Thiago Maia and his team create real eye candy for some of the world’s biggest brands
Burrowed in the depths of Shoreditch, London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’, sits a suite of five creatives, each cooking up innovative recipes for the world’s biggest brands and broadcasters. Their size may be modest but their team of internationally experienced animators, illustrators and designers are establishing an unforgettable style and creating awarding-winning work for the world’s brand giants.
Founder of Cookie Studio, Thiago Maia’s passion for the industry is undoubtedly the key ingredient to the studio’s global success. After studying Advertising and Marketing at university in Brazil, he interned at a production house where his infatuation with animation saw him embark on a journey to London in pursuit of a creative career. “It was back in 1999, I started an internship in a production house in São Paulo. At that time, there were no design or animation courses in Brazil which is why I had to go into Advertising and Marketing,” he explains “but I got an internship in my first year and knew that animation was what I wanted to do. I left my advertising course and moved to London.”
Thiago soon paved a fruitful career for himself working with established animation studios for brands including MTV, Nokia and Samsung.
Cookie turned bizarrely behaving animals into stylish dancing queens for a TV commercial on MTV’s music app.
In 2010, Thiago concocted his own design and animation studio, baking up vibrant and playful images for leading products, broadcasters and brands. Today, Cookie Studio specialises in full production for motion projects from the idea’s inception, mind-mapping and art direction to final delivery for TV branding, sponsorship, title sequence and TV commercials.
Cookie collaborate with UKTV creating the stylised ‘Purpose’ film, conceptualising a virtual journey through the world of UKTV’s iconic brands.
Since opening its doors, the perfectly sized studio has worked with some of the world’s leading brands, including Sky, Fiat, Disney and Google. Cookie now has representatives across the globe, including in Barcelona, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo.
All of Cookie Studio’s creatives are accomplished in illustration, design, 2D and 3D animation, live action and character animation. Whilst the team are skilled in a broad range of styles and animation, their work is synonymous with a playful and colourful style. “We love to promote our colourful work. This is how I see the studio, a place where people have fun, enjoy themselves and do what we love. We love to solve problems and there is no better way to tell a complex story than in a colourful and playful way,” says Thiago.
And nothing says it more than the face of Cookie Studio – Mr Cookie. A puppet that means business, Mr Cookie embodies the studio’s spirit, featuring on their showreel and pride of place in the studio. Thiago describes him with a smile. “I wanted to do something different to a normal showreel and create something fun that could tell clients what we do. I love mixed media, so I came with the idea of creating a puppet that would explain who Cookie Studio is and what we do whilst we’re doing it. He is inspired by our everyday work and how to solve problems in a creative way. He can be bossy, but he is a good guy!”
Mr Cookie gives viewers a one stop tour of Cookie Studio
Alongside Cookie Studio and industry panel talks, Thiago co-founded his own panel event with James Wignall. Titled See No Evil the event is a bi-monthly meet-up for animators, designers and directors to share work, inspire each other and form a community. “You can always find inspiration online, but to have a community where you can network, meet people and be inspired is different. People like to talk, to share and you need a place for that,” adds Thiago.
Thiago remains impassioned by his work and the future of the studio. He continues to build his influence within the creative field with both Cookie and See No Evil, “We love what we do and we always want to push the quality of work… We are trying to go further and share [See No Evil] events with the world,” says Thiago.