Carlota Santamaria is a Barcelona born creative director and conceptualizer, based in between New York & Los Angeles. She has also lived in Paris, Belgium and Japan, which gave her a worldwide vision of the cultural contemporary world and a deep understanding of creative thinking and image making.
Since Volume 2 of Odiseo, She has been collaborating with Folch Studio as the magazine’s creative co-director from her studio in NY & LA.
As she is continuously working on defining a new concept of Erotica, she is been part of the a new conceptual direction to Odiseo at it’s re-launch.
In addition to her work known for crossing media genres and platforms, both on and offline, she carries out a continuous investigation as a trend forecaster.
She develops an ongoing task of essay writing on today’s complex cultural, social and economic landscape. This gives her an invaluable platform from where she develops all her creative direction projects, as Ideas City video for the New Museum.
HP Hewlett Packard; Storefront for Art and Architecture NY; New Museum; Odiseo by Folch Studio; Lucas Borras; Paper Planes; Quantic; Dresslab; Stella; Suite; Apartamento Magazine;Other clients;
Daily news x Archive

New. Exporting influence

At Nomad Studio together with Lucas Borras we directed this stop motion film. All the elements are made out of paper, working with origami techniques and combining it with illustrations. With this video our intention is to create an informative piece at the same time entertaining, elegant with a hing of playfulness. De Qué Buzz is a viral solution that brings the influencer marketing beyond all borders. They trust in tactical creativity and Internet globalism to bring an idea to its target audience, wherever it is. Directed by Lucas Borrás & Carlota Santamaria for NOMAD Studio Music by Jorge Ramirez-Escudero

New. HP Sprout’sworldwide launch

In the event of the HP Sprout's worldwide launch I was invited as a guess creative for a live demonstration. Sprout is a computer that combines the capabilities of a keyboard, projector, canvas, scanner and 3D camera into one single device. So the main point was combining traditional techniques with the digital world. I did some backgrounds using Suminagashi, and ancient Japanese technique with suspended inks on water. Combine different collage techniques, scissors and digital cutting and watercolors The whole process was swinging from digital images to actual real objects and their projections overlaying layers of physical and digital objects. The result are Phygital images. That perfectly refer to the trend-forecasting report I've done on August 12' Digital Surrealism and the appearance of a third dimension, the Phygital.


For the Nasdaq music video we worked with the director Lucas Borras on the translation of Dreamcop's music into a visual world. We created a dark atmosphere with a touch of 60' psychedelia that fits the song perfectly. For that we decided to do all the effects on camera, avoiding digital postproduction. I researched 60's live visual projections and we reproduced the old techniques and then translated the old psychedelia to a contemporary language. The Holi indian color festival was also revisited and brought to the black and white world Dreamcop was living in. The styling of the artist had to be sober but with a touch of sinister rockabilly. These elements mixed with complex lighting and the use of different sourced prism help us to reach the kind of dark dream like visual language we wanted to build up for this music video.

Apartamento: A borrowed place

It is said there are magnetic cores on the earth, and similarly, in every story it appears to be a vital centre. Houses, corners, a bench, the fifth floor of an office building, a bar, the road back, a boat, a table in a café… Anonymous corners of a street, places you can't choose, in which your life bends its way along transcendentally. Spaces that drain the time like a large hourglass. Gradually and imperceptibly, with gentlest subtlety, they change your existence. The first day you arrived there, you were somebody you merley recognise on some old picture found by surprise. Unit 8, 3 Glebe road has never been my home or a choice. It has nevertheless witnessed my life for 6 years. The hostesses have been changing and I have continued to visit regardless. Friendships from adolescence, childhood ties, strangers who will be my future partners, friends who I have yet to meet; they have all been living in this place. I’ve slept alone, yet also in the company of the three great loves of a life. I’ve arrived lost and become even more so. But I’ve also taken more decisions than I’m aware of in this borrowed home. I'm not sure why it seems as if thoughts become more clear with two feet planted on this old wooden floor. Whenever the door is open to me, I’m assaulted by intimate memories in a borrowed place.


