Ricardo is a man of many talents and wearer of several hats. Since coming to Kingston from Brazil to pursue an education in marketing he has been a student, a professor and is now the creative director of Spark Production House – a marketing and creative agency located on-campus at St. Lawrence College.
Spark is unique.
It is staffed by students from various programs within the college who collaborate on real projects with actual clients. This experiential learning platform provides students a professional environment where they can develop tangible experience before entering the workforce.
Visual arts and design are Ricardo’s claims to fame; however, it’s his vision as a leader and the manner in which he interacts with students that set him in a league of his own.
Q: What first triggered your passion for creative work?
When I was 14 I found some old photography equipment in my friend’s basement and I got really intrigued. As we looked through it we were like: ‘What is this? It’s so cool!’ Soon we were begging our parents to enroll us in a photography course. I learned how to take pictures, but also how to think about photography. I found that I loved taking photos more than developing them.
When it came time to choose something for university, I knew I wanted something that would have photography as part of my life.
I was also a big nerd, and read a lot of comic books which was definitely part of it I think.
Q: Would that be where you drew some of your inspiration?
I love pop culture, movies and cartoons so I am influenced by all sorts of different things. I love Pixar movies for example – they’re my favorite. I understand the craftsmanship and hard work that goes into making them and that definitely inspires me.
Q: What brought you to Kingston?
I came here because of St. Lawrence College. When I was in Brazil I was looking for a place to study and I found St. Lawrence. Kingston is right beside the water, it’s not too big but also not too small.
It’s in a great position for travel between Toronto and Montreal. I think there’s a perfect mix here.
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning – what drives you?
I feel that what I do impacts people’s lives. It can be in big ways, and in small ways. It can be by teaching, or by creating a marketing campaign that will generate more sales – or – increase donations.
I wake up every day knowing that whatever I’m doing will be touching people’s lives, in one capacity or another.
Q: What is the most important lesson you've learned so far?
You need to genuinely care about things. You can’t do things because you want something else out of it. If you always take a step in order to be somewhere else – in a career, or in life or in relationships: it doesn't work.
You need to actually want to do something without expecting any return – and then things will work.
Q: If you were unable to do what you do anymore, what would you miss the most?
I would miss the amount of interaction I have with so many people. I get to speak with people from various backgrounds: rich, poor, some from different countries. I learn more about the world through that interaction.