Marcelo Baldin: Fighting Giants

While many people struggle to find a job that taps into just one of their passions, Brazilian creative Marcelo Baldin has managed to find work that incorporates two. A self-described “art director, musician, and sound designer,” his mother’s professional singing career led him to a lifetime’s training in music, while his studies in school cemented the strong interest he’d always had in visual arts. In college, he began to meld the two, and Baldin, who lives in São Paulo, has been professionally combining visual art and music since nailing down the vital computer programs in 2000.

With the large portion of his career spent doing freelance work, Baldin’s mixed skill set and distinctive vision have enabled him to work with the likes of Publicis Net, FK interactive, Leo Burnett, Renascent, Umeric, Tronic Studios and Cisma, while his clients have included Nintendo, Mercedes-Benz, Lucky Strike, and Nestlé. Baldin is currently at work on a “personal project” called Omega Code.  Billed as “Not just music, not just art. An ideology,” Omega Code blends the work of visual artists (posters, a book, a dvd) with that of musicians (Baldin does programming and plays the guitar). Also including interactive installations, concerts, and exhibitions to be held in São Paulo, New York, München, and Lisbon, Omega Code is, as Baldin says, “gaining attention from every corner.”

So, what’s involved in a day in the life of a genre-crossing artist? It’s actually hard to say because every day for Balkdin is so different. He says, “Since my work comes unexpectedly (freelance), it’s hard to get a routine.” He does, however, find that he most often works “from afternoon ‘til late hours of night.” He explains, “São Paulo is a very noisy city and very distracting. I can only get a better focus when the city starts to slow down, even though it never gets quiet. I use my mornings to get updated with everything that is going on with the community and with what I have to do.”

Scheduling aside, Baldin acknowledges that every day has its challenges. He says, “You have to kill your giant day by day.” Finding that every country he’s worked in provides its own particular challenges, he’s learned that he always has to be on the lookout for new ways to satisfy his clients and himself.  He always aims to push his creativity to its limits, but he acknowledges that it isn’t always possible. He says, “several times the barriers are too close, and you have to accept that this wall you won’t pass, but maybe on the next one.”   Accordingly, Baldin notes, “most ideas never see the sunlight.” With ideas, he says, “you can’t always win, so sometimes I prefer to quit the project rather than simply do it and be disappointed with myself.”

But I think lately I’ve been infected with a hunger for information that isn’t healthy, so I try to see a little bit less.

Badin has found, though, that collaboration often helps potentially unrealized ideas become realized. He says, “The exchange of creativity with other professionals always makes you see other possibilities” and “It is simply impossible to do everything alone always.” He says, “I try to keep myself always updated and in touch with creative minds. Going to festivals to see what is going on is also a very good experience that you need from time to time to get refreshed.”

As far as the particulars of collaboration go, Badin enjoys reviewing the work of previous decades. He says, “Some stuff from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and even ‘90s passed so fast through our eyes that we barely noticed.” Also, noting that his Brazilian environment motivates him, he finds particular help in collaborating with people from varying geographical areas: “They can give you different perspectives to reach your goals.”

On the flip side, Baldin has found that too much collaborative thinking can pull him off track. He says, “But I think lately I’ve been infected with a hunger for information that isn’t healthy, so I try to see a little bit less. Just focus on a few less sources because if I see too much info, it is easy to get lost in this ocean of information.”

It’s unsurprising that Baldwin sees the creative brain as subject to overload; he is, after all, working in two genres across countless mediums. Still, he believes that “a creative has a vast mind.” He explains, “He always sees beyond. Even if sometimes it doesn’t make any sense, later it will.”

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