3DValley Featured 2D Artist for June 2008 – David Coelho. David is an artist from Europe. He lives with his wife and son in Portugal. During day time he works as an technical designer for commercial light signs and in his spare time he loves to create surrealistic drawings. Please read our interview with David below to get to know him and his art a bit better.
Christa: Can you tell us a bit about yourself: Who you are and what you do in your daily life?
David: I’m David, 28 years old and from Portugal. I’m married and I have a beautiful son! I work in the publicity area since 2000, I’m a technical designer of light signs, that you see on the streets making the publicity of commercial stores. If you like you can visit at www.filipefaria.pt. I very much like the work I do, it’s always different and a challenge. I spent a lot of time on the computer, not only at work, but also at home, surfing on the internet. When I’m not David Coelho, I’m Melafx. I’m Melafx when I’m drawing, when I am on the internet. It’s my artist name and also my nickname.
Christa: Do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?
David: Yes, I remember the 1st time I felt that I could be an artist. It was in 9th grade, during high school. Our design teacher, gave us home work, in which we had to make a drawing for each day of our Christmas vacation, telling about the most relevant thing that happened that day. I delivered the work (about 15 drawings in a A5 drawing note), and the teacher was amazed, not with the drawing details, but for the meaning of the drawings which I wrote next to the drawings, explaining them. I had the best class note, and the teacher told me “I feel someday I’ll hear from you, for your drawings”. Since that time, I’ve been working in getting better. When I was a young, I used to draw comic book front pages and Disney figures. When I was in the 5th, I made a portrait, during a design class, and the teacher asked me how I made the drawing, and I just answered, that I could draw almost everything I saw. In that time, I thought that what I did, was something everyone could do. Only in my 9th grade teacher said that I knew to draw a bit better than the rest of the class.
Christa: What kind of materials do you use for your artwork?
David: I basically use graffiti pencils, oil pastels and colored aquarelle pencils. The surfaces I use, goes from scratch paper, canson, special aquarelle paper, and canvas.
Christa: Where did you go to school and how did they prepare you for your career?
David: I went till 11th grade to high school, studying technological design from the 10th, till I was called to the military service. The things I studied there, was only important for my 3D look of the world. Knowing the rules of geometry helps me a lot. I can say that the study helped me more in the job I have, than in drawing art. I can say I’m born with the the skill.
Mother Natures watchtower – pencil on paper
Christa: Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art?
David: Well, I need to feel much inspired! It could be during something I’m doing, and the idea for a drawing appears, or it could be during a dream, and I wake up and write down the important things, so I can draw what I dreamed, later. When I start drawing, I choose a point, and start from there, till I finished it. I usually hate to stop drawing when I’ve started, but my last drawings are making me more patience, and I see great results in that, cause I can see some errors and details to be polished, making the drawing better in quality. Normally I want to be alone when I’m drawing and when I’m finished, I ask my wife, her opinion. Also I must be hearing Radiohead (my favorite band), to feel more inspired. They have the most wonderful melancholic sound I know and like.
Christa: When and how did you get interested in surrealism?
David: That was when I met Salvador Dalí, in my history class (10th grade). He was the ignition point for my surrealism, after knowing him, I spent hours searching on internet, about other surrealistic artists. The surrealism is what defines my drawings. There is some surrealism styles, mine’s about realistic forms, representing a surrealistic happening or impossible things.
Christa: Your images tell a story and you blend your shapes/forms beautifully and natural together to one image. Can you tell us one of the stories behind an image?
David: Ok, my pleasure. I can translate into words the image of my drawing “The Amaze”. Please notice that all my drawings have an explanation, cause to me, I don’t see the point in not having one.
The Amaze was a drawing dedicated to a good friend of mine, that I don’t know in real life, only from the internet. It’s about a moment in life that I had to make a choice between dedicating my time to my family (especially my son) or wasting time playing games online. In fact, I met Elina playing a game online, in which she helped and advised me, on the time that I was wasting on the internet. Time that could be wasted doing useful things, like family care and drawing. Due to that, my choice was to make my son and wife happier, making people to be “amazed” about it, cause I feel like if someone, just can’t believe that I could choose the right thing.
Now in the drawing, the icons shown, means different things: the hand is next to my son’s face and it’s pointing to the beach (bucket), remembering the very good times I had there as a child, wishing the same happiness, almost like promising that happiness to him. The many examples of impossible perspectives, the holes hidden on the floor, the wall mirroring and the long window in that same wall, means all the times I had, trying to choose the right thing and also give the surrealistic look to our mind. The 3 heads together means 3 possible consequences in a bad choice: to be dead, away or alone. At last, we can see that my friend’s Elina’s eye, is surrounded by an hand, or two fingers in particularly, meaning the special care I have for her, for all the help she gave me. And that’s all folks!
The Amaze – (Click image for larger view and to read the story behind the drawing)
Christa: Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and if so, why?
David: Yes, the drawing The Amaze, because it was made with much feeling, I wanted to congratulate Elina and I think I made it.
Christa: Who or what would you describe as having the most influences on your work/style?
David: Definitely Salvador Dalí. His shapes, life telling, impossible things, and so on, makes for me an easy way to express my feelings or happenings, or something else. He always was and has been, a great fount of inspiration. I also have other painters I usually visit on internet, like René Magrite, Jim Warren, Joseph Cusimano, MC Escher, Remedios Varo and Yves Tanguy.
Christa: Is there a painting/ illustration that you wished you painted?
David: Not really. But I can say there are some I would like to have the hand of the painter, just to know the way he made it and why. Certainly also know how they felt after finishing them.
Woman Fall – Pencil on paper
The human mate – Pencil on paper
Christa: Which areas of creating art do you enjoy the most?
David: The drawing, painting. Not that I cant appreciate others, but cause simply it’s the one I’m better in, I’m trying to explore it the best I can.
Christa: Where do you paint or draw?
David: Always at home, in my living room, alone, and listening to the same music on and on. Sometime at work, I have ideas and I make a sketch of something, that I bring home, and save it for later.
Christa: Do you have any tips for beginning artists?
David: Yes, practice a lot, and show it to your friends and family, Try to get the most support you can from them. Be yourself when expressing in a drawing. Use others for inspiration not to copy, and once again, paint, & draw every day!
Preplex Forest – Pencil on paper
Christa: Are you currently working on something that you can share with us?
David: Yes, I’m starting a new phase. Till here I have been drawing feelings and special occasions. With this new phase, called “Red Phase”, I’m after a possible new way of surrealism, mixing realistic forms, figures and persons with near future possible conditions. Hmm, what could i say more… oh yes, all the drawings/ paintings will have the color red, hehe, How? You will just have to wait and see! the 1st one will come out before June ends.
Christa: Besides 2Dvalley.com, which other graphic sites you visit regularly?
David: I just only publish my drawings on 2DValley and GaleriaAberta.com. A Portuguese site, for art promotion.
Christa: Is there something you can’t work without?
David: Yes, there are 3 things: loneliness, music by Radiohead and inspiration. If some of these miss, no work is done.
Christa: What do you do when you are not working or creating something?
David: Or I’m working, or I’m with my son and wife or on the internet playing multiplayer online games.
Woman touch – Pencil on paper
Christa: Thanks for your time and the interview David!