I was born in Spain but grew up in The Netherlands. I consider myself somehow rootless. This is visible in my work. Through my films I tell universal stories. In advertising I mostly work for global brands. This doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in my surroundings. What I observe in daily life truly inspires me, but rather than focusing on details, it makes me think about social trends and human behaviour in general.  

I obtained a bachelor's degree in Communication at the Complutense University in Madrid. I specialized in writing and directing for film. During my studies I worked as a professional photographer. Afterwards I studied at the Utrecht School of the Arts, where I obtained a master's degree in Interactive Media through the European MEDIA programme. Currently I’m based in Amsterdam, where I work in film and advertising. I'm a storyteller above all. Instead of restricting myself to a specific framework, I try to focus on the concept and pick the medium and style best suitable for what I want to tell. 

There are qualities I appreciate in the work I do and the people I work with. The most important for me is the creative idea. Also a proper attitude: the will to innovate, to think further, to be open to the unknown. 

I always strive for a strong emotional impact and my work is not finished until this is not the case. I like to portray people as they are, with a certain authenticity and naturality. And although as a creative I drift off to imaginary worlds, I’m a highly responsible individual who appreciates this quality in other people as well. Finally, I'm naturally stylish. I put lots of love and care in the aesthetic qualities of my work.

Within film one of my strengths is concept development. I always search for an unusual story or perspective and I have a preference for arthouse. Visualising and storyboarding is something natural to me, the images fit and flow intuitively. I also put a lot of attention on my work with actors. First I write and research characters extensively. I discuss options thoroughly. In the end I give actors the freedom to contribute to the movie in the best they can.

Some people describe me as a perfectionist, but I think perfectionism is only a necessary trait for my job, problems only occur when you care too little. Finally, besides all of the above, I just try to be a nice person, to others and to myself, and enjoy the work I do.   

Vanesa Abajo Pérez