There is Colombia talent wherever you look in the world. Please meet Johana Dueñas, Creative Director at Geometry Global.
How did you get the international attention you got?
It was a result of dedicating a lot of passion and soul into my work, and then winning awards at the ADC, D&AD, Pentawards and PHNX. I say soul, because each project should have a unique voice that makes it genuine.
In what way is Colombian creativity unique?
I love this question, because Colombia is a really creative country. You don’t have to go to big agencies or studios to find good ideas. Just crossing the street and seeing how the neighbor sells coffee is already an example of creativity. It is a country that breathes creativity. I think this happens because it’s a country of few resources. We’re always looking for a way to get ahead. And there in that solution lies true creativity.
From what you observe, what do you think are the main differences between working in Colombia and abroad?
The bigger difference I found it is the cultural part. Even though I have only worked with the Hispanic market, the cultural barriers are enormous. That affects the brainstorming and designing stage, as perceptions are very different. For example, the Spanish tend to be lovers of minimalism, whereas in Colombia if there is no color there is no life.
Who inspires you in this industry?
Within the industry there are two great women that I admire for what they have achieved, @evabouzas and @lauravisco. Beyond being geniuses, the work they have done making women visible in the Latin industry is impressive.
Despite the attention you and your work has gotten, do you ever feel visible at work still? Did you ever at the start of your career? What did you do to overcome it?
My visibility has improved a lot since I became a creative director. Thanks to the effort and the long nights. That is why I want to encourage other creative women to lead their projects and let their work speak for them.
For people who feel invisible professionally, what would be your advice?
I think often you are your own biggest barrier. In the past I sometimes did not speak in meetings, did not comment on feedbacks or did not fight for my ideas. All for fear of what people will say. That is why to all those people who feel invisible, I’d say it is time to leave fear behind and speak up, because the world needs more voices like yours.
What is the piece of work you’re most proud of having worked on?
Obviously I’m in love with all my projects. But if I have to choose one, I think it should be Products for Peace. This was a beautiful project that we worked with the UN in which we turned peasants into entrepreneurs. In order to avoid intermediaries and ensure all profits went to the farmers of my country, displaced by the war. This was one of those projects in which every creative with a desire to improve things had a chance to do it in a really valuable way. Since we started creating the brands, we also made a packaging made with the same soil where the products are grown, distributed in large supermarkets. All created hand in hand with these farmers. Today one can find these products on the shelves of department stores and each purchase is a real hope for all those farmers I met.