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About Larissa Moraes

I grew up in colorful household filled with art history books, canvases and brushes. Being the daughter of a struggling artist, I sought refuge in the pursuit of a stable career in law. After studying law, I started working as a legal aide in Brazil´s Senate and the federal government in Brasilia, Brazil´s capital. After years of exposure to heavy state bureaucracy, I realized that my heart was not where my work was and strived to find other employment opportunities where I could satisfy my creative desires. A friend of mine introduced me to the jewelry world and it was love at first sight. I initially started drawing and designing after I would return home from work… Shortly after those designs became my first few pieces… and now it has become a fulltime labor of love. I began designing fulltime towards the end of 2018. In early 2019 I started working on my “dream collection” and finally found the courage to post some of my works on Instagram. These posts changed my life. Shortly after, I received invites to participate in several jewelry exhibits after which I decided to show my collection at the Brazil Jewelry Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The feedback I received was so positive that it only reinforced my decision to design fulltime. That was when Larissa Moraes Jewelry was born! Courage breeds courage! I decided to participate in the A' Design Award and Competition in February 2020 and won gold prize! The sensation I felt in knowing that people could truly appreciate the love that I poured into my work was unmeasurable. I could finally say, “My work is my love, my love is my work”

Interview with Larissa Moraes

Larissa Moraes ("LM") interviewed on Wednesday, 18 November.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

LM : I grew up in colorful household filled with art history books, canvases and brushes. Being the daughter of a struggling artist, I sought refuge in the pursuit of a stable career in law. After studying law, I started working as a legal aide in Brazil´s Senate and the federal government in Brasilia, Brazil´s capital. After years of exposure to heavy state bureaucracy, I realized that my heart was not where my work was and strived to find other employment opportunities where I could satisfy my creative desires. A friend of mine introduced me to the jewelry world and it was love at first sight. I initially started drawing and designing after I would return home from work… Shortly after those designs became my first few pieces… and now it has become a fulltime labor of love. I began designing fulltime towards the end of 2018. In early 2019 I started working on my “dream collection” and finally found the courage to post some of my works on Instagram. These posts changed my life. Shortly after, I received invites to participate in several jewelry exhibits after which I decided to show my collection at the Brazil Jewelry Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The feedback I received was so positive that it only reinforced my decision to design fulltime. That was when Larissa Moraes Jewelry was born!

How did you become a designer?

LM : By fate, by luck, the universe... Being the daughter of struggling artist, I hadn't had any contact with jewelry or anything related to this industry until I was introduced to jewelry by a friend. Since then I imagine jewelry in almost everything I see. During my adolescence, I understood the difficulties of an artist's life and decided to opt for a more stable career. I studied law and followed a legal career in Brasilia, where I worked in the Senate and the Federal Government. However, my heart was never fully in it and I tried to find another alternative to work and fulfillment for myself. I continued my legal job during the day and spent the nights coloring and drawing jewelry. I made one jewel for a friend who asked me to design a bespoke piece for them and I also produced some pieces in an experimental partnership with my friend’s jewelry store. At the end of 2018, depressed and saddened by the rigidity of my daily work, I sought comfort in art and started designing the jewelry collection of my dreams. In early 2019, I made some pieces of the collection and posted the images on Instagram. In a few days, my life changed! I was invited to participate in design and jewelry fairs and this new path began. Satisfied and driven by the excellent receptivity of my first collection, I abandoned my legal career and embraced the project that gives me more joy. Producing jewelry is like living a dream! I've never been happier! It's that energy, which was dormant for so many years, that I put into my work.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

LM : My jewelry is art you wear. It's sculpture that displays itself on the body. It's beauty, history and meaning. It is color and defiance, movement in rigidity. It's love.

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

LM : I take great pleasure in my work. Sometimes I get so involved in the drawings and the elaboration of the pieces that I have the feeling of being on vacation, just enjoying the time in the way that makes me happy. I really like all the stages of the production of the pieces, but the stage of the drawings is the one that most moves me. I seek in memory my inspirations and start thinking about colors and formats.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

LM : The love of art and creating things is something you are born with. My mother is apainter and she introduced me and my sisters to the world of fine art at a youngage. During adolescence, I understood the difficulties of an artist's life and decided to opt for a more stable career. I studied law and followed the legal career in Brasilia, where I worked in the Senate and the Federal Government. However, my heart was never there and I tried to find another alternative to legal work and find fulfillment for myself. I discovered jewelry through a friend. I worked during the day and spent the night coloring and drawing jewelry. I made one jewel for a friend who asked me to design a bespoke piece for them and I also produced some pieces in an experimental partnership. At the end of 2018, depressed and saddened by the hardness of my daily work, I sought comfort in art and started designing the jewelry collection of my dreams. In early 2019, I made some pieces for the Van Gogh collection and posted the images on Instagram. In a few days, my life changed! I was invited to participate in design and jewelry fairs and this new path began. Satisfied and driven by the excellent reception for my first collection, I abandoned my legal career and embraced the project that gives me more joy. Producing jewelry is like living a dream! I've never been happier and so happy! It's that energy, dormant for so many years that I put into my work.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

LM : It is my plan and vison to consolidate the brand in the international market. A dream of mine would be to see the best stores in the world carry Larissa Moraes Jewelry. I plan on continuing designing and creating the next collection for the brand- I am feeling very inspired and believe our next collection will be exceptionally beautiful. P.S. hope I never work with law again.

