Q: Where are you originally from? Do you still have family there? Do you have any siblings? If so, what do they do? Any significant/insignificant others? Pets?
Caroline: I am originally from Porto Alegre, the southernmost part of Brazil, where winter winds blow cold and strong, and where cowboys are called “gauchos”. My mother and sister still live there. My father lives in NJ. We are a quite diverse family – German from my father’s side and Italian from my mom’s. My sister chose the science career path (she’s a chemist) while I took on the role of the family’s rebel and went into the arts.
Q: Where did you go to school, and what did you study there?
Caroline: I graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UFRGS (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul), in Porto Alegre, Brazil. I majored in photography.
Q: How did you find out about Pixafy? What do you like best about working here?
Caroline: The first time I visited the Pixafy website I became very excited about the possibility of working with the team. I was seeking a full-time position as a front-end developer when I saw a Pixafy ad. My excitement was justified because not many companies offer such a fresh, creative environment, and I knew from my first impression that this was what I was looking for. One of the most valuable aspects of working here is being part of a team of great professionals engaged in harmonious collaboration, each one with their unique qualities. It’s great to have new challenges every day, expert colleagues to exchange ideas with, and the goal of achieving excellence with every project.
Q: Any mentors/other people who’ve been particularly instrumental in your career? In your life?
Caroline: I can’t really point to one person, or even a handful that have been particularly important. I guess I’ve been inspired by many people and experiences, and not just those in my specific field of work. That is one of the reasons art was always important to me, as it provided me with inspiration for all aspects of my life.
Q: How did you first get interested in digital interface development work?
Caroline: Digital interface development was a natural process for me; I came from a photography and graphic design background, then migrated into web design and development. What captivates me most about this field is being at the crossroads of technical knowledge and design sensibility, and using both to reach the goal of a great user experience.
Q: What did you do before you started working at Pixafy?
Caroline: I worked as a freelancer designer and developer for 5-6 years.
Q: Hobbies/interests outside of work?
Caroline: I am very interested in art, as mentioned previously, and also philosophy – I can’t separate the two. I enjoy listening to music, reading the classics, and reading some modern and post-modern poetry. My hobbies span a wide variety of crafts that change along with my mood: sewing, making collages, making prints, and working with mixed media (read: repurposing any leftover materials from my other hobbies!).
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
Caroline: Classic rock and its heavier forms and shapes, blues, some jazz from time to time, and classical.
Q: Qualities you most admire in others (non-Pixafy employees)?
Caroline: Courage (I also admire that trait in Pixafy employees!).
Q: Any pet peeves? Any peeved pets?
Caroline: It bothers me that there is so much waste, and on the other hand so much demand. It bothers me that people do not exercise the gifts of thinking and free will.
Q: How did you get interested in darkroom photography? What made you decide to pursue another career path?
Caroline: My whole family was interested in photography. My mother worked for Kodak a long time, my father started a darkroom as hobby, and we have several thousand images archived. I always enjoyed the more experimental side of photography, and my work had a strong “graphic” component. In pre-Photoshop times, and even in the early days of Photoshop, I spent most of my time in the darkroom; doing so gave me excellent comprehension of the backside of images and their inner workings. The digital world opened new doors and provided more opportunities to experiment, so that was a natural path for me.
Q: You grew up in Brazil. Is everyone there a football (soccer) fan? Do you like bossa nova music? Are you excited about the 2016 Summer Olympics coming to Brazil?
Caroline: It seems that way doesn’t it? Well except for me, I guess. I don’t really follow sports of any kind. However, I love the idea behind the Olympic Games, and I think it’s great that Brazil is hosting the Games for the first time.
Bossa nova is more popular outside of Brazil – Brazilians don’t appreciate it as much as someone outside the country would think. Personally, I like it a lot.
Q: How did you wind up in New York after growing up in Brazil?
Caroline: After graduating my plan was to travel to several places, and New York was the first stop. Let’s say I never made it to the following stops.
Q: Your cat is named Guria – what’s the significance of that name?
Caroline: Guria means “girl”. Guria is my first girl-cat, or cat-girl. She was adopted after being rescued from abusive/negligent owners. She is the sweetest friend I ever had.
Q: You’re a classic rock fan – who are your favorite artists and bands?
Caroline: I am a big fan of classic rock, especially in live concerts. Unfortunately, many of my favorite bands or artists cannot be seen live anymore. However I had the chance to see Roger Daltrey of The Who last year in a complete rendering of “Tommy”. That was one of greatest shows I’ve experienced so far – I didn’t sleep for 2 days afterwards! I love Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Rush, and many heavy metal bands too. In my opinion Pearl Jam is the modern-day Led Zeppelin, and they put the best concerts too!
Q: If you won the proverbial lottery, what would you do with your windfall?
Caroline: I would probably visit all those places that where in my list when I arrived in NYC, as well as the ones I’ve added to the list since then. The list keeps getting longer and longer . . .
Q: What advice do you have for people considering working in a digital interface development role?
Caroline: My biggest advice would be start doing, start building. I’ve never learned anything worthwhile just by reading about it – you have to put it into practice. Look for tutorials, challenge yourself to mimic techniques you had learned to admire in others’ work, and most importantly, when you achieve the expected result, go a step further. That is what drives our field – you can always go a step further.
Q: What’s one thing that no one at Pixafy knows about you (until now)?
Caroline: That I dream of flying. Every day. My attempts have ranged from crowd-surfing to spending time in wind tunnels. Next year I’m going hang-gliding in Rio!