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The Essential List: Vinicius Costa

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The co-founder and creative director of ROOF Studio is inspired by tactile textures and the warm, salty waters of northeast Brazil

The Essential List: Vinicius Costa
Vinicius Costa is co-founder / creative director of ROOF Studio, a design and animation studio based in New York. 

Vinicius is best known for his magical realism - creating work that’s whimsical, surreal, quirky, and extremely rich in detail. A personal project of his is currently being developed into a 1000-piece puzzle for release in early 2021. 

Through ROOF Studio, he and his partner, Guto Terni, produce 2D, 3D, VFX and stop motion work for such clients as Honda, Verizon, HP, Amnesty International, American Express, General Mills, Microsoft, HBO, and Coca-Cola.

For Vinicius, the joy in creating art comes from absorbing all of the details around him, such as tactile textures, brass metallic details, and ornamentations, which find their way into the beautiful CG worlds he creates for himself and for clients. You can check out his most recent artwork, 'The End Is Just Another Beginning', below, before tucking into his Essential List below that!

'The End Is Just Another Beginning'


o Place of birth:​ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

o Hometown:​ New York
o Staycation:​ Home sweet home

o Vacation: ​Any beach with light fluffy sand and warm salty ocean water; northeast Brazil possibly.
o Pet: ​Lancelot, my Yorkie

o Place of work:​ ROOF Studio
o Place of workout:​ Home
o Side project: ​My personal artwork website:
o Mode of transport: ​My wife's Ford Thunderbird 56 or bike since my scooter was stolen recently in NY :(

o Bonus travel essential:​I always carry a small pillow filled with mini flowers, plus a sleeping mask and headphones, so pretty much almost all my senses are covered :)


o Artist: ​I am going classic here, Dali!
o Musician: ​All the best - Tom Jobim, Burt Bacharach, Mike Oldfield and of course, Tears for Fears.

o Commercials / music video director:​ Michel Gondry, who is always entertaining people with his crafty ideas.
o Film director:​ I am not going to try to impress here. Being honest, Steven Spielberg was able to extract great emotions from me over the years and more recently, I can highlight the work from the Duplass Brothers.
o Photographer:​The one and only Raiza Costa, my wife, she does unique food photography using surrealism and stop motion.

o Film: ​​Stranger Than Fiction​, ​Eyes Wide Shut​, and ​Midnight in Paris​all still shine to me.
o Series:​​ The Leftovers​is one of my favourites. I recently finished watching ​The Search Party​and it is pretty awesome.
o Commercial:​ Any ‘80s commercial, to be honest. This Captain Morgan commercial is also special.

o Music video:​ Peter Gabriel 'Sledgehammer'

o Video game:​ Super Mario from Super Nintendo; Prince of Persia, the first one, and SimCity, the first release.
o Board game:​ Monopoly, for sure. It is the only way you can own an entire street with multiple hotels in it.
o Book: ​'Homo Deus' is definitely something to make you think, and the original 'Ready Player One' was so fun and entertaining.
o Newspaper (off or online): ​Even now, after living in the US for 11 years, I still like taking a peek at Brazilian newspapers to read about all the good and bad craziness out there.
o Magazine:​ I don't have any particular favorites. Everything is online now, fortunately or unfortunately, so I get to read bits and pieces of many.
o Bonus culture essential: ​I love people-watching everywhere I go.

Food and Drink

o Breakfast: ​I started drinking coffee recently and it’s really growing on me. It’s great with some sliced bread, good melted cheese, and ham.
o Restaurant: ​So many to choose from but they’re all in New York. I can highlight Nobu for flavour, La Mercerie in Soho for breakfast, and Misi for pasta. Trust me, if you come to New York, you’ll want to experience all three.

o Cheap bite:​I am still addicted to cookies just like when I was a child.
o Working lunch: ​I am lucky to work so close to home. I end up eating a lot of home cooked food. Sometimes, I even make a quick solo barbecue and then get back to the office smelling like fire smoke.
o Favourite dish: ​Rice, beans, some grilled protein with vegetables cooked on fire. Anything prepared on fire tastes amazing :)
o Signature dish: ​Carbonara pasta
o Snack: ​Nuts
o Guilty pleasure: ​Cookies and more cookies.
o Bar: ​Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg has the best drinks! It is not actually a hotel although it is called a hotel.

o Booze:​I don't drink very often but for beer, I love Kona Big Wave and I enjoy a super cold, refreshing ​Rosé ​wine.
o Not booze:​Red Jacket Orchard strawberry juice is the best! It is all natural and so delicious.
o Bonus food:​ Pizza has to be mentioned. A good one in New York is Cecconi's in Dumbo.
Bonus beverage:​ I love Acqua Panna Water. There’s some special magic in there.


o Phone: ​It was never my thing and I spent a really long time without one. I use an iPhone now but I don't update it all the time.
o Computer: ​Apple for music and fun, in general. A PC for work since CGI requires power. Two monitors is always preferable.
o TV:​ I don't have one anymore and actually use a projector. I have a laser one that is so portable and incredible.
o Headphones:​ Monitor headphones from Audio-Technica in the office. Full-ear coverage is essential for the many hours on the computer or outside. I am very picky about sound, so Koss Porta Pro is the best sound you can get with a super cool ‘80s vintage vibe as an added bonus.
o Camera:​Believe it or not, I don't own a camera. I do love looking at pictures, though. Soundsystem: ​I like listening to vinyl and I have a pair of old Klipsch speakers that I found in the garbage in my old building that are incredible! My receiver is also old and doesn't offer any music presets. I simply love that.
o Pen / pencil:​ Pencil lets me undo, so that is my go-to.
o Where you document an idea: ​In my mind and I always forget things. Not very efficient I have to admit.
o Casual clothing: ​Havaianas flip flops on my feet, short jeans, and white T-shirt with a super-soft fabric like good cotton.
o Smart clothing: ​My clothes are not very smart but they’re colourful sometimes.
o Footwear: ​I like velcro sneakers but they’re not always easy to find.
o Watch:​ I don't wear watches because I don’t like knowing what time it is.
o Collection:​ I have five acoustic guitars, so that’s one thing I collect.

o App:​The weather app is the one I use the most. And the timer app on my iPhone since I need to make sure my rice doesn’t burn. Very useful!
o Favourite social media feed: ​Facebook. I added a bunch of strangers to my feed when they contacted me, and now I can take a peek at how people live their everyday lives in different parts of the world. I like seeing life from different angles and through people's mundane habits. 
o Work program: ​Modo
o Digital work tool: ​I don't have any specific gadget but recently got myself a Herman Miller chair and my back is thanking me.
o Analogue work tool: ​Paper
o Bonus kit essential: ​A backpack with two extra handbags inside, so I can quickly go to the supermarket close to home and grab whatever I feel like eating in that moment.

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Roof Studio, Mon, 09 Nov 2020 16:12:05 GMT