Live Between the Aesthetics and Design

March 22, 2017  16:04  |  Let’s talk

Infinite reflection

Photos by Ana Rita Ramos (c)

At the first sight when we look at the photography and works of the designer from Portugal – Ana Rita Ramos, we noticed the touch of minimalism, aesthetics and the feeling of peacefulness. You can clearly find yourself suddenly being taken to those clear, fresh landscapes, interior spaces that the designer photographs. To introduce Ana and what she does would be a difficult task since she does not work in just one area – she is an Art Director, Interior Designer, Photographer and a Creator. It seems that she is always coming up with new ideas, which will be transformed into delightful and modern design pieces. As we talk to the designer, we noticed how passionate she is about what she is doing and how motivated she is to discover new possibilities related to her career. A modern designer and thinker that searches for inspiration in everywhere, and she is not afraid of taking risks which are essential in a world of design.

Hof Supply Co

Ana, can you share with our readers how did you decide to become a designer? Has art always been your interest or did it found a place in your heart just with time?

Well, starting with the contact with Art, I think it all started when I was a child. When I was a little girl and before I even started going to school, my parents taught me how to read, talk, draw and illustrate, and since then I knew I wanted to study Art and understand it better. My favourite classes were the ones I was drawing, even when I was in ESAD. But in that long way, I learned a lot of new things and obviously more and more I have grown, I understood what I wanted to be. The moment I decided to choose Design isn’t a fancy story! I was entering to university and I had to start doing a checklist of where I could enter, and ESAD was one of those choices. In that time, I didn’t know deeply what Design was, but I was intrigued and it was the area that I could imagine myself developing and growing. Now I know it was the right choice. I like to be a designer and what it means, but mostly I understand more than ever that Design is such a global area. You should not be defined by a specific area, such as Graphic Design or Interior Design, you could work with anything, if you have the love to do it. We work in the boundaries between areas.

Fashion Set Design

Your work has changed over the past year and now you are focusing more into the art directing and photography. How did this choice came along? And why photography? 

Like I said before, I learn a lot along the way. And with that, I’m not saying just as a student or a designer, I’m talking about knowing more of myself. The more you learn about what surrounds you, the more you understand yourself and what you like or not. And I feel that even as a designer you need to know more and learn new stuff, and one area that I always like a lot was photography, also because my father is a photographer himself. So, I had that trigger to try on photography. About Art Direction –  it was a result of understanding what a Designer does, and sometimes it involves knowing how to creatively direct a project, what is the inspiration for it and how to do it. In parallel, I start receiving a positive feedback about what I was doing, what gave me the incentive to continue working with my inspirations and references. So, I started thinking on how I could test new things in those two areas and the result was some new photographic projects that I developed and some more that will be out next year. But the base is the test, to try on and see how the ideas work in real life. And we have to be real, we, designers are connectors. And that applies to other areas. We should have it in our nature to explore other worlds beyond ours!

Objects as definition

What does the word “design” mean to you? What over the years it has given to you and did it change your personality and the view of perspective?

The design is a creative area where you have the task to create content, products, clothes or spaces. But for me, design has also a lot of passion, practice, and taste involved. It requires an open mind, that can see the right and wrong and work with that information to create something that can solve a problem. It requires inspiration and taste, and for that, you need to be up to what is happening around you and also how you can create an equilibrium between your vision and the client. It requires the love for what you are doing, that way what you are creating – something full of feelings and experiences. It requires to work in a team and understand that design is such a global area. When we work together between areas as connectors, we have the ability to create something more complete! The design is a limitless creative area, because we work with the world and today everything you touch or see has a designer involved. So, when people say that we create spaces, clothes or anything else, they are missing all the other fundamental aspects that created a connection to the final consumer or client.

In the beginning, for me, the design was a more closed up the sphere. Every area inserted in design was working on their stuff and never talked or worked with each other. But the more I learned and worked, I saw that design should be worked openly. Even when I was a student, some teachers told me that the project should have a total image, in other words, the dossier, the plans, the model, etc. in the total should portrait the image/concept of my project. And that also meant that I needed to start working with other programs and be more open to other areas. For example, I’m not a professional in Graphic Design, but I needed to do a dossier, so I learn by myself how to work in InDesign. And with this system of the total image, I start thinking that even if I have in my CV that I’m an Interior Designer, I’m a designer that loves to work and learn with the other areas, and if I was closed on my own, I wouldn’t be myself today. I even don’t like to think of myself closed up in Interior Design! I would be bored!

