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National attention for anti-tourism campaign

08 Sep 2020

National attention for anti-tourism campaign Image

By Katie Johnson

As a professional art director who creates bespoke, creative campaigns for companies, Guillermo Carvajal has always gravitated towards the art of visual storytelling.

But with much of his advertising work constrained by the client’s wishes, the part-time advanced diploma student at Photography Studies College (PSC) presented the perfect opportunity to explore his creative freedom.

“I was trying to find a creative outlet outside of work, something that wasn’t controlled by clients and deadlines,” he said.

“I’m a very visual person so photography fitted quite well with me and helped me with the current work I’m doing.”

So far Guillermo has enjoyed great teachers who have nurtured his creative side and helped to bring his visions to life.

“At the beginning I started with mostly commercial stuff because I had that advertising gene within me. But slowly it has transitioned into a more artistic approach, more conceptual,” he said.

Right now, Guillermo is working on a project about the role of technology in society and how it has become so ingrained in our lives.

“As social creatures, we need to connect, communicate, interact and above all be touched,” he said.

“But we’ve replaced human touch with a pixelated version of ourselves. I’m fearful that a future where intimacy relies on technology, replacing the physical, could lead us to a disconnection from our human essence.”

When he’s not at PSC, Guillermo works as a freelance art director and has directed campaigns for companies like iSelect, Telstra and Pointsbet.

Recently he received national coverage for an anti-tourism campaign he designed which features postcards of popular Victorian tourist destinations with messages like: “Stay the absolute f**k away from Apollo Bay”.

“I was getting frustrated by the situation and had two to three weeks off uni so I was looking for something else to keep me busy. So, I wanted to do a commentary on social distancing,” he said.

“We had the idea for postcards because that’s the main thing tourists gravitate towards when visiting a town. We only made four to start but once we released them people went crazy for it so we ended up doing 10 towns.”

Since then the postcards have been covered by The Age, Channel 7, the ABC and are now being featured in Melbourne Museum’s virtual showcase of life during the pandemic.

“After getting the media attention someone from Melbourne Museum got in touch with me who was curating a pandemic collection for future generations. It was pretty surprising actually,” he said.

As school and work are now remote, Guillermo said it can often be challenging to discuss visual projects with clients over the phone.

But this is a challenge he has chosen to drawn on in his own work.

“During this time when we’re doing everything from home, relying on technology can be intense,” he said.

“You come to really appreciate the value of face-to-face communication.”

See more of Guillermo’s work at gc-ad.com

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