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Creativity Squared: Ana Constantin on Why 'Art Is Never Finished, Only Abandoned'


Art director at Cheil | Centrade Romania tells LBB about her creative process and fostering general curiosity and passion for well-designed things

Creativity Squared: Ana Constantin on Why 'Art Is Never Finished, Only Abandoned'

Ana Constantin is an art director at Cheil |Centrade Romania. She joined the company a year and a half ago. She graduated from National University of Arts Bucharest with a Bachelor’s in graphic design and continues her studies with a Master of Visual Communication.


Ana describes her personality as rational, very curious, introverted, courageous and always on the run. For her, creativity is something that's innate and it's an ongoing process which can originate in early childhood. She believes that creativity is closely related to imagination, and that imagination develops through reading, curiosity, and connections that our minds make. 

She would consider herself an introvert, but she can put on her extrovert mask when needed. She enjoys long walks, going on short trips alone or having coffee at the closest coffeeshop. Considering this, she said that some people may perceive her as weird, so it might be true - what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.

When asked about how she feels about routine, Ana said that it has a double meaning. The healthy one - which leads to discipline, and the destructive one - which leads to a plateau. “The choice is ours in both cases,” says Ana.

In most cases she consumes graphic design projects, but as a side, she appreciates architecture, interior design, chair design, psychological or fantasy films and fashion.


Ana shares what her criteria when judging the creativity of a piece of work are. “I was once told that in the creative process, the first idea that comes to your mind is not the best you can give. Sometimes it might be, but in most cases, you must work on it. A creative piece of work may shine a different light on a certain insight. A reimagined story. On the other hand, truly creative projects give a brand-new experience, something which is hard to find nowadays because as Stanley Kubrick once said: ‘Everything has already been done’. My criteria have shifted over the years and evolved because I understood why a project must also look appealing, but also solve a problem in a unique and effective way. It must be visible, communicate clearly, be based on a concept, and have a strategy.”

What she finds exciting about the industry’s creative output right now are the new technologies, but also the fresh and open-minded gen-z. On the other hand, she finds the lack of transparency about the salaries and about the creative craft in the ad world frustrating. “Most creatives are gatekeeping resources, tips and information that should be out there. I think there is room for every creative at this moment.”


These are the steps that Ana follows when starting a new project: strategy, research, brainstorming, sketches, comparing sketches and ideas. She uses plenty of tools and platforms to help when iterating an idea. To name a few:

She is constantly collecting inspiration and references and follows different creative pages on Instagram, Pinterest and Behance so these references are always in the back of her mind. When she has a creative block, she usually takes a break. Then she starts working on a completely different project and if there's enough time, she lets a day pass by and first thing the next morning, she resumes from where she left off.

When asked about how she knows when a piece of work is ‘done’, she shares that “As Leonardo da Vinci said, ‘Art is never finished, only abandoned’ and I tend to agree with that, 

and the same thing can be said about advertising projects, not just about art projects. Also, there is an insight I can personally give and although it comes from me, all the creatives I've ever met had experienced this: you finish a project, you let some years pass by, and after a while, the first time you see that work again you are not content with it anymore and feel like re-doing it. But to answer briefly, I think it is a mix of respecting the deadline and personal limitations - you must know you gave it your best.”


As a creative person, the things that shaped her in a real way are her general curiosity and her passion for well-designed things.

She grew up in Ploiești, “a city from which every teenager wanted to escape to the detriment of the capital city, Bucharest, that is very close. I always like to say that if you stay long enough in Ploiești during the hottest or coldest days of the year, you might get the feeling that you are in a movie by Christopher Nolan. Every day seems like a copy of the previous day, nothing is moving around, there is nothing to make the dust fly and most times you only hear your own makes you wonder if this city is real. But other than that, I think the experiences that sowed the seeds of my creativity were seeing my father painting, reading fantasy books and playing, playing, playing” shares Ana.

When asked how agencies can facilitate creativity in terms of culture and design, she said that a good way for that is to give it time. Time to do research, brainstorm, sketch and discuss ideas. 


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Cheil Centrade, Mon, 19 Sep 2022 09:35:00 GMT