Viva DeviantArt folks and all you visitors !
first of all i have to send a big "thank you !" out there for every last one of you people that visited my Deviantart site in the last years.
this is going to be a long post that i wanted to post for along time. so here comes my story :
when i started my gallery here on deviantart little did i know about online art communities, digital painting or anything like that.little did i know how many people would come to visit this gallery and see my
work.it is overwhelming to look at my gallery stats - so many visitors i would have never ever imagined to have my work exposed to so many people not even in my wildest dreams ever. it´s awesome.
it is six years ago that i made my first digital paintings and my first uploads to Deviantart. six years and a lot happened since then. artistically and personally it seems almost like an eternity.
discovering digital painting, working for the first time on a wacom tablet and uploading the results to Deviantart- getting feedback ! that was really a huge leap for me, a milestone in my life as an artist.
but in this post i want to rewind twenty years and more - long time before i ever touched a computer.
i´m a self-taught artist ,i did four years on an art school but i learned most of my drawing just by doing it on my own.
i started my "professional career" very young with hand-painted postcards,sold to the tourists on the beaches of south-Portugal and went on to do a gazillion of little artistic works ever since. i did
decorations for beach-clubs,bars,restaurants,theaters etc. i did wall-paintings, small and giant papiermaché sculptures, i did street theater, fabricated costumes and props, acted myself,worked as a clown,i
did illustrations for magazines and went on to teach children how to make comics, teached older students about how to be creative,teached in libraries,schools and hospitals.i was very young - probably way too
young to teach anything but i think i managed to "infect" others with my passion for art and creativity even back then.i have always been been working as a freelance illustrator and mainly street painter.
it is actually for about twenty years that i sell drawings and paintings on the street (or more specifically on the st. George castle) here in Lisbon. i have never been a very classical street-painter, i
always adapted a comic-like,catoonish way of drawing my surroundings.probably because i spent a good time of my teen-age years with a tight knitted group of comic loving friends (we loved robert crumb,edika,moebius,richard corben,gilbert shelton...) - and we were always drawing our own comics together.bizarre little nasty comics never published further than our own fanzine but we loved it. that was my school.
so when i went on to travel on my own, hitch-hiking through Europe to Portugal i used the skills i learned with my friends to draw pictures that i could sell to the tourists. and i still do that today and i
still love it.
basically i still do the same as when i was drawing comics with my friends - i draw "single comic panels" i use pencil, ink-pen and watercolors and i draw everything my imagination and skill lets me put on
paper. difference being that now i have a never ending stream of customers.
i seldom draw directly landmarks,landscapes,monuments and city-views. instead i use my imagination to transform my surroundings and create my own fun and often bizarre view of things and peoples.
since i live in Lisbon i do mainly drawings with things about Lisbon - trams,cats,mini-markets,old people,crooked buildings,cobblestone (gazillions of cobblestones),street-lamps,roofs,cats again and
mice,ravens,pigeons,dogs,sardines,red wine and so on and so on. everything that makes Portugal/Lisbon awesome is on my palette to mix up and draw. there is always that little
"limitation of having to draw something that the tourists like" and there is always me breaking that barrier, having fun being creative.
of course there is also a lot of repetition in what i do- i drew thousands of trams,crooked buildings and cats again and again and again.and then some more trams,cobblestones and cats again and again. and some more - but i still love it, always trying to find new ways to twist it. and well its what keeps me afloat it is what pays my bills.
i started as a street painter and today,together with my partner we have an open door atelier, half shop - half workspace on street level. i receive visitors, get to talk to customers directly and when i´m
working there in the middle of Lisbon things never get boring. in the atelier we dont only do "just" drawings. we have a sublimation heat-press that lets us print on tiles,mugs,shot-glasses, puzzles and all kind
of materials. we produce and sell merchandise and prints of our illustrations and of course the originals directly in our own shop. and we have a handful of selected shops throughout the city that also sell our stuff.it requires alot of work and organization besides "just drawing" and i ended up hiring an accountant (one of the best decisions ever).
when i dont know what to draw i print tiles and mugs, i frame drawings,make some more pins and magnets... there is always some straightforward "manual" stuff to do besides the creative work. it is a full time occupation which is never boring and very rewarding.
i´m doing a lot of back and forward here and its probably confusing to read but yeah ...
so before i opened the atelier two and a half years ago i was very active here on deviantart and initially somewhat active on conceptart.org
between 2006 and 2012 i did a lot of digital paintings and that is what you see here in this gallery. those six years have been an amazing time and i learned much more here than ever in art school.
discovering digital was like arriving in candy-land. i felt i could paint anything, started to realize my limitations,pushed on to learn more,learn the basics again,learn how to use the medium,got excited,got frustrated and excited again and ended up with this gallery full of twisted illustrations.
first only for my own fun and passion,then for commissioners here on deviantart and finally up to external clients that contacted me directly because of my gallery here.
i did loads of book-covers for bizarro novels ( Eraserhead Press), did illustrations of spaceships,slug-girls and whatnot for private clients. then i did that painting of the "Baltic anomaly", ended up doing a 3d animation of it for television together with my brother. i had my illustration of the Baltic anomaly printed all over the world in newspapers,magazines and online. even national geographic society bought the rights for the image. it went viral like hell but all that made me want to go back to my hand-made drawings. to my crooked buildings,trams and cats,watercolors,Chinese ink.
back to talking to people directly and not waiting for e-mails and all that.
after six years digital painting and my small "Internet fame" i went on opening the atelier and going back to my traditional roots. seldom i uploaded digital work in the last years.
painting digitally is magic- its breathtaking and keeps me working for 40+ hours on one painting.everything seems to be possible in the digital world and it is highly rewarding getting positive results and feedback. but it also made me talk less to people around me, go less outside and be less street painter and ultimately work less traditionally. it glued me to the computer basically. so yeah i concentrated on traditional in the last years but i very much miss pushing on digitally.i miss all of my friends here on deviantart. and i miss all the professional feedback.
i have been working on bringing my traditional and digital work closer together and my plan is to continue this gallery with new inspiration.
so yeah this was really long and if anybody read up until here i thank you very much for reading.i just had to spill this out somehow,maybe it is of interest to someone maybe its just explaining things to myself.
thank you so much for visiting my gallery,reading this and taking an interest in my artistic journey.
ah - you can check out what i have been doing in the last years on facebook : www.facebook.com/atelier49lisb…
also would like to know why on the 24 of august i suddenly had 249 pageviews
against the 30 usual per day. maybe a bug ?