Celebrating: Ana Magalhães, Creative Director at Young and Rubicam Lisboa.

How would you introduce yourself in five words?
Explorer of the world.

What do you prefer to do when it comes to design?
I’m not very keen on putting design/creative work in boxes. There are many ways you can solve a problem and the solution might turn out to be a film, a poster, a website, a book, a stunt, a product, an installation… But I do prefer to be involved in projects that either pursue some kind of change in the world or projects with a sense of humor that simply make you laugh.

What is the best compliment your work has ever received?
It’s really nice when someone remembers having seen something I did maybe 5 or 6 years ago. It’s so rare nowadays…

“With the internet everything got a bit mixed up. You might find someone in Portugal doing something that looks like dutch graphic design.”

What designer do you most admire and why?
There are so many people whose work inspires me… and some of them aren’t designers. David Shrigley’s illustrations always make me laugh. Adrian Shaughnessy has the best thoughts. Mirko Borsche and Hort for graphic design inspiration. Diller Scofidio’s Blur Building is brilliant… Matisse… John Baldessari… the list could go on and on. But I must say that the object that made me want to be a designer 15 years ago was Martí Guixé’s Lollipop.

What would your advice be to a young designer?
Find your place. There are many options: you can be a specialist/maker, be a strategist/thinker, work as a freelancer, work at a big agency or a small/author studio… find the one that suits you best. There is a place for everyone.

Is there such a thing as Portuguese design?
Not anymore, I think. With the internet everything got a bit mixed up. You might find someone in Portugal doing something that looks like dutch graphic design. A lot of us are going to the same places for inspiration…

“I think it’s urgent to change the misconception that women are difficult to work among/with.”

Is there such a thing as Feminine design?
There’s clearly a different way of seeing things and approaching projects. I can’t say how exactly, but there is.

What is it like being a woman in the design business?
I have the feeling that there aren’t many in high positions, though I always worked with female creative directors and I am one of them now. I think it’s urgent to change the misconception that women are difficult to work among/with.

Is the visibility of your work attached to a sense of achievement? Why?
As I work in advertising I’m used to working on projects that reach a wide audience so at some point it becomes quite natural to see your work everywhere… But often the process is so intense that seeing it on the streets comes with a sense of relief, I would say… and a kind of detachment because you are already working hard on something else.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I would like to write. Not novels. More like essays and articles. I guess would like to be a journalist or a critic.

If music was the food of love, what would you eat?
The best is yet to come by Frank Sinatra.

Where can we find you and your work?
I’m a Creative Director at Young and Rubicam Lisboa. I have an online portfolio but it’s a bit outdated: anabanana.pt