Meet Amanda Kunrath born in Novo Hamburgo, a 300K habitants city near Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul State in Brazil. Like most entrepreneurs, Amanda didn’t know what direction her life would lead to, from a 9 month internship at a community bank in Stamford CT, in the marketing department to working full-time hosting parties at night it was the landing of an impressive offer to intern at Havas NY that made her realise she was still yet indecisive if that was really a city she wanted to stay in to build a career out of.
Never the less Amanda would do the tiresome 2-hour commute from Connecticut to NYC every day and finally graduated in late 2017. That’s when she started applying for jobs in Los Angeles without knowing anyone in there wanting to make a fresh start. Fast forward a few months and Amanda arrives in California, empty-handed and ready to start hustling.
Now working at RPA, Amanda is currently living a very Santa Monica like lifestyle. Living near the beach between Santa Monica and Venice, she rides her bike wherever she goes, goes for runs at the beach and watches the prettiest sunsets whenever she can.
Can you share your journey with us so far Amanda?
I’m happy to know the difference between the sandy shores of Florianopolis, Miami South Beach, Long Island and the ones in Santa Monica.
My life has taken me on an adventure around the world, from my native Southern Brazil to sunny California, with pit stops in other South American countries, Europe, as well as Florida, Connecticut and NYC.
I first stepped foot in the US in July 27, 2011, and these past six years I’ve had to learn to navigate a different culture and master a new language, all the while pursuing my dream of becoming the best art director I can be. I’ve been able to make this happen by the determination instilled by long nights of volleyball training and daily, four hour commutes of juggling a master’s and an internship has kept me going.
It’s been almost seven years since I’ve felt the soft sand of Southern Brazil, and I miss it. But it’s okay, because I’m living a happy journey, and I know that by the time I surf those Brazilian waves again I’ll be a better art director and a more well lived person I am now.
What motivated you and inspired you become an Art Director?
I’ve alway been an artist in many ways. I loved drawing, painting, singing and acting. I knew I was going to work in the creative field, but I wasn’t sure in what. Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved watching commercials because they worked for me as I was watching a movie. They would always make me feel something, such as make me laugh, cry, want to buy a product, make me not want to buy a product or they would just make me think in many different ways. When I was in Fashion School, I got very interested in the history part of it. Such as, how the human history caused certain behaviourism in the society that would lead to certain fashion trends at a period in time. I feel the same for advertising now. You have to understand what is going on in the world now, to know what the society’s behaviour is to try to sell a product to them based on their needs on interests. It’s fascinating!
Can you talk us through your career path so far?
I believe my actual career is just starting and what I’ve worked on until now was just exploring different paths. I know I’m not the only young professional out there trying to have a successful career, but I’ve had quite of a journey before I got to where I am now. I say that because I didn’t just worked on the design and creative business my entire life (and I’m just 25), but I’ve also worked as a volleyball coach, art teacher for homeschooled kids, party host, cashier, bartender, caterer, computer lab monitor and babysitter. I would do anything to get me going and achieve my goals no matter, how, when, where and what. I’m finally in a point I’m fully focused on working as an art director because I have the tools, the basic knowledge and a lot of internships in my backpack to work in the advertising business.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Learn who you are and what your life purpose is. It’s really sad to see middle-aged women and men who spent their entire life doing what they were told to do, what were the easy way outs and what would make them feel comfortable, but they never realised they weren’t meant to have those lives. I think that the sooner you take some time to discover yourself, the better it is to make life choices in the future.
Best piece of advice you would give to your 21 year old self?
Kind of related to the previous question, I would say follow your gut. Planning the life with a expected structure in a perfect way is not always the path to happiness. If you listen to your heart and follow your intuition, you will live by the moment as well as learn more about yourself, which would lead to real happiness!
What are you currently learning about in business?
I recently started a short term advertising school in LA to help me grow in my career,
If you had to do anything again what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t change anything in my past. I believe that everything I’ve been through has been a lesson I’ve learned and that I will use all of it sometime in my future. I think that’s how we should see life. We should enjoy the journey more than we should think about the final destination. Maybe if I hadn’t lived certain moments in my life, I wouldn’t know what I do or I wouldn’t be as experienced as I am now.
What are your goals for the next 6 months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I plan to get a full time job so I can have an stability to launch my career. I’m developing my portfolio, learning new skills, experiencing new things and I’m open to any opportunity that will come my way.
What are the most effective tools you use to spread the awareness of what you are doing and generate more clients?
Networking is fundamental nowadays, so I always try to meet as many people as possible, because who knows when they can be a door to your next opportunity. I use mostly LinkedIn to keep me active in the market, I have my personal portfolio and I manage two instagram accounts that portrait some photography and visual arts in general that I create.
What about any challenging times you have had to overcome? When were they and how did you learn to overcome them?
I’ve had quite a few challenging times in my life that worked pretty well as life lessons for me and made me a stronger woman that I was. I’ve had the feeling of rejection, a serious injury, a relationship break up in a moment of loneliness and many addresses changes around the globe. They key for overcoming all of them were to never lose my focus and to be patient. Time is the best medicine for when we are on times of struggle and having something to focus and work on is our best friend. Some things we can’t control on our own, so things will get arranged our way with time, but meanwhile, we can’t bury ourselves in the problem because the solutions is to keep our heads out of it. It would take forever to tell each story, but basically being patient and determined helped me overcome my challenges.
What does it mean to you to truly #BEYOUROWN?
There is no one in the world like me or anyone in the world like you. Being your own is embracing your best (and worst) qualities and being proud of it. We all have different personalities and stories, so that’s what makes us authentic and unique. If you feel like wearing a yellow lipstick today, do it! I also like hearing what my friends have to say about me and asking why. It’s also good to be aware of the image you reflect to the world and compare to what you think you are in your mind. In the end, it kind of helps you be a better person.
Lastly what is on the horizon for 2018 for you?
2018 is the year of my career launch.
Twitter: @amandakunrath | Instagram: @amandakunrath