It was in May of 2016 that Brazilian artist Patrick Dias decided to leave his Global Studies diploma behind and focus on his artistic career. As a close friend of his, I know what it took him to pursue this dream that once seemed so unattainable. Dias started to prepare for “Inktober” – a one month challenge in which artists are encouraged to create one finalized drawing a day using black ink on paper, during the whole month of October. Then, they take a picture of the drawing and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #inktober. What at first seemed to be just a hobby, quickly became Patrick’s full time job. Dias recently participated in the themed art exhibit called “The Future Show” (check it out here ). You can find his work on Instagram and contact him through direct messages if you are interested in commissioned pieces. Patrick is originally from São Paulo, Brazil.
So let’s start from the very beginning: is there some sort of “light bulb” moment that made you realize that what you truly wanted was to become an artist? Or is that something that happened more gradually?
DIAS – I have always been told growing up that art, in whatever form, wasn’t a good career path because it was a lazy one, and that artists weren’t really the most successful people out there and I think that’s what society has been telling us all for the longest time now. Many talented – as in talented, I mean full of will – people decide to walk away from their dreams of making art because of what other people tell them. At some point, I think maybe I have internalized these ideas so much that, even though I loved drawing during my childhood and adolescence, I tried to stick with that only as a past time activity or a hobby. So I moved on with the business way of life for a couple years, went to business school in college, until the moment I saw myself being very unhappy with what I was doing – having worked many suit-and-tie jobs, with a diploma in my hands that wasn’t really bringing me any joy or excitement. I also felt like I wanted to share my ideas and creativity with the world, and working at a bank wouldn’t give me the opportunity to do so. So I made the switch to the “road less traveled”. It wasn’t easy but I am loving it!
Could you name some artists that have a heavily influenced your work? And how do they influence your work?
DIAS – This question will probably get a very ephemeral answer, because I get inspired by very different artists and with the internet nowadays you just get a really big input of new art so easily without having to go to the museum, all the time and everyday. I like to spend a good amount of time looking for new artists and new types of art, and because of that I’m sure this list will probably look outdated in a few months, but here we go. There are definitely some all-time favorites like J.A.W. Cooper, Scott M Fischer, George Pratt, Wylie Beckert, Wesley Burt, Karl Kopinski… I love fantasy art and art that tries to contemplate the imaginary side of creativity – these ideas are both directly related to the 1920’s Surrealism movement, so I am obviously very inspired by classics like Salvador Dali and René Magritte. There are also my mentors who are very skilled and artists that I look up to like Alexandre Jubran, Leonardo Dolfini, Anderson Nascimento, Marcus Claudio de Caldas – and new artists that I’m currently obsessed with such as Jean Pierre Roy, Ramón Nuñez, Gary Villarreal, Magenta King, Alex Konstad, among many others (the list is very f* long).
As a young artist, what are some of the major obstacles you face when creating a piece?
DIAS – Starting a new piece is always a challenge because there are a lot of things you have to figure out as you go. Even if you plan stuff ahead – like you should – it will always be required of you to experiment. You can only start making decisions on what paths you’re going to follow with your artwork if you’re willing to try all the possibilities. I think this is the hardest part. Experimenting goes hand in hand with failure, and getting stuff wrong hurts, so most artists try to stick with what they already know. I try to keep myself creative with every piece I make and always pushing myself more than I have in the previous one I created. Telling myself that I NEED to keep experimenting without fear is the major obstacle I face and I don’t think there will be a time down the road I will get more comfortable with this, even when I’m not “a young artist” anymore.
We had several talks about personal evolution when it comes to artistic practices and you always seemed to be interested in the subject. Do you have a specific, let’s say, “level” that you want to reach? In other words, what kind of artist you aim to be in the near future? We are future experts!
DIAS – Even when I first started in my early steps as an artist, I used to say I didn’t know exactly what position I would like to fill in the art industry/community – like, what kind of art I wanted to make, for what purpose, what were my career goals, etc – but I always said I was orienting myself by my artistic goals a.k.a. what artistic “level” I wanted to reach. I see this question as a very technical one, because when I think about my artistic goals there are many skills necessary that I’m still developing to get to where I want to be. I’m sure I will never be “comfortable” or “satisfied”, maybe only “proud” of my evolution, but if you look at the artists that inspire me that I mentioned above you will be able to identify a few characteristics that their art have in common. I would like to be able to make art in the future that kind of speaks to all of these artist’s languages in a single piece, the unifying factor.
I know you take different art classes, including drawing nude models. What do you find so fascinating about human bodies?
DIAS – Figurative art – with a twist – is my thing. Especially when it’s about characters and depicting them in very unique poses/angles/situations/perspectives. I like the extremes, sometimes that’s an element you can get to only by imagination. The body speaks a language of itself. The movement, the forms, the gesture, the messages it can convey with a single pose.
Last one… Is there a specific artist that you are currently crazy about? Or any books, movies or music that has been inspiring you lately and we should go check out?
DIAS – I tend to indulge in every kind and form of art that inspires me. I’m a very visual artist, but since imagination is something that goes beyond eyesight, music also plays a huge part in boosting my creativity. I’m currently obsessed with artists such as Polo & Pan, Unders, Jacques, Durante, and Temperini. You can find more about their music on Soundcloud.