Window or Aisle: Margarida Girao
I don’t remember exactly how did my contact with Margarida start or who friended who on facebook, but one day I found myself staring at her website and my jaw almost reached the floor. It took me less than five minutes to email her and tell her how much I love her work, and how much I hope that one day we would collaborate together. Her ability to create such colorful, crazy and creative collages (all start with C) is really admirable, and only after few email exchanges and sharing some thoughts and ideas, I came to realize that her personality is very aligned with her work; colorful, creative and crazy in a good way. So of course I kept nagging Margarida to collaborate and use some of my photography as a background to her illustrations and I’m glad she finally did. I asked her to answer some of my questions while she is touring South America for few months now. (and I’m actually in Lisbon when this post is due)
Where are you from? I’m from Portugal. I was raise in Sertã, a small country village. I finished High-School in Coimbra, which is known as a University city and I graduated in Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal. For the last few years I’ve been living in Lisbon, and now I’m traveling through South America.
Where did you study graphic design? I didn’t study graphic design, or any type of design. I always wanted to be a journalist and an artist. While I was doing the exams to enter the University, I realized I made the wrong decision in High School and instead of Latin, I should have studied something else. I had to say Good Bye to Journalism, and welcome New Communication Technologies. Computers, Digital Communication and Project Management instead. And I liked it.
What made you want to learn it? When I was a teenager, I though I could be an artist without studying and I wanted to have a second job. (I couldn’t have 10 jobs = 10 universities at the same time.) So I made the choice of saving the world through writing articles as journalist. And by the way, in Sertã, where I was studying, there wasn’t Art as a subject in school, so I didn’t really have much choice.
If you weren’t a graphic designer/illustrator what would you do? Definitely not a journalist. I know that the previous mistake I did, actually turned out for good; As Communication is a multi-discipline world, and that’s what I do, even in illustrations: I communicate. So basically I do what I want to do, and if I want to do another thing I will do it.
where do you get your inspiration from? Magazines, nature, books, music and music, and emotions.
How do you usually approach a new project? Usually while I am listening to music. My body and emotions react to some melodies and sounds, and I get new ideas I can do more research on. I know it might sound weird but the ‘problem’ is that my brain never stops, and I get many ideas, mainly while listening to music.
What are you working on right now? I’m traveling so I am learning a lot of new things. I have a folder in my desk with new ideas to study and work on. All are illustrations’ ideas, but I want to put them on paper and some digital platforms. I have an exhibition in Lisbon these days, in which I try to build a visual identity of Lisbon through the garbage found in the streets of the neighborhoods. I think it might be an on going project that I will continue in other cities I will live in. It is not an easy process; It requires picking up trash from the streets and containers and cataloging the trash by neighborhoods, shooting each element separately and then all together. Afterwards I create art pieces with the garbage, which gives a new meanings to it, and finally relating each piece with the photos taken.
I also want to continue with advertising and with magazines, and I want to work with animation and TV production, and maybe getting back to school. And of course, seven month of traveling! I want to use my travel experiences as a theme of my Art.
Window or Aisle? When I fly I prefer only aisle, but when I’m taking the bus, than I prefer window.