This project was 'low budget' and had 100% creative freedom. The director wanted to build up the story, shooting footage and working out some animation on it. My main input on this project was proposing the director to take the digital footage we have been filming “out of the screen” and make it tangible.?As Lucas Borras works with a mixture of digital and analog techniques, I thought it was very important to be able to bring the more flat digital footage to his own world, where stop motion and cell animation coexist with Digital post production. We ended up printing 2500 photos, that later on the director re-shoot creating a stop motion film. The photos are reframe throughout an artist studio’s walls, manipulated through cut outs, paint, etc. As we wanted to keep the process as analog as possible, the illustrations were painted on transparencies and applied on top of the pictures resulting in a traditional cell animation avoiding any digital post production. The result is a very plastic and tactile video, that brings the outdoor space indoors into the intimacy of a personal world.

Martin Margiela J T’M

This project consisted in portraying Martin Margiela's team. I've asked everyone to come to work with their favorite Maison Martin Margiela piece. I've photographed them in their work routine through out Margiela's studio, when it was still a little house inside a Parisian courtyard. Everything was shot in film. After printing the photos on paper, I've reworked the images painting over some of the elements of the photo. Margiela's studio used to be all painted in white and furniture and objects all around covered with white slipcovers. I've mimic the concept through paint on top of the photos surface. Special thanks to Tomoko, Ricardo, Natalie, Claudia & Angelique.

Pray to the light machine

Steve Boi eyewear collection could be defined as extravagant with a hint of Gang under-culture. So for this project I worked with the concept of fashion as seen in a Vogue-ing contest in contrast with urban industrial decay. Juxtaposing a graphic and elegant look in black and white and a background of extreme industrial and isolated locations. Inspired by sharp movements in Vogue-ing we worked with Gustavo Mañas the director on a game of time lapse editing, so a sort of choreography builds up in the film combining time, posing and locations.

Suite magazine

Suite magazine, started as a music publication, in one point they wanted to expand their reach and add a fashion section and invite me to become the Fashion Editor. I've created new sections as the trend topic “Je T’M” and commission the editorial content for example the Renown fashion photographer Daniel Sanwald published his first fashion editorial in Suite. Other collaborators' names are Daniel Riera, Luis Vengas and Nacho Alegre. After a year I move to Paris and partner with Carlos Ramirez to expand all the fashion and lifestyle content in the magazine. What started as a local Barcelona base publication end up gaining international recognition to the point of being on the shelves of top taste maker shops as Colette in Paris.

Ideas city

The New Museum, through the production company M sa ng P eces, commissioned Lucas Borras (director) and I (creative dir.) to create a film to promote their biannual festival "Ideas City." We first had a meeting where the New Museum team explained their ideas of what the festival was about, their main aims and events, and its context. After analyzing all the points that the team gave us I worked on the concept and the ideal narrative we will have to use with the director. To fit this project our video had to be fresh, with an element of magic, and transmit the playful spirit of the event at the same time that showed the committed spirit of the festival to the environment, culture and new medias. As I was working with Lucas Borras a director that excels in Mix-media films, we decided to make a stop motion video that will combine objects, real actors and illustrations. As the New Museum has a clean modern aesthetics, I worked with a very graphic approach; black and white and bold primary colors. There was a team of 21 people involved and I managed 12 of them sourcing, building, and styling props. We pushed the creativity of our team to the very edge, creating oversize origami pieces and pop up gigantic books. The result is a stop motion video that has magical moments, when you don't know if what you are looking at is real, drawn or simply your imagination.

