Hi there. I’m Thiago Furtado also kwon as Valdi-Valdi. I’m a graffiti artist from Florianopolis, an island in south of Brazil. In my childhood I was that boy in the back of the school class always drawing in the last pages of the notebook.
I earned the desire of drawing from my father, who is passionate by art and an amazing illustrator during his youth. I grew up between a vast collection of art books, so when I was discovering the great artists of all times, I was sitting in front of the tv watching animes and mangas. Those are my firsts influences in art and illustration. Because these early abilities of graphic and visual arts I started the university of Design which gave me a new professional skill. These episode is very important because was in university that I had contact with other Graffiti artist for the first time. So I started doing graffti at 2006 with 18 years old, and in a very fast period I knew that street art was the ideal expression for me. I’m love with design and graffiti since then.
But that was not enough to me. With some friends of the university we started a new design studio businesses to work with creative projects in the real advertisement market. I could use all my abilities of illustrator and graphic designer for these jobs, and it improved very much my perception of creating visual compositions.
As an entrepreneur I noticed that more racional and logical skill was necessary for run a business, and the idea of management took my attention.
With another partner, in parallel, we started a new business that is working very well until now. I’m the director of marketing and work with advertising and branding every day.
I never lost the path of art and I’ll never do, for sure.
The fact is I discovered very young that the only thing I have totally sure in life is the dream of becoming an extraordinary artist. (I’m still trying :D)
藝術與設計對你而言有甚麼的意義？ What does art and design means to you?
Art means a path to be followed. Something that you’ll never reach completely but you will try to improve yourself as a human being to go as further as you can. The pursuit of a good art made me what I’m today. Someone with focus, discipline, creativity and a person of action. Not just the art alone but the graffiti culture also had the power to modify my behavior. I learned in the street how to paint with spray cans, but the most important thing to me was that I learned about respect, community, attitude and to believe in myself. And those things, those concepts of a graffiti artist, help me a lot for running a business. I more confidence now, more productive and maintain the focus of the important things that have to be done. Because for me art is everything, it is about making things real dedicated.
How would you define your personal style?
I’m a lover of the sea and became affectionate of painting beautiful woman that could represent the power and the beauty of the oceans. As an invisible force, this women painted looks like my girlfriend every time. She is my love for more then 10 years and her beauty amazes me.
My community is also an inspiration. I live in a very paradisiac island, called Florianópolis with gorgeous beaches and full of amazing women. I’m also very passionate about our simple local culture of artisanal fisheries and mystical folklore.
All these elements combined with my other influences as mangás and animes, classical art and sculpture, and of course the graffiti elements and concepts; created my personal style now. Another curiosity is that people often call my pieces of “Iemanjá”, a goddesses who reign the waters, a very popular figure of the Brazilian folklore.
So in my pieces you will always see beautiful characters, with strong strokes , in a movement composition. The colors are very expansive with different combinations. I like to experiment every time, I don’t want to remake the exactly same colors and techniques in my graffiti walls. I’m still pursuing the perfect aesthetic.
What is the process of your work? What kind of materials do you use?
Here in Florianópolis the graffiti artist commonly share a style of painting that is based in improvise. We like to go for a graffiti day of painting with no idea in our minds, so we take a look at the blank concrete wall and start a sort of brainstorming. So like a jazz solo, we improvised the composition and theme, combine colors and start to make a great production.
I’m very confortable painting with spray cans, they gave me a free movement of the arm and the body. This quickly gesture is something that I like to train, all my personal style is based on it, even in my canvas work.
How do you get your inspiration?
When I started loving art consciously I was still a child, like 8 or 9 years old. So very early in my life things were already an inspiration.
Besides that, the images that really impact me until now are the ancient arts, as sculptures, architecture and old master pieces of drawing, painting and handmade crafts. But as the same time those divine things inspire me I’m that kind of guy that stops in the middle of the street to look at a pattern in the rusted wall, or stay staring at the shadows colors at the sunset.
Furthermore my biggest inspiration is the local culture of this island and the culture of those who live near the sea. I always remind myself to keep my mind in a constant promptitude, watching these people life thinking that every second of it is a kind of inspiration.
在創作時你遇過最大的挑戰或經歷？ What are your most critical challenges in your work?
As an autodidact artist, I think to get more methods and discipline for painting is the most difficult thing by now. I see my evolution outside the wall, in the planning and studying of pieces before and after it process.
列出幾項你要達到的目標。| What are some of your goals?
I’m pursuing something that I don’t understand completely. I only know that my goal is to be better than before, to make better art then my last piece. I’ve improved my skill until now thinking like that, overcoming myself.
你的夢想是？ What s your dream?
Create an art that is beyond myself, beyond ego and fashion. Something that people can identify themselves as part of it.