Fashion Set Design

One of the projects, which you share on your portfolio ‘O B J E C T S A S D E F I N I T I O N’ you express your feelings about photography and that it helped you to start working in this design sphere – photography. Can you explain more about the project itself and where did the idea come from?

In that project and even in the latest ones that I start putting in my portfolio, I took a risk! I’m not a professional photographer, stylist or art director, and I know that I have a lot to learn about that! But, I have ideas! And I finally had the time, so why not start putting those ideas into practice? Me and my friend Joana Cunha were all the time talking about this still life and chromatic photographic theme that was going on, and that we really would like to do something cool about that. And when we were free, we discussed ideas and then photographed them in the studio. Obviously, I do this type of photos on my Instagram, but I wanted it to be more professional and to put more thought in it. The main idea was that through colours and objects, specifically chosen, you can create a portrait of someone. That person isn’t in the photo, but the objects tell you what he or she could possibly do or like. That’s how the name came from! And you can see that this theme is a trend. Brands are working with it because it is an easy way to show what the lifestyle they portray through their objects, clothes. And I wanted to try it on too, in my way!


Let’s talk about the projects, which is a delightful piece of work for an eye ‘P H O T O G R A P H I C P A T T E R N S’. Can you explain how this kind of work is being done, how long does it take and was it the first time you have done something like that?

Yes, it was the first time I did it! I had this idea to create patterns with objects and also to play again with the more chromatic sphere. First, I started doing a selection of objects. Each pattern represents an action, like watering the flowers or cleaning the kitchen. I start selecting objects that could work together in each pattern, not only in action but also in colour. Then, it was time to photograph. The objects were photographed in the studio with a white canvas and then edited, so they would have a clean background where I could put any colour I wanted and also adjust light and contrast. In that phase, I tested colours and start an isometric repetition of the objects. I wanted it to be more graphic. Since the objects were in different layers and to give a funnier aspect, I created a GIF of each one. All this work took me almost 2 days to finish.

Ana Rita Ramos

One of your projects ‘L A N D | H O F S U P P L Y C O .’ is quite different from all the others, which involves fashion. What experience has it brought to you and what was the concept behind it?

That project was the result of an invitation from my friends Margarida Antunes and Beatriz Alão that are behind the brand Hof Supply Co. In the time, I was starting to work on my Instagram feed and they loved it, so they invited me to help in the photo shoot. I loved that experience! I always wanted to be part of a fashion photo shoot! And it was my first time in one and it opened another door to something that I like and that I’m working nowadays in my current job. It made me learn a bit more about photography and art direction and how objects/products can be shown in an ambiance. The photo shoot was inspired by the brand itself and also in a fall imaginary wrapped with natural elements and material contrasts, side by side with a keen sense of minimalism. It was a mixed with key elements and architecture, yet with a feminine vibe.

Jacquemus illustration

What do you find the most interesting in Art Direction? What are the biggest challenges?

I really like the fact that you are leading a project. You have a task and you are the creator of the briefing to the team, and you create the project itself. You are the storyteller. And in projects, in general, my favourite part is exactly to think about what this project is going to tell to people? What are they going to feel? I love to collect inspiration, create boards and write a story to tell and then to give it a life! When I was studying, I had no idea that in parts of my classes I was doing this that is called Art Direction, until I start working on some freelance works with some friends and they would call me to be the Art Director and to create the direction where the team should go. I feel that the biggest challenge is to be up to the level people are expecting you to be, and to be on the same page sometimes. I never had the problem of not being on the same page, because I worked closely with people and sometimes we were testing options, but I always think, if I’m going to be at the level of what is expected to be! Sometimes that thought is my worst enemy!

Ana Rita Ramos

Ana Rita Ramos - SwO magazine

What would you wish for yourself as a designer? Are there any events, websites where we can see more of your works and discover more ideas coming up soon?

I wish that I could work in what I like to work. Like I said before between lines, I’m afraid that people are going to define me just as an Interior Designer, I want to be more than that. So, my biggest wish is to have the opportunity to do something what I love and that my studies don’t define my mentality or my knowledge or even myself. I know creative directors who work with the big brands and they say, that sometimes they hire people with studies and a huge CV, and they are a disaster, for that reason sometimes they prefer to take the risk to hire people with huge ideas instead of huge CV. I hope I will find someone like that in my path that can give me the opportunity to put into practice my ideas too.

Ana Rita Ramos

Ana Rita Ramos

Ana Rita Ramos

You can check my work in my two online portfolio HERE.
Also, you can check my ‘visual portfolio’ on Instagram.