2 Minutes With … Artur Lipori, CD at Google Creative Lab

On Refugee Nation, the 'Touch Card' and 'True Name Card,' and fighting for great ideas

Artur Lipori is a creative director and consultant at Google Creative Lab. He has been focusing most of his time and energy on ideas that generate positive impact in the world. His passion for purpose-driven projects led him to use creativity to help address global issues such as the refugee crisis, LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, climate change and wildlife conservation, among others.

We spent two minutes with Artur to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, and recent work he's admired.

Artur, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.        

Curitiba, Brazil. I've been living in New York since 2014.

How you first realized you were creative.

My parents would always encourage me to try things in a different, unusual way. So that helped a lot. But I guess it only clicked when I started at college and met other people who loved creativity. All of sudden, I started to see crazy ideas being celebrated as opposed to being frowned upon. 

A person you idolized creatively early on.     

I wish I had a cooler answer for that one. But the truth is … Steven Spielberg. I was a kid in the '80s, and at some point I realized that this guy was involved in so many movies I loved. For many years "Directed by Steven Spielberg" became my filter when visiting VHS rental stores.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.    

Forming a band. Playing in front of a crowd. Highly recommended experience.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.    

Visual artist: Paul Klee. I remember seeing some of his works for the first time when I was a teenager and feeling mesmerized by its beauty and unexpectedness. I still have that visceral reaction every time I see his work.

Musician: Andrew Bird. I have followed his work since his swing jazz phase with the Squirrel Nut Zippers. But his solo career is when you can fully witness his talent and endless creativity.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.       

I recently watched a short doc called Tuesday Afternoon by the Brooklyn-based director Pete Quandt. The doc follows a man (Jack Powers) on his first day living a new life after spending over two decades in solitary confinement. Beautiful, touching, and reminds us that life is about the simple things. 

Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show. It touches so many relevant subjects with the right amount of depth.

Your favorite fictional character.     

I'll go with an antihero. Emmet Ray, from Sweet and Lowdown. A jazz guitarist from the '30s who idolized Django Reinhardt and would faint in his presence. 

Someone or something worth following in social media.     

@dailyoverview. They show places from above and frame them in a way that they look like pieces of art. 

How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.    

Personally, it made me more aware of the brevity of life. And that helped me enjoy and be grateful for the present moment. Professionally, it reminded me that the world needs help. And that made me understand my mission in life: use creativity to help make the world a little better.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on. 

The Refugee Nation, for sure. It's a project my partner Caro Rebello and I started from scratch and got help from many incredible people to create a flag, an anthem, and a symbolic nation to represent millions of refugees around the world.

A recent project you're proud of. 

Touch Card for Mastercard. It's a project that helps low-vision people tell their cards apart with a touch. The cards were created in partnership with the low-vision community and accessibility leaders from around the world. To launch the card we created a film where audio descriptions were not an afterthought, but an intrinsic part of the story.

“Spotlight” by Mastercard
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

The teeter-totter wall, by the artist Rael San Fratello, from 2019. Three pink seesaws built into a stretch of the border wall separating El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Mexico. Touching, incredibly relevant.

Someone else's work you admired lately.

True Name Card, also for Mastercard, created by Lucas Crigler. He used his own life experience as an inspiration to come up with the idea. The card is a game changer for the transgender and non-binary community.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Resilience. I've seen many people having great ideas. What makes a real difference is how much any of us fight for them. 

Your biggest weakness.

I'm a terrible multitasker. When I do one thing at a time, things flow incredibly better.

One thing that always makes you happy.

My kids.

One thing that always makes you sad.         

When it's April in NYC and it's still cold.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

I'd buy a piece of land, build really nice tennis courts there, and hopefully would make some profit with that.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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