Brazil-based independent animation director and graphic artist Daniel Bruson clearly loves surrounding himself with art.
Be it found acoustic guitars, perfect pencils or friends' artistry, the He Won’t Hold You director creates his promo, animation segments or art direction encompassed in craft.
We spoke to him about what each element means to him, and how creativity can flow through the appreciation of greatness.
I’ve always had sketchbooks around me ever since I was five or six years old.
I still have a couple from that era (like that curious beach scene above).
New ones keep piling up around me in all shapes, paper qualities, and colours.
When the sun finally decides to wipe out all our digital data (including all of our films) with a proper electromagnetic storm, my drawings may be useful to remind me that I exist.
When I was around 12, I found this old acoustic guitar, alone in a bag on top of a wardrobe in my childhood home.
It was my father’s, but for some reason it was forgotten there.
It was the first musical instrument I’ve ever touched, so I embraced it as mine.
I fell in love with its idiosyncratic design and learned to play it on my own.
That was the age I was also starting to fall in love with music, and the moment those two loves combined was a defining one.
The old guitar remains within reach beside my desk.
The Friends’ Artworks
I keep artwork made by my friends and family around the house.
Drawings, stencils, woodcut prints, typography posters, a painting my niece Melissa made for us when she was five.
They’re good company.
It was hard to choose which ones to show you: one is a piece called Inferno, that Talita Annunciato painted based on the book Vidas Secas (translated to English as Barren Lives), by perhaps my favorite Brazilian author, Graciliano Ramos.
In the novel, there’s barely any dialogue, but one of the kids starts repeating the Portuguese word for “hell” because he likes the way it sounds, even though he doesn’t know what it means.
The other piece is a clay head of a female worker, sculpted by Flavia Aguilera.
Her work is entirely based on the lives and struggles of working-class people, industry workers in my hometown, which is the whole story of my family and the world I grew up in.
The Albums (Kid A or Alucinação or Clube Da Esquina)
I suppose music has a way of surprising you regardless of how old, tired or cynical you think you have become.
Not that I was any of those when I was 17 and Radiohead hit me in the core with this album, but I keep it around to remind me to always be open, actively vulnerable, and able to learn from beautiful things.
I could say the same exact thing about Clube Da Esquina’s self-titled album by Milton Nascimento and his friends, or Alucinação by Brazilian troubadour Belchior, but I don’t have them at hand right now.
Waterfalls are another thing I don’t have around my desk at the moment.
But whenever I visit someplace new, there comes the question: which are the nearest waterfalls?
There’s something special about their secrecy, the path to get to them, their sonic presence, the weight of the cold water crushing rocks and human muscles, and the tiredness of the body on the way back after a swim.
Perhaps my most treasured object is this old 0.9mm Pentel mechanical pencil.
It belonged to my partner in life, Talita, in her childhood, and she gave it to me sometime during our first years together.
It’s slightly thicker and messier than the regular ones, which makes it perfect to draw with.
I have great respect for the relationship humans build with their tools, and this one feels like second nature to my right hand at this point.
I believe there’s something blissful about drawings, music, friends, tools, and waterfalls, but ice cream on a hot day is the greatest thing ever invented.