Fitacola Collage are a duo and a couple. We make collage for illustration, fine-art, design and purely fun purposes. We love doing it!
You are an artistic duo, tell me a quality and a flaw of each other.
Well, I have to say Carlos’ best quality is his endless curiosity, and a flaw has to be his working hours, Carlos is a night owl.
Grace is a very organised person and that is a major plus. As for a flaw, I also have to say her working hours. She is an early bird.
When did you start your collaboration?
We started collaborating in 2005, when we were both still in college.
What is “Fitacola”? What’s the aim of the artistic project?
“Fitacola” is an artistic project that came from our love for collage, both as a technique and as an aesthetic.
Our aim is to do this full time (not there yet…), keep learning and keep exploring.
There are endless possibilities within collage and we still have a lot to discover and try.
Why the collages? What is the charm of this technique?
This technique is one that takes the most out of all sorts of images and papers. The materials and the approaches to them are endless.
Its like searching for a treasure in your grand-mother’s attic, or a secret, by finding old newspapers, magazines our even the old dusty photo album.
That’s what we feel every time we find new(old) magazines to work with, for example.
We love working with those images and graphics taken from their original context, and making something different with them, giving it a new context, a new story or/and working with old and new papers/textures.
The possibilities are really endless and far from being run out.
We also like that we can re-use something that is already out there, that served a different purpose at any given time in the past.
Please briefly explain your artistic process and the techniques and mediums you use.
The process will always depende of the kind of project we are working on. If we are working on a comissioned project, We start gathering images and different kinds of papers as soon as we receive the briefing, then we start trying several approaches/options to send our clients.
If we are working on something of ours, we have a lot more freedom to explore, obviously, and ideas are always running wild, so, we usually agree on trying something new( a project, an aesthetic, a technique etc etc) and set a deadline to start exploring and working on it and also a decline to have it finished.
We work with cut paper or torn paper collage, using adhesive tape or paper glue and finish it with a fixative varnish for UV and fungi protection.
Sometimes we use digital techniques to finish some commissioned works, depending on the client’s needs and on the briefing, but usually there is always a physical collage that starts the work.
What are the main sources of inspiration for your art?
This is a tricky question for us. We don’t have a main source of inspiration, everything is an inspiration, as everything has the potential to inspire us.
Our fellow artists, our everyday life, the news, our family, our friends, art, design, typography, fashion, vintage stuff, new stuff, comics, music, books, movies… we could go on for ever…
You influence your collages with your personalities, how did you find a balance?
Well, we meet halfway, really.
We found common ground within collage and respect each other, both as persons and as artists.
Our differences are what brings richness to this project, they complete each other.
What artists of the past you admire?
This is yet another difficult question to answer, there are so so many artists from the past that we admire but, to say a few…Amadeo de Sousa Cardozo; Almada Negreiros, Vieira da Silva, Turner, Ingres, Hiroshige , Hannah Hoch, Man Ray, Loïs Mailou Jones, Romare Bearden, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman… and, once again, we could go on for ever and ever…
What is most enjoyable aspect of your work and the most difficult one?
The most enjoyable aspect of our work is the hole process itself, from choosing the images we want to work with to looking at the finished artwork.
The most difficult one is being able to manage the time to work for Fitacola Collage, because we each have a day job, and a family to manage as well, so it gets difficult sometimes.
What are you working on? What are your current project?
We are working on a small size limited edition fanzine with new works, for 2018.
Any future plans or artistic dreams you can share with us?
Our Future plans/artistic dreams are being able, some day, to work full time as collage artists.
Being able to take Fitacola Collage full time with more commissioned artworks and more free style artistic projects as well.
Carlos what is means for you to work with Graça?
It means having no fear of criticism because mutual trust is a big part of the outcome in our work, as it is of our relationship.
Graça what it means for you to work with Carlos?
It means working with my best friend and colleague, with whom I share my work and life.