Yavez S.E. Anthonio is a 26-year-old creative born and raised in Amsterdam who focuses on Creative Direction, Photography, Film, and Graphic Design.
In the last two years, he has created visuals for Nike, Adidas, Crack Magazine, Daniella Cathari and RIMON. He continues to raise the bar with his remarkable talent and state of mind, currently focusing on traveling and producing personal projects. We sat down with Yavez to catch up during his visit to London.
What’s the creative industry looking like in Amsterdam?
People don’t actually really know, but it’s kind of funny that it’s such a small city. We have so many creative people that made it this far, and because it’s so tiny and the world is so big, we really work harder, so we are able to go away and see the world.
It’s the perfect combination of being small and being humble at the same time. We have a good education system that allows us to have free thinking thoughts, so we don’t think in the box, but rather more outside of it and that’s why there are so many Dutch and especially people from Amsterdam succeeding in the world right now in whatever it is – music, fashion, etc.
What first sparked your interest in Photography?
I’ve always had a camera as a kid, and I’ve just made photos because I liked it. I never really did anything with it because I was more into graphic design because it’s what I studied. At some point, I read about Terry Richardson in 2011, and I looked into the camera that he used.
I went out and bought a Yashica T5 after a lot of research. At the time, I purchased the camera for £120 which is rare compared to the prices it goes for now. At first, I didn’t really like photography. I thought it was just a phase. I went off and started doing some iPhone photography, after a while, I got asked by fashion students if I wanted to shoot their collections and ever since then it’s all been going up.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I want to be able to sell myself more. I think it’s all based around romance, I love R&B, and I feel like I always try to capture things in that sort of aesthetic.
Set design plays a big part in this, making things look like it’s in the 90’s. I like softer things, I don’t like shooting guys looking all tough. Just be yourself, there’s nothing wrong with being soft and having feelings – and I think this is how I shoot.
Besides photography, you’ve also focused on creative direction and film. Why do you think it’s important to explore more than one medium or creative field?
I actually don’t think it’s important to explore more than one medium or creative field. I’m just very curious and I always want to learn more and more. Personally I think it’s really important to stay curious and willing to learn. There’s no need to live with the mindset that you can only be or do one thing.
Is there anyone or anything that has influenced you to be the photographer that you are right now?
She put me onto a lot of R&B music videos and movies from the ’90s, cover art from movies to credits. That’s the influence to think visually, and she would always encourage me to do what I wanted to do.
What’s your most memorable creative job up to date?
It must be the music video for Rimon’s ‘sugarcoated love’ (2018), that I’ve co-directed alongside Ebeneza Blanche. I’ve done the Art Direction and the edit as well. It’s the first project that really wraps up the whole vision that I’ve had as a creative director. It was a combination of a good song and vibe. It’s kind of like a signature piece if you know what I mean? While making it, I knew it was going to be a gateway to new shit.
What’s your longterm goal and where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
I had a 5-year goal last year, and it all happened in one year. Right now, I have to make a new one. My goal right now is to make more videos, more visuals, and more photography. At some point, thinking more longterm, I would like to have a studio or agency. To grow more as a group rather than sticking to a singular vision.
What is one thing that you would like people to know about yourself, that they may not know now?
What I want people to know about me is that I’m where I’m at now because when I feel something, I just go out and do it and I listen to my heart. I had an outstanding job at an agency, but it just didn’t feel right, so I went out and bought a camera and people would ask me “Why would you do that?” And because of that, all of my dreams have come true so far, and I just want people to know that they should follow what they think is right. If something feels right, just go for it as that way of thinking has brought me to places I’d never thought I would go. Traveling alone makes you want to explore more and connect with people out there. Good energy attracts greatness. My first cover shoot I did was the one for Crack Magazine and Charli XCX and it’s quite funny because I’ve come back from New York and I had a dream that I had to go to London, so I just bought a ticket, and two days before my flight, Crack contacted me about shooting the cover. It’s weird, it’s like it was meant to be.
Are you working on any personal projects at the moment?
Yes, I’ve been working on some personal projects while I was in Rio de Janeiro. I can’t tell you too much about it, but what I can say is that it’s about the local youth culture and that It’s my first real personal project I’ve ever done, so it’s all very exciting.
Is there any artist who you would like to collaborate with creatively? (Shoot or create visuals for)
There’s a lot actually haha, but on top of mind it would be Brent Faiyaz, Roy Woods, Octavian and SAFE. When I listen to their songs I automatically get inspired and start thinking of visuals. I’m also a big believer of manifestation and the law of attraction. So yeah, speaking this into existence!