From the Beach to the Outback with Gabriel Celuque

Founder and Director of Hover Creative

by Christina Lauren


11 Feb 2020

Gold in Branding 2019
“Getting to help our clients improve their businesses, their lives and those around them is what I love most about my work".

Gabriel Celuque, founder and creative director of Hover Creative, believes in doing business with a purpose, engaging with ventures one can truly believe in. Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, this boutique studio focuses on multi-disciplinary creation as its centerfold. Celuque explains: “We build brands that stand for something, always ensuring they are communicating from their core values and that are unique and strategically positioned in their market. We are not limited by industry, size of operations, or location. We focus on providing creative & technical solutions to our clients through our values-driven approach and a robust process,” he says.

Originally from Salvador, a coastal city in Brazil’s northeast, the Creative Director moved to Australia 15 years ago. Celuque pays homage to his roots by acknowledging that he’ll always be Brazilian, yet “these days I also relate naturally to the Australian culture and way of life.” Adding, “I feel like this dual background has exposed me to different perspectives and how people live completely different lives due to their birthplace and culture, and that has shaped my approach when tackling a creative brief or managing a project.” 


So, where did the journey into design begin? “I came from a family of artists and grew up in my fathers' Leonardo Celuque atelier,” says Celuque. “Having my dad, a classically trained fine-artist, meant that drawing is the first thing I ever remember doing. From my earliest childhood memories, drawing was always constant [and it] later evolved into teenage years hobbies and eventually became my studies, career, and now sure feels like it has always been my calling.” 

Passion stems from our external outlets, and for this Brazilian-bred boss, “Having grown up on the beach got me into surfing at quite a young age. It's all my friends and I ever wanted to do growing up - and in many ways that hasn't changed a bit! Surfing and its lifestyle are what made me leave Brazil only two days after my 18th birthday to chase my dream of living in Australia.” In addition to the sand, sun and waves, the designer adds—"I also love music and enjoy playing the guitar,” he tells us. But it’s not all smooth sailing in the realm of creation, and client criticism can bring even the most skilled professional down. For Celuque, however, he handles censure with tact, stating: “Getting feedback is part of the process, and good feedback should come in ways that help move a creative concept or project forward.” How does he execute such grace, then? “Through the years I've learned that while my work can sometimes be a direct extension of myself, it still is not all of who I am. Specializing in branding and digital solutions for clients means it’s easier for me to create the separation, as we have to understand that our work is to do what is best for the client and their venture. As we work from a strategic angle, we don't believe in "likes-dislikes", but rather, what is answering the brief in the best way. And we need to educate our clients to see it the same,” he says.

 For the founder of Hover Creative, collaboration is key when working with and for a client. For according to Celuque, “We work as our clients' creative and strategic partners. Taking on this approach means that we engage in the process and bring our clients 100% into it.” So essentially when it comes down to convincing a client to trust the better judgment of the professional, making them a part of the process is twofold in that their insight can only help the designer as well. “As creatives, we may always find that you hold the best solution or the best design, but as the clients are the ones running their businesses day-to-day, they also bring essential insights to the project,” he says. “Our collaborative process put the client and us on the same page and is the most crucial part of it all. They understand we are all on the same team working towards the same goal. After having engaged in multiple discovery sessions, mood boarding workshops etc…. we are all already seeing eye to eye and speaking the same "language,” he adds.  

In addition to team collaboration, the designer likes to turn to the real world for inspiration. For when it comes to his influences, Celuque tells us that it all comes down to “Life experiences outside of design. Being exposed to two very different cultures and having moved all alone to the opposite side of the world straight out of high school would have to be top of the list, he says” In addition to upbringing, it is the people around us who shape our way of thinking. “In a more "work-centric" way, working with other creative professionals has had a massive impact on my work,” Celuque says. “Collaborating and learning from others, seeing how they tackle problems differently and understanding how they got to their solutions has helped shape the way I work.” In Celuque’s case, it is his closest circle that best defines his approach to design. “I feel most influenced by my peers. I'm fortunate to be around amazing creatives and have some incredibly talented, hard-working professionals in our local scene and have many that are close friends.”

Being a sociable person has been beneficial to the designer’s path to success as well. Namely, it is this kind of interaction that makes Celuque value his work most. When we asked about the perks of the profession, he says, “Getting to help our clients improve their businesses, their lives and those around them is what I love most about my work. [Also], I love the beautiful contrast of working with people while still having your solo creative moment when on the tools.” As far as some personal goals for the future, it’s all about the people. Celuque says he hopes to “continue working with amazing people in improving their businesses, ventures and ultimately their lives.”

To find out more about Hover Creative and the brains behind the enterprise, take a look at and @hovercreative.

Photo Cr: Gustavo Yoshida - @gustavoyoshida.foto

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