childhood and have reinforced this lifelong practice. Art was also for me a refuge in times of difficulty. It’s a place of pleasure, of rest. So I don’t think much of the masters themselves, but I think about the works of art they’ve created. Like they created them for me, so I could rest there, so I could study and try to understand what else those almost magical brushstrokes mean. I try to go deeper into their works and present angles that many people have not even noticed. I extract from the works a detail and present it in another way, with gold and natural stones, to give that work of art even more wealth and meaning. I also get inspired by nature, music, architecture and all the beauty that human beings can create.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LM: Beauty, Originality, Comfort, Lightness, Fit and I am focused on the history of the piece (where inspiration comes from).

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LM: Being in the right place. I take great pleasure in my work. Sometimes I get so involved in the drawings and the elaboration of the pieces that I have the feeling of being on vacation, just enjoying the time in the way that makes me happy. I really like all the stages of the production of the pieces, but the stage of the drawings is the one that most moves me. I seek in memory my inspirations and start thinking about colors and formats.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
LM: I feel like I've made a journey that started on a blank sheet and ends in a light piece that sometimes defies balance and certainly stirs the senses of the bearer. The production process, from the design to the choice of the assembly technique of the piece is totally done by me, so my involvement with each piece is unique and very director. I feel at the same time complete and driven to advance further with each piece produced.

FS: What makes a design successful?
LM: One that causes emotion in the person who sees it. When the design touches the person, instigates in them new, pleasurable sensations, the design will certainly be a success.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LM: For me, the design must have both beauty and balance. Alongside the visual aspect, I always consider the fit and the weight of the piece, for example how a necklace might sit on the neckline, or for a pair of earrings, how they hang and look on the ear.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
LM: The designer is an artist of his time. And it needs to be connected to reality. The production system has been changing over the past few years and the pandemic caused by covid-19 will certainly accelerate this process. Using conflict free materials and taking responsibility for the environment and society are determining factors for products to be well received in the market, especially in the international market.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
LM: I realize that design is involved in the process of change. Environmental and social concerns have increasing importance. I believe that the design will undergo intense changes in the coming years. Issues such as utility and cost-benefit tend to gain more weight. Artisanal productions, which respect the care with the choice of raw materials and the people involved in the manufacture of the parts, will certainly be more valued. I also believe in sharing experiences, exchanges and collaboration among professionals.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LM: Hebei International Industrial Design Week in Rongcheng Civil Sports Center (September, 2020) at Xiongan New Area Hebei China.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
LM: My inspiration comes from art, I imagine a way to turn the art of great masters into a piece that can be worn. In the first collection, I fully immersed myself in Van Gogh's work and created pieces that challenge logic through textures, twists and colors. I seek to recreate in jewelry the emotion felt when observing the works of art. Larissa Moraes jewelry is also inspired by nature, music, architecture and all the beauty that human beings can create.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
LM: I define my style as fine jewelry fused with a contemporary flare. I like unique pieces that are one of a kind, handmade and sourced with the best materials. I love the idea that there are no rules.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
LM: Being an artist in Brazil is difficult, however you have phenomenal access to fantastic raw material, precious metals, gems and precious stones. As the designer of my brand I believe that it’s essentials the Latin woman are reflected in my pieces. The Joy represented in the colors of the precious stones and the courage reflected in the bold designs have been a beautiful connection to my roots.

FS: How do you work with companies?
LM: The creative process is at the same time lonely and collective. In the creation stage I am alone with my boards, pencils and pens. But at the same time I bring a whole intensity of memories and the presence of several people who influence me and who teach me. Already in the assembly stage of the parts, I work directly with the technicians and I see this as an opportunity for exchange, collaboration and joint construction.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
LM: I believe that the designer needs to understand in the deepest possible way what the company's proposal and what it wants to convey through design.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
LM: For the Van Gogh collection, the process was: 1.Choose the theme. 2. I researched all of Van Gogh's paintings and chose my favorite canvases. 3. I looked up the individual flowers painted by Van Gogh. I researched the colors, the shapes and details of the leaves. 4. I started analyzing the paintings in detail and I began looking for interesting shapes in the pictures with no commitment to use the whole canvas or just in part. 5. After a few drawings, I arrived at a final drawing. 6. Once the sketch was done, I made a prototype using paper and string. I would try it on that way to get an idea if the drawing is going to work as a real piece of jewelry before bringing it to life. 7. Next, I choose the gemstones (it can be hard work to find the ideal shapes and colors). Against all advice, I do the drawing first and then look for the gemstones that adapt to the drawing. 8. I buy all the materials (chain, gold and gemstones) and go to the goldsmith. 9. I then discuss all the final details with the goldsmith: where it will be articulated, texture, finish etc. At this point the design changes slightly. I challenge the goldsmith to do something different, which has not yet been done by him. 10. During the final process, I meet with the goldsmith many times. We need to try the piece while it develops form and make decisions for a perfect fit. 11. Before we can say, "It is ready," we try it on one more time. After passing the quality control, the jewelry is ready for the next step of the process: Photo shoot, then packaging and waiting for a lucky customer.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
LM: Table by Luciana Martins e Gerson de Oliveira Table and chairs by Sergio Rodrigues Chairs by Bernardo Figueiredo Dresser by Flávia Dutra Lamps by Louis Comfort Tiffany