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

LM : Participate in contests. Contests are a wonderful way to showcase new brands. For one, you’ll be introduced to opinion makers, more retail opportunities, which includes some of the best stores in the world. And do what you love!

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

LM : I’m in no position to give advice. Quite the contrary, I would love for more experienced designers to help me get through this moment. I can only thank my fellow designer who welcomed me so well in this world full of art, beauty and affection.

What is your day to day look like?

LM : Depends on the stage of creation of the jewel: Initial planning phase (research, context), Drawing, Acquisition of raw materials, Preparation follow-up with goldsmiths (depends on the availability of goldsmiths), Ready-made: photographs and material preparation… There is no routine, which makes me very happy. A perfect day starts with a good coffee, snuggle with my puppy and time to draw.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

LM : I appreciate freedom and so I don't follow trends. My client appreciates art and design, wants to have an exclusive work of art on display in her body..

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

LM : For me, the design must have both beauty and balance. Alongside the visual aspect, I always consider the fit and the weight of the piece, for example how a necklace might sit on the neckline, or for a pair of earrings, how they hang and look on the ear.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

LM : For the Van Gogh collection, the process was: 1.Choose the theme. 2. I researched all of Van Gogh's paintings and chose this canvas. 3. I looked up the flower painted by Van Gogh. I researched the colors, the shapes and details of the leaves. 4. I started analyzing the painting I began looking for interesting shapes in the painting with no commitment to use the whole canvas or just in part. 5. After a few drawings, I arrived at this final drawing. The design is ready when I fall in love with it. 6. Once the sketch was done, I made a prototype using paper and strings. I would try it on that way to get an ideia if the drawing is going to work as a real piece before bringing it to life. 7. Just then, the first version of the drawing is chosen. 8. I chose the gemstones (can be hard work to find the idealized shapes and colors). Against all advice, I make the drawing and then look for the gemstones that adapt to the drawing. 9. I buy all the materials (chain, gold and gemstones) and go to the goldsmith. 10. I then discuss all the final details with the goldsmith: where it will be articulated, texture, finish etc. At this point the design changes slightly. At this point I challenge the goldsmith to do something different, which has not yet been done by him. 10. During the final process, I meet with the goldsmith many times. We need to try the piece while it develops form and make decisions for a perfect fit. 11. Before we can say, "It is Ready," we try it on one more time. After passing the quality control, the jewelry is ready for the next step of the process: Photo shoot, then packaging and waiting for a lucky customer.

What is your biggest design work?

LM : My jewelry debut collection inspired by Van Gogh paintings. This collection has already received four important awards: : A' Design Award Winner - Gold & Designer of the Year Nominee and MJSA Vision Award Winner - 1st & 2nd Place & Honorable Mention for Colored Stone Distinction. Personally, for me, it made me more confident and validated that I am in the right place.

Who is your favourite designer?

LM : I have no favorites, not even food, movie, music… I love change…

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

LM : I am Brazilian, and with that, I can say we love colors. Colors are a striking feature for my jewelry, and I love to mix bold shades and hues together. In Brazil, women love earrings which you’ll see I have many of in my collection. As this is an accessory I myself have been wearing since my younger years, I can attest to the fact that weight and comfort are two factors I pay close attention to with each design. I’m obsessed with large earrings and in terms of comfort, I knew creating ergonomic, but light pieces were crucial for my line. And I love art. The inspiration comes from art, imagine a way to turn the art of great masters into a piece that can be worn. In the first collection, Immersed in Van Gogh's work and created pieces that challenge logic through textures, twists and colors. Seek to recreate in jewelry the emotion feel when observing the works of art. Larissa Moraes jewelry also get inspired by nature, music, architecture and all the beauty that human beings can create.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

LM : The production system has been changing over the past few years and the pandemic caused by covid-19 will certainly accelerate this process. Using conflict free materials and taking responsibility for the environment and society are determining factors for products to be well received in the market, especially in the international market. That's already a reality for the brand. Personally my goal is consolidate my own jewelry brand, I wanted to design beautiful, wearable pieces of art that became one with the wearer. It has always been my vision and personal goal to promote beauty and growth of everyone around me.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

LM : Part of the proceeds from the sale of this piece will be donated to IECAP in Brasília/DF, Brazil (@iecap.social). The IECAP – Agency for Social Transformation is a civil society organization, established in 2001, with the objective of promoting social inclusion and the defense of social rights of people at risk and social vulnerability. They develop actions that collaborate with the reduction of inequalities that limit citizen participation and the dignity of the human person. They seek to generate a high social impact in the locations in which they operate.

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

LM : A’ Design is one of the best and most respected competitions in the world and I intended to write in my curriculum a mere participation ... in no time I thought I could win! I thank the A’ Design and the judges for believing in me! I feel like I've crash into a party, and yet I have been welcomed with joy... This entire experience has been nothing short of amazing!

Larissa Moraes Profile

Van Gogh  Earrings

Van Gogh Earrings design by Larissa Moraes


Van Gogh's Rosebush Necklace

Van Gogh's Rosebush Necklace design by Larissa Moraes


Van Gogh's Gladioli Necklace

Van Gogh's Gladioli Necklace design by Larissa Moraes


Van Gogh's Sunflower Earrings

Van Gogh's Sunflower Earrings design by Larissa Moraes

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