The originally Argentinian jewelry designer once had a dream to travel. Nowadays he lives in New York, Amsterdam and Argentina and his creations are worn by a number of celebrities like, Madonna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Britney Spears and the list goes on. Some of his ‘treasures’ are pieces of the Rijksmuseum in Holland. We ask him about his drive, passion and important things in life.
When did you feel the desire of becoming a jewellery designer?
I actually got the desire to make jewelry when I didn’t have any money to pay my rent. I was 17, in Greece and I had to pay my rent, there was no choice. I was walking around and I saw Gypsy people selling things on the street and I thought, oh great business, travelling and designing is my thing, so that’s how it started.
So it wasn’t a specific dream you had from the start?
“I was a really complicated kid with a huge personality and it was difficult to figure out were I wanted to be”
I had the dream to do something creative, I was designing all kind of things, but my dream was travelling, so I combined travelling with design and it was magic.
Did you have a straight path for yourself?
Every time I had some kind of a goal it never went the way I wanted it. So I live my life with passion and energy and I put everything in me to make things happen and that’s how things turned out.
“I just put passion in what I do”
What drives you in life?
At the moment I want to say things with my work, I want to express myself. I want to bring something fresh and new in turns of design. I went to the St. Martin University in London and I studied concept design. I was interested to absorb something new cause I didn’t want to repeat myself after doing this for so many years. So my goal is to be different, expand my boundaries.
What fascinates you in life?
Love. It’s such a complicated issue. I love, love. For me love has all the ingredients to make you beautiful, to make you dream, to make you want to change a lot of things.
“I think love is very powerful”
Where and how do you find your inspiration?
It comes from people. Artists inspire me a lot. Katy Perry for example. I worked with her and it was all about spaceships and I had to put my thoughts into the Barbarella style of the 21th century. I’m doing something for Madonna also: Lucky star, I’m making a ring for her right now. She just emailed me yesterday; it must be delivered next week.
Who where your role models in your life? Or by who are you inspired?
It has been always my parents, especially my mom. She’s still an amazing good human being. She advices so good, to do the right thing. There’s no mean in her. I wish I could have all these qualities she has. Life has taught me to be tougher. I had to, if you live the life I live with all the competition I have. I live in a world full of lies.
“The game of success is very dirty”
What values did you learn from “home” that are still important for you?
That I should listen to my heart. And my mother told me me: “When you see a lady, think it’s me.” So I always help ladies.
What’s important for you in life?
“It’s important to be true to myself”
To be able to live with my feet on the ground and to be able succeed on my goals
What makes you happy?
My mother. She told me, stop talking about me, but she makes me really happy. In the worst times of my life my mom has been my rock of everything. So appreciate your mother. My father was very hard on me, but I realized that his goal was that I became a good guy. I see children not loving their parents and wasting that beautiful connection. I think, snap out of it, those are your parents; they love you and care so much about you.
Which place you want to be the most, where you find peace and happiness? What would be you’re favorite place to spent your time?
It depends. I had the most wonderful experience in Amsterdam in this house. I’ve been the happiest person in this house. But also I have the most wonderful experience in my parents’ house. But I also recently made a trip to Egypt and it was amazing. It was like healing.
Everything has magic to me! I cannot mention only one place where I’m happy.
“I’m a world traveller, I’m a designer of the world”
What did you learn along your way, and what advice would you give to other creatives/ entrepreneurs?
I learned not to listen to anybody. Whoever is talking to you….
At the age of 17 I was selling on the streets, so I know the smell of rats. And fame is horrible. It also has beautiful things, but fame brings rats into your life, so be aware of that.
What characteristics contributed to your success?
Believing in what you do. Don’t giving up on my ideas. I’m still going. They brought me happiness and tears but it taught me to become a better person.
Which things in society touch you and what can we do better as human beings?
I think we have to care a little bit more about the people who are suffering. We have to care about the others. People are dying of hunger. I work with Orange Babies and The Red Cross. I also designed jewelry to help Puerto Rico. To help others is important.
What about the future, what are your goals, dreams, plans or things you like to learn?
My future is like;
“I never stop dreaming. Without dreams there’s no life.”
I want to learn many things still, everything. In the moment I’m involved in diamonds. I design beautiful diamond jewelry, which is a huge task. Cartier, Gucci, Tiffany’s, the competition is huge and you’re playing with in Big Boys League.
Who would you still like to work with?
I would still like to work with actress Issabella Rossalini, design something for her. I love her and never had the change to meet her.
Actually the list is endless. The world is huge; I have a lot of people I like to work with.
I never give up.
You have any life slogan?
“Never give up”
What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful to have the two hands I have, the brains, the family that I have, to be healthy, to be able to dream.
“Dreaming is giving me an extra drive to achieve things in life”
What are you most proud of?
To say every day to my mom, I love her. I cherish her every day.
How do you want people to remember you?
I like people to remind me as a guy who had a dream ad who worked very hard to achieve it.
Is there anything you like to say?
“There’s more to come…..!”
Next week, there’s indeed more to come. ☺ Rodrigo Otazo reveals his to do list in his homelands, New York, Amsterdam and Argentina to me. Read here Rodrigo Otazu’s homelands to do list (2) (coming soon next week!) And below Rodrigo’s latest creation.
If you like to see the interview partly on video, on my you tube channel, click here.
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