About

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" ― Invictus by William Ernest Henley

In need for a CV?

There you go!

Find me at:

Want to reach out?

daniloleal09@gmail.com

Me using an iMac G3 back in the day.

Hope you notice the classic iMac G3 overthere. Lucky little kid.

First chapters

Mom and dad named me after a popular bossa-nova Brazilian singer. You have to really love the guy's music so you name your kid with his name. And my parents did. They always loved music and art, in general. My dad was a radio guy - he worked at several radio stations across the northeast of the country, he saw the majority of the most iconic musical figures and movements of Brazil appear and consolidate. My mom, since she was just a teenager, worked with advertisements. It made her very demanding for quality but also very sensible for art.

Our house was very impacted by their work: we had too many CDs and a lot of posters and tech gadgets. My dad used all his spare money buying music and my mom was privileged enough to be able to have access to some very advanced tech at an unreal cheap price for the time - hence the iMac up there.

I always loved cartoons and animes. I can't exactly explain to you why but Brazil always had a massive anime following and I've been watching this stuff before I could properly walk. I can't also explain why but at some point, I started playing around with drawing the characters from my favorite cartoons. I used to spend countless hours locked in my room, listening to music, looking at a plain picture, and trying to replicate as best as I could on a piece of paper. I was really good at outlining the drawings but when it came to painting them... it was a mess. And again, at another point, I just started to play around painting my drawings on the computer. And then the rest of my life started when I was locked inside of my room playing with Photoshop.

Designing my life

The artistic vein of design was within me from the very beginning. As a kid, I used to say "when I grow up, I'm going to be an illustrator!". It didn't take me too long to understand that it's not only a very challenging profession, specially financially-wise, but I also started to get interested in a whole different dimension of things. Probably because of the genre of music I always listened to - metal/hardcore - a general awareness of societal problems popped into my head. Suddenly, at school, I found myself really hooked on subjects like history and politics.

By the time college was around the corner, none of the so traditional courses seemed to be a good fit for me. I just felt I needed to do something that resonated down to the core. So, one day, out of complete despair given that I didn't have much time to decide where to enroll, I started researching for what were the available courses in the universities from my state. And then, I found Social Sciences. Wow, it sounded perfect. Sociology, anthropology, politics... it was exciting.

As you'd imagine, an academic career is not the most rewarding path one could choose to have. Around here, not only it is way undervalued, but it's also completely neglected financially wise. It took me almost 3 years to notice that I wasn't willing to go through the countless hardships of this career to become a social scientist. Also, it wasn't just that. I realized how I just didn't want to drown myself in the deep weeds of academic research. Even though I still find it very amusing, I needed to do something with a broader reach.

So, I dropped out. I decided that I needed to rescue back that illustrator dream I had but with a different twist. What if I could still have the general Social Sciences topics and way of thinking in my day-to-day while doing something more artistic and related to technology? There's actually a word for that! Design! Dream come true.

And here I am (doing everything I can, pretending I'm a) designer. A lot of years have passed by and I'm very fulfilled by the profession I chose. However, these days, the struggle is to separate what is work and what is personal life. As I have always identified myself so much with the idea of being a designer, at some point, I felt it actually stopped me from seeing things with more pragmatic lenses. Also, who we are as professionals is only a part of what we are. I'm glad to be manu other things, a son, a brother, friend, future husband, musician and whatever else.

This site is meant to be a place for me in all these forms. You'll find my professional experience as well as random thoughts, alternative things I like and so on. Get cozy, get cool, get funky!

Now

Inspired by Derek Sivers, I thought of adding a now page to my site as well. It's a place to basically share what's the current status of my life. About pages like this one have their intrinsic limitation of being a general summary of one's (in this case, mine) life. So, if you're interested to knowing more about my current on-going challenges, just hop in there!

See what is happening now

Me and my beloved Carina and the monumental Cajon del Maipo mountains.

Me and my beloved Carina and the monumental Cajon del Maipo mountains.

Change-log

At this point, I've worked in a number of companies. I like to believe I left something in all of them, something of course good! I feel like I'm just at the beginning, with so much ahead of me. Excited about what's to come! But, now, here's where I've been:

MUI

Design Lead • Since 07/2021.

Loggi

Senior Product Designer • 09/2019 to 07/2021.

Nexa

Product Designer • 05/2019 to 09/2019.

iFood

Product Designer • 02/2018 to 05/2019.

Rapiddo

Designer • 07/2017 to 02/2018.

About this website

You might think by looking at this website that I have a clear understanding of what's going on here but I assure you I don't. I'm figuring out how to do actual tech while trying to build something. Thank goodness for the world wide web where I've learned everything by searching until page 3 of Google.

This site is hosted on Vercel, created using Next.js, styled mostly using TailwindCSS and with bits and pieces of other amazing libraries, such as - of course - MUI.

Let's connect!

My social media channels are all over this website but here are two handy buttons so we can connect right away. Looking forward to meet you!