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Francisco Correia

Francisco Correia

Current art student Francisco Correia speaks with me about what he's discovered so far in painting, and how getting through a creative rut means simply continuing to go to the studio!

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First, tell me a bit about yourself! Where are you from, and where are you based now?

I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. I still live and work here.

What first interested you in painting?

I started my approach to painting by way of illustration and cartoons. As any kid from my generation, we were raised watching cartoons on TV. That kind of graphic vocabulary influenced me a lot. A few years later, I became amazed by graffiti and "street art" -- in fact, both were flooded with images of cartoons. Somehow all those graffiti shapes and prominent outlines remain very present nowadays in my paintings. 

What has your arts education been like so far, whether formally or informally?

I am attending the University of Fine Arts in Lisbon, studying painting. It has been very good so far, however I believe that 80% of arts education is based on personal sensibility, and that can only be acquired visiting museums, seeing hundreds of exhibitions, and by talking with other artists. Although I do also think that an artist is someone who lives the world in a very frenetic way, otherwise his vision would not be anything but empty. 

Can you tell me about your practice? Where do you derive your ideas from?

My practice is daily; there is not a day that I do not paint or draw something. I simply cannot not. My ideas come from my daily life (I think that it could not be any other way). However all of my paintings so far seem to be constantly talking about landscape. I find that interesting, in fact, those are the forms that persist: life after life.

What is your studio space or workspace like?

I have two studios right now. One is in college and I share it with other colleagues, and the other is a garage where I work alone and only with artificial light. I like this dichotomy.

What is your favorite thing about paint as a medium?

Painting is able to hurt or disgust someone at the same time that it is pleasing another.

What is the best advice you've received so far?

You only learn by banging your head against the wall. Probably.

Do you have a go-to when you find yourself in a creative rut?

Sure! To the studio.

What do you consider to be the most challenging thing about pursuing art seriously?

The adrenaline of pursuing a career in something that is neither true or false, it is always a big question mark. Nowadays that is rare. We live pursuing answers, and that is the reason why every job requires more specialization in one subject.

What is the most rewarding aspect?

The happiness that has no reason. The seconds of euphoria when you look at your work and your blood runs faster, because there is something that for some reason -- that you may never understand -- looks good. In the end, it is just a new question mark.

Find more on Instagram @franciscopcorreia!

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