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
LM: Depends on the stage of creation of the jewel: Initial planning phase (research, context), Drawing, Acquisition of raw materials, Preparation follow-up with goldsmiths (depends on the availability of goldsmiths), Ready-made: photographs and material preparation… There is no routine, which makes me very happy. A perfect day starts with a good coffee, snuggle with my puppy and time to draw.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
LM: I’m in no position to give advice. Quite the contrary, I would love for more experienced designers to help me get through this moment. The only thing I know is that I’m capable of reinventing myself. I’m getting ready for this new world that’s coming.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
LM: My benchmark is different. I've spent so many years working with dense and difficult topics (public policies, especially) that in design I feel on vacation: I can't see anything negative so far. There are difficulties as in every profession. But for me, they're very light and easy to deal with.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LM: The piece must have a story. That's my way of connecting with my client. We will always be connected through something that also moved us.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LM: Courage. It's no use creativity if you don't have the courage to show it, the courage to deal with rejection, the courage to start over, the courage to reinvent yourself. Courage to empathize. Courage to be sensitive.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
LM: My main source of inspiration is beauty in all its manifestations: fine arts, sculpture, music, architecture, nature.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LM: I'm not very disciplined. I find I am able to adapt to different needs and circumstances as they arise. In fact, this is one of my qualities: I adapt very easily. I even adapt to the discipline of other people!

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LM: Depends. Some projects need to be revisited and rethought several times and others are born practically ready. Some jewels needed nine drawings and some only one. I don't know why.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
LM: The most frequent question is what inspired the design, and it's the one I like to answer the most.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
LM: During my professional career, I've had some important phases like when I worked in the senate or when I worked in the federal government in the ministry of health care. All these experiences helped me grow to be who I am today but I have no doubt that the most important professional moment in my life is the current one. I'm doing what I love, with people that I love and I couldn't ask for more.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
LM: My clients are mainly strong and sensitive women who appreciate the art and the unique and handmade work. They like jewelry as a means of becoming more beautiful, but also as a means of communicating to the world how they like to be seen: strong, determined and unique women in their beauty and in their designs for the world.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
LM: It is wonderful to draw conceptual pieces for the freedom of creation that they allow.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
LM: It is my plan and vison to consolidate the brand in the international market. A dream of mine would be to see the best stores in the world carry Larissa Moraes Jewelry. I plan on continuing designing and creating the next collection for the brand- I am feeling very inspired and believe our next collection will be exceptionally beautiful. P.S. hope I never work with law again.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
LM: The design is strangely easy for me. I was fortunate to find genius goldsmiths willing to work with me. I'm looking to learn and engage with the right partners.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
LM: I think because of the social isolation we're living in, I've decided that my next collection will be about encounters. I imagined some fictional encounters among art nouveau geniuses. In this case Victor Horta (Belgian architect) receives a visit from Gustav Klimt (Austrian painter) and together they make a collection of jewels. In the second encounter, Victor receives Louis Tiffany (American designer) to make another jewelry collection. These are encounters that probably never happened because at the time traveling was limited and difficult. In 2020 we too are limited and restricted and encounters can only happen theoretically’ or in our imagination. Let's imagine, then!

FS: How can people contact you?
LM: Website: https://www.larissamoraesjewelry.com/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/larissa.moraes Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larissa_moraes_jewelry E-mail: contact@larissamoraesjewelry.com Yael Fraynd <yael@yayapublicity.com> Sally Keeble <sally@mercerkeeblepr.com>;

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
LM: I would like to thank A' Design and all the warm people from the world of design and jewelry who have welcomed me so well. Thanks for believing in me! I feel like I've crashed into a party, and yet I have been welcomed with joy... This entire experience has been nothing short of amazing!


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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