Black sun

I directed this film pursuing the idea of making a visual art piece, but at the same time it is a fashion film too. I've chosen a vintage Martin Margiela dress as I admire him as a creator who was able to bring art in into fashion in a shameless undisguised way. I guess my first idea has been achieved, as the video has been exhibited in Art festivals ( Incubarte, Close up Vallarta) galleries (Mr. Pink, ULAC), as well as in fashion film festivals ( ASVOFF at Caixa Forum, Hispanic-American Fashion Culture at FIT) For that piece I've work on the following concept. In the Japanese Bunraku Theatre, the puppets come to life through puppeteers dressed in black. The first impression is that the puppet is an inert object that moves at the whim of the artist. But the more you deepen in the play, the characters dressed in black, end up seeping away. They appear to your eyes as slaves of the puppet, moving to the sound of what appear to be the wishes of a doll that gained life.?In this connection we see a reflection of the nature of man and his soul. Homer sees life as a breath and at the same time as a disembodied shadow, the body depends on the halo of soul’s breath to live. Orphisms believes that the soul is not a principle that informs the body and gives him life, but something that’s essentially non-sensitive and not material detached from the body, which seeks to ascend.?In this piece I think about how to visualize if the soul comes down to the body, or the body to the soul.?Is it the soul the one that moves us like marionettes, or it is our body the one that gives a space to the existence of the soul??I articulate this duality by constructing an environment without definite dimensions, and a hypnotic narrative where what we don’t see, the black body, has the same presence and visual force as what can see, the dress.

Odiseo vol.2

This was the first time creative directing the magazine after all the strategy work we have done. We worked the vol.2 as a 360º product, with all the visual content, the video teaser and the special collaboration. We wanted to show a new vision, First a woman in charge of her erotic power, Lina Schennius' Diary pictures were perfect. With that we broke the stereotype of woman being the passive subject to showcase a woman in power of her sexuality. We were also seduced by Jo swab's great work, as he was portraying all this different women and every single one was extremely seducing from its very own individuality. With this story we made a statement against standardization and stereotypes. Those Ideas are principles we want stand for at Odiseo. To finishi up we invited Jonathan Leder to revisited the seducing 60' erotica. Creating an elegant Ode to femininity. The cover was obviously a statement too. A strong image of a seductive girl with natural hair armpit. One of the main concepts I’m reinforcing in the new Odiseo is that the publication is not about submissive women it's about the power of seduction as a concept.

Odiseo vol.3

We worked in 4 different areas for this volume. On the content of the publication, the cover, the special collaboration, and the presentation at Do you read me?! Berlin. This volume, Albert Folch and I wanted to reaffirm the fact that Odiseo works eroticism from a conceptual point of view. So we worked on creating a balance in between natural eroticism from Marc Regas story, constructed eroticism from the graphic nudes in Olya's work, and the conceptual eroticism from Max & Patrick view on Italian women. We worked extensively on editing Marc's photos, to create a black and white melody as a José Gonzalez song. I met with Max & Patrick to personally discuss about our take on eroticism the way it can be translated to images and put ideas together, the result is a story were there is barely a couple of nudes but highly charged erotic women are portrayed, an Ode to Italian women. We also worked with Olya, on moodboards, inspiration and back stories that build her powerful emotional story about women's sexual growth. The culmination of this volume 3 was a presentation at Do You Read me Berlin?! Albert Folch talked about the project as a whole and into the Editorial scene, Oriol Mogas explained the Editorial text content, and I did the presentation on Odiseo's take on erotica and it's foundations. The special collaboration was comissioned to Aparatu, a ceramic artist and the teaser to Pensacola. The chosen cover expresses the aim of Odiseo of not being gender restricted as well as the concept that eroticism is not base on what you see but what your mind projects.

