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10th April 2020
Meet the Artists – Laurindo Feliciano
Laurindo Feliciano’s illustrations have a specific nostalgic quality to them. They don’t look at the past with rose tinted glasses, placing times gone by on a pedestal; but they do evoke an era of unprecedented quality and master craftsmanship. Laurindo’s work combines elements of digital painting and collage, utilising his impressive collection of vintage printed ephemera and elevating them into new and thoroughly modern works of illustration.
This collision of past and present makes sense when you look at the logic of Laurindo’s subject matter too, taking influence from the magical realism novels he love to read; silhouetted profiles contain whole landscapes, seals and shellfish share the stage with excited children, or cats with human bodies ice skate towards you while tubas play. All of this subtle strangeness is presented with compositional flair and has attracted a diverse range of clients including Netflix, Heineken and British Airways.
We had the chance to speak to Laurindo about inspiring head-spaces, Latin American magical realism and love at first sight with The Artworks…
Where do you live?
I am currently living in Dijon. I’ve been living in France for almost 17 years.
Where is your studio located?
My studio is located beside my flat, on the same floor.
Can you describe your creative process?
The approach is different for each project but basically I’ve developed a way to do digital collage using vintage elements found in my archives mixed with digital painting. Since I have a background in Architecture I am extremely organised in the creative process, I take great care over each part of the composition and try to homogenise everything, as if all the elements of the composition have always been together.
What does a typical working day look like?
I am definitely a morning person. It’s essential for me to start my day reading newspapers from around the world as well as scientific publications; being curious is my favourite part of this profession. Once I am in the studio I do my mail/paper work and I check my schedule to know what is important to do that day; researching, scanning, painting elements, etc. I rarely finish projects on the same day I start them, I need to take my eyes away from the work and come back to be sure is everything well, so I usually work on different projects during the day. I never finish work at the same hour every day, this is the hard part of working close to home, sometimes I don’t get out until late at night. But often I try to put my head in a different and inspiring space; go for a walk, to the cinema or museums or spend time with my family.
Do you listen to music or the radio whilst you work? If so, what’s on your playlist?
I love listening to music while working, when I was a teenager I worked in a record store for five years, so I define myself as a music nerd and I love so many different things, from Argentinian tango to Norwegian black metal. At the moment I’ m really into the wonderful work of the 80’s genius Arthur Russel and I am captivated by the surreal compositions of Weyes Blood. I also listen to different radio stations like BBC, NPR or Radio France and amazing podcasts like Design matters, hosted by Debbie Millman.
How long have you been with The Artworks for?
I’ve proudly have been in the crew since 2013.
What drew you to The Artworks?
In 2013 I started seeking agents to help me establish my work outside of France. When I saw the Artworks portfolio of artists I was completely seduced, it was love at first sight. Even if I was approached by other agents at the time I didn’t hesitate to join The Artworks.
What books or programmes did you love as a child? Have they influenced your work in any way?
I don’t believe I’ve been really influenced by TV shows, even if I have a good memories of them. Books were (and still) the most influential elements in my life. I started reading books really young and my mind is still blown by the Latin American magical realism writers like Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges and Jorge Amado.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be instead?
Maybe a translator, or interpreter. I love languages. Although I believe illustrators are a kind of translators as well. Definitely an educator, I’ve been invited to lecture at several Universities in the United Kingdom, France and Brazil. I will probably become a teacher in the future!
What was the most important lesson your learned at Art School, if you went!
I never went to Art school. I started two different universities to become a product designer and an architect, and I dropped out of both. Even though I hadn’t graduated I worked in those areas for several years in Paris. I’m a self educated illustrator. I love learning by myself and I am basically studying new things all the time, not only in artistic fields.
What inspires you the most to create?
I was born and grew up in Brazil. The exuberant nature, colors, sounds and flavors had a real impact in my personality. I find inspiration in different fields such as: science, natural history, philosophy, animal behaviour, organic shapes of nature, semiotics, antique books, movies and especially music.
Name three artists that you admire.
My heroes are Joseph Beuys, Cy Twombly and Bruno Munari.
What kind of commissions do you enjoy the most?
It used to be book covers but now I don’t know how to answer to this question. I’ve enjoyed seeing my illustration work in so many different forms and across different subjects. I like to be challenged, being pushed out of my comfort zone to go into new directions.
What would your dream commission be?
I would love to work on an entire identity for a country: a flag, stamps, banknotes.
What 5 things could you not live without?
Airplanes, books, music, coffee and ice.
What is your very favourite meal?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spending time with my two daughters and my wife. I love cooking, going to vinyl stores, antique shops and of course, museums.
What is your current dream travel destination?
If you want to check out more of Laurindo’s work, click here.