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Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring an in-depth look at communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Tzeitel Sorrosa. Photography for the series is by Cade Martinwardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.

Tzeitel, please provide us a short bio.

I’m Art and Creative Director for the American Diabetes Association (ADA), where I lead a team of designers and guide visual branding, advertising campaigns, and marketing strategies across multiple media channels and for different audiences. As a high-energy, multicultural creative director with extensive leadership and hands-on production experience, I bring my passion and expertise to every team and project I join across a multitude of domains.

I am a professionally trained artist born in Costa Rica, raised in Ecuador and educated at Boston College. My most valuable training, however, has come through my extensive travel, diverse areas of studies, and consistent curiosity to explore beyond the world around me. I am a proud sponsor of the MarsOne project. Yes, one day I would like to explore Mars.

Prior to joining the ADA, I amassed close to 20 years of experience leading diverse teams of artists, brand managers and marketing specialists, serving hospitality, personal care and high-tech industries.  My last assignment was with The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as an Associate Director, Creative Services, where I led the development, publication and launch of various scientific community campaigns and public affairs outreach efforts that support the organizations’ long term strategy of scientific advocacy and public awareness central to its mission of serving humanity. My time at AAAS gave me access to some of the world’s most fascinating and forward-looking fields of scientific and technical endeavors.

With broad and diverse experience gained in international assignments and work with a wide range of clients and cultures, I offer a unique and adaptive approach to creative leadership and customer relations. I strive to harness what is best about an organization when it is at its best.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

I belong to The One Club for Creativity, AIGA and Type Directors Club; and support three non-profit organizations – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy.

What are the things you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of the teams I lead and the amazing work my team members and colleagues achieve on a daily basis, most of the time without access to large budgets. Working with constraints may seem limiting and at first terrifying, but it can actually lead to producing surprising and intuitive “out-of-the box” ideas.

I’m also very proud of my nationality and my Latin American roots.  As an alien – not from Mars – one’s identity can sometimes be obscured by the need to acclimatize to one’s adopted surroundings and to mold oneself to a new culture. For the kind of work that I do, knowing who I am and where I come from gives me the advantage of multiple perspectives, and helps me connect with multicultural audiences. My exposure to, and understanding of, many cultures gives me access to a patchwork of interesting stories and experiences that have been weaved into my personality and world view, giving me a unique perspective in the arts and the world at large.

Who are your personal role models?

I was born in a large “familia” or “tribu” of fiery debaters and nonconformists (my sisters), disciplined artists (like my mother), fearless explorers (like my grandfather), and spiritual thinkers (like my father). Looking back at my formative years, they were all key role models and gentle influencers. My oldest sister was the kind of role model anyone who feels like the confused middle child would hope to have. She is a friend I treasure, a caring mentor and life coach, and I’m grateful that we both came from the same womb, into the same childhood. Our similar sensibility gave me a mirror through which we could become the strong and ambitious women we have become today.

Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

I remember the day of my college graduation (wearing a black cap with its tassel twirling in the wind), when my father asked me, “So, what the (bleep) are you going to do with a Studio Arts degree?” Pupils dilated for a second, I had no compelling answer. After living in Florence, Italy, for one year, where I had contemplated tracing Caravaggio’s footprints while sketching on my journal inside the Boboli Gardens of the Palazzo Pitti, I had returned to Boston to finish my degree. At the time, the life of a bohemian, cobblestone street artist felt just right. To my father’s great relief that I would somehow end up as a “starving artist,” however, my oldest sister suggested that I learn computer graphics so that I could apply my talents as a fine artist. That resonated with me, and after earning a BFA (Bachelor of a Fabulously-Spirited Artist), I went back to school (Miami AD School) to create a design folio that could turn heads and get me hired at an advertising agency. I continued painting and exhibiting my artworks around the world in multiple shows and galleries, eventually deciding to trade my paint brush and linen canvas for a wired mouse and a Photoshop canvas.

What professional advice do you have for others?

We’re at a pivotal point in human history when we need to collectively, progressively, and creatively think about conservation and sustainability as part of our daily lives. It’s not enough to depend on world leaders to make intelligent, responsible decisions or to sit back and expect good outcomes.  Our personal and professional goals and aspirations must be aligned with these critical times and with the need to focus on preserving our planet’s health. We must act collaboratively in our dual roles as professionals and stewards of Mother Earth, and make informed decisions that take into account the long term repercussions that these decisions will have upon climate change and consequently, upon ALL living creatures.  Graphic Designers: How may we create beautiful packaging while going green?

We need to support and follow great minds whose passionate lives have been devoted to science and research both personally and professionally in the name of conservation, sustainability, and human advancement. We need to arm ourselves with knowledge and learn from forward-thinking activists. Take a class from Jane Goodall, the Mother Theresa of nature! Take her MasterClass. Until we are able to start civilization in another planet, Earth is all we have and our survival truly depends on it.

What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?

World music in different languages, drum beats, and from different time periods. I like acoustic music. KODO drums always trance me into zoning out and dancing with my eyes closed. I also like Japanese pop songs by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Terrace Restaurant 海の星 (Umi no Hoshi) Etoile de la mer at Benesse House, Park and Museum in Japan, designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. Their menu is comprised of delicious seasonal ingredients from Setouchi and the location offers a breath-taking, tranquil seascape of the Seto Inland Sea. The only way to get there is by ferry, but it’s well worth the long journey!

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

The first time I ever crafted a giant white chocolate truffle with a piña colada flourless cake filling, I discovered I could have possibly been a Chef in my previous life. Ask me about some of my amazing signature recipes, never published!

 

 

 

 

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