Creativity knows no bounds

There is no denying the power and impact of Creative Economies to different countries. This vibrant and thriving sector contributes significantly to economic growth, making creative industries an engine for attracting investments, fueling job creation and amplifying cultural voices on the global stage.

In a world where creativity and innovation reign supreme, there are a few visionary individuals who are determined to transform their nations into global competitive forces by empowering artists, designers and innovators. One such remarkable woman is Carla Leonor who is driven to forge a future where creativity knows no bounds.

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF CARLA LEONOR | LEONOR helps unleash talent through education.

Carla is a known visionary entrepreneur, licensed designer and innovation professional who fearlessly paved the way for breeding highly competitive Filipino Creative Talents and Enterprises. Her unique blend of expertise in human-centered design, education, entrepreneurship and innovation showcases how multifaceted she is as one of the emerging leaders in the Philippine Creative Industry.

For one, she has more than a decade of experience in the academe up her sleeve, highlighted by her term as the chairperson of the Interior Design Program at SoFA Design Institute. Her design leadership is a result of her integrative approach in merging design with science that’s evident in her body of work as Founder of Signature Spaces, a firm that integrates behavioral science and cultural branding into design strategies.

But more than just loving and breathing design, she continuously demonstrates her relentless pursuit of innovation and passion for lifelong learning that positioned her as a driving force behind the transformative growth of the Philippine creative landscape through her tech-driven startups, Bughaw Creative Collective and BRIDGE Creatives, both of which are pioneers in developing innovative solutions that can support budding artists, entrepreneurs and creative enterprises, enabling them to transform their dreams into viable business models.

Carla’s efforts extend far beyond the boundaries of the Philippines. She recognized that for the Philippine Creative Economy to truly flourish, it had to be a formidable competitor in the global arena. She launched Creatives’ Community of Allied Networks (Creatives CAN) as a space to launch groundbreaking initiatives to nurture local talent. BRIDGE Creatives, on the other hand, is positioned as a data-driven research institute dedicated to developing, growing and evolving the industry through industry reports, market analytics and future forecasts.

Bughaw Creative Collective continues to develop business support platforms anchored on innovation. But more than what her initiatives can do for the industry, Carla strongly believes that for real and lasting growth to happen, joint and collective efforts must be made among government bodies, private enterprises and international collaborators, and has therefore made efforts to forge alliances that would drive the necessary behavioral and economic changes.

However, the path to success was not without hurdles. Carla had to navigate challenges with grit, meeting each obstacle head-on and displaying a level of resilience that was truly inspiring, not just to the people that work with her, but also to those she is able to help and inspire to join the movement.

Early on in her career, she herself experienced the hurdles of practicing her design profession and growing a business that not only meets the demands of her clients but continues to produce work that remains relevant and impactful to people, communities and industries. It was in these years when she recognized the need to address infrastructure gaps, lack of access to resources and the limited global exposure for Filipino artists and creators.

With sheer determination, she built her arsenal by undergoing training programs related to Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Design Strategy, Intellectual Property and Business Management. With these she continues to try to move the needle when it comes to making Filipino creative talents more globally competitive.

Carla envisions a near future where she can spur the establishment of multi-disciplinary creative community hubs that will serve as platforms for creative minds to shine, unleashing a wave of innovations that will reverberate from the Philippines across the world. Through these endeavors, she believes she is not only promoting the nation’s creative talent, but also helping position the Philippines as a force to be reckoned with in the global creative landscape.