Odiseo vol.4

The creative direction role in Odiseo vol 4 has a accomplish one more step commissioning the video for the release to an outstanding creative studio as Zeitguised, the stills from the video become the interlace pages of the book. For the photographic work we invited Jonathan Schofield, Stella McCartney ‘s creative director, who presented a visual essay base in some found photographs, and the cross boundaries of intimacy and public spheres. I’ve worked with the stylist Raquel Franco and the Photographer Alex Franco on a piece about feminine old school seduction. And invited Olya Olelnic to work on a series that explore the beauty of color and texture under a modern view of African inspiration.

Sim/Stim with Zeitguised

The intention with this video was bringing eroticism to the new Phygital dimension. I am very excited with this collaboration together with Zeitguised, as it reaches a highly conceptual level of eroticism, which is what I am after at Odiseo. With this work we enter on the realm of Phygital experiences, were the digital and the physical world coexist and we can't stigmatize one or the other, as they melt without borders. Zeitguised worked the entire piece through CGI, and yet the models look so present. Their starting point was a real body to generate our Digital model. Society always has fantasized about hologram lovers, and 3D muses, and we personally think we haven't seen anything before that looks as real as Zeitguised sim/stim work. I always have admired Zeitguised work, and follow their career for the last years. I consider Zeitguised studio a pioneer on the new vision on CGI, cross-pollinating technology and art. It has been a great pleasure to finally work together with them through Odiseo. Concept, Art Direction & Design: Zeitguised with Chris Hoffmann Creative Direction - Zeitguised with Albert Folch & Carlota Santamaria for Odiseo Imaging & Animation: Chris Hoffmann Sound: Superimposed Void - Want (Good Price Rec.) Zeitguised statement on the piece: "Shifting between auto-eroticism and material fetish, ‘sim | stim’ proposes a cargo cult of sensual nano-alchemy. It celebrates temporary mummification of the body by engaging in an erotic relationship with shape changing clouds of synthetic material. Touching on the topics of body enhancement and death through preservation, sexual attraction is being conserved in floating silicone bubbles; flesh is suspended in ersatz aspic, comparable to an ‘inverse boob job’."

WorldWide Storefront 2014

Eva Franch commissioned this short film teaser to promote the first worldwide event organize by Storefront for Art & Architecture. The briefing was clear: promote artistic creation that will happen simultaneous in different parts of the world.. So we had to transmit the idea that during the event anything can happen, anywhere, simultaneously. I co-directed this piece with the mix-media director Lucas Borras. We focus in short sketches that will appeal to the surreal, and the subconscious. We try to undress the scenes from cultural local references, but at the same time integrate elements from opposite poles. Therefore it really didn’t matter where are you, you’ll perceived the vibe of the event. Reaching a wide audience. Teaser for WorldWide Storefront 2014 A new initiative to provide a simultaneous, multi-locus of alternative spaces around the globe and a digital platform for the expression and exchange of latent desires within contemporary art and architecture practices. Directed by Carlota Santamaría & Lucas Borrás Commissioned by Eva Franch & Carlos Mínguez from Storefront for Art and Architecture NY Music by Jorge Ramirez-Escudero

Best Fall Winter Ad Campaings

Carlos Ramirez from Paper Planes wanted to do an archive story on the 2006 main fashion add campaigns. He wanted to feature the most remarkable ones but at the same time avoid any kind of copyright issues. The concept that was developed for that project was an image compose by the illustrated campaign and later on superpose to the original photo, with a slight transparency and off-centered. So there is a trompe-l'oeil dialog, when the viewer thinks is seeing a drawing but suddenly looks like a photography, and he/she's not so sure what is it. That way we kept the original add but we passed it through our lenses creating a new image.

Yorokobu nº 17

In the frame of Yorokobu motion credits teaser invitation series, we created a short film presenting Yorokobu #17. Instead of working with computer generated motion graphics, we opt to create a video that brings graphic elements into live. Together with the director Lucas Borras, we develop the concept of creating real letters instead of filming and adding the credits in postproduction. The more than 3’ / 1m tall paper alphabet travel throughout the city of New York, blending in all sort of locations from Times Square to Brooklyn warehouses.