It is a long way to start considering yourself the artist. While some of us have it in blood, others need to work very hard for success. Francisco Fonseca has it all – a true talent and the ability to create dozens of illustrations only to make himself better. Living his artistic life in Porto, he seems very happy about his everyday reality – full of good design, street art, and breathtaking views through the window.
Are you a self-taught artist?
I see me as a “professional” artist. Last year I finished my master degree in Drawing from Fine Arts University in Porto (I also did my bachelor there in Multimedia) and since then I’m doing good as a freelancer illustrator I think. Of course, it’s always kinda shaky, and I never know what comes next, or even if something really will come, but I believe it is part of the process of something that tends to grow more and more and I’m always working for that.
What’s your favorite area – illustration or street art?
I don’t really prefer any of those areas, for me they are the same, just in a different support. I use the road as a complement of my work, I see the street as a canvas, and the artwork thinks about that support when it’s made. I like the decoration aspect of the interventions that I do, and I also like to give some new life to all the abandoned places around the cities or villages. Exist a life because the piece born for the places, lives in the place and also disappears there, is part of the place. Also brings the attention to these spaces and buildings that are kinda hidden in the architectonic landscape.
Does Portugal inspire you the most? What are your other inspirations?
Oh yesss! My village and my city are for sure the motor that makes me create! I love Portugal, from north to south we can find such a variety of different landscapes, villages and people. Portugal is a country full of surprises and inspiring places, and that’s for sure what helps me the most to draw. In general, travelling and visiting new places is really helpful to make me pass the feeling that I get on the places to the paper. I know it sounds kinda general but it’s really helpful just to go outside and look, and try to see things that we see every day with bigger attention. Inspiration is everywhere, we just need to pay attention…
What do you consider your biggest success as an artist?
My biggest success for now as an artist was finishing my master and being able to make illustration my full-time job. For sure, doing what I like and still can live off that was the best! (Just like 8 months ago I was still so nsure about my future, but it has changed and I can’t complain now!)
Have you ever struggled with anything during your artistic journey?
I don’t really think I had to struggle with anything. I always try to go with the flow, and the work comes naturally. For now, I can’t think of anything – which is good! 😉
What do you do when you don’t draw?
Ok, I do a lot of stuff, right now I spend a lot of time inside working, so I try to go outside as much as I can – walk my dogs, skate with my friends, and I also travel to see my girl that lives in Holland! A little bit far! But it’s super good to make little breaks and get some different air inspiration.
Have you ever had your own exhibition?
Yes I did, but – if my brain doesn’t fail me – I believe there was just one, but I did a lot of collective ones in the last years. Actually, this year I already have some new things coming!
Why do you like hands so much?
I always struggled a bit with hands, such a hard thing to draw…
But because it is also something so small and detailed at the same time, I try to focus more and more on them, and what was my weakness I believe now turns into a strength. And I also like the way they can create a composition and be such a strong icon. And when I don’t have any idea, hands always work 😉
What do you think of promoting your art on social media, do you think of it as a powerful tool?
I think is one of the main tools…. I’m still growing, but social media helps me to keep doing that as a full-time job, and that’s super important and happy for me but, of course, it is not enough. I try to create as much as I can, try to do my urban interventions, and make myself appear in online stores and galleries, because every place is a good place!