COLOURSPACES

Established. 2010


In-depth interviews with the world's leading creatives



COLOURSPACES

Established. 2010


In-depth interviews with the world's leading creatives



FEATURE INTERVIEW #34 from March 2015

Walk Tall, Smile Big

INTERVIEW WITH

André Beato

Always keen to infuse novelty and progressive style into his work, Andre has been a firm creative assets for many household brands, labels and magazines. Having relocated from Lisbon to London a few years ago and also citing New York as one of the influences, you’ll always find elements of fresh surprise in the wealth of this work. Read on to find out how Frank Sinatra fits into his life and how you can turn your artwork into a neon sign art and what social network Andre wants to create.
André Beato is a Portuguese Graphic designer & Illustrator, born in Lisbon currently working and living in London as a freelancer. His work is an amalgamation of illustration with tasty typography, textures playing and an approach to different types of languages. Working in the various creative fields of graphic, print and editorial, collaborating with clients from various industries such as magazines, clothing companies, advertising and others. | andrebeato.com | @andre_beato
André Beato is a Portuguese Graphic designer & Illustrator, born in Lisbon currently working and living in London as a freelancer. His work is an amalgamation of illustration with tasty typography, textures playing and an approach to different types of languages. Working in the various creative fields of graphic, print and editorial, collaborating with clients from various industries such as magazines, clothing companies, advertising and others. | andrebeato.com | @andre_beato

How and when did you get into typography?

My typography addiction started early at school when I first got into graffiti, that's when I started to draw and realised I could modify letters.

What was the main attraction?

For me typography is like a game, and it can be quite addictive! The characters become pieces of a puzzle, allowing me to play and explore different combinations. The aim is to find the perfect balance between design and legibility… That can often prove to be quite a challenge, and it is that search for the right balance that keeps me hooked.

What is the one thing you learned at the beginning of your career, that you still use today?

One of the most important things I’ve learnt is to have fun while working. If I’m enjoying the whole creative process everything flows smoothly, and that’s usually when I get my best results.

Your commercial work isn’t too far from your personal experiments. How input do you have on client projects? 

Interesting question… On my free time I like to experiment with typography, try new techniques… Basically just create new stuff! If I’m happy with what I have done, there is a fat chance I’ll upload it to my website. What happens is clients usually have some of my online work as a reference when they brief me. So that might be the reason a lot of my commercial work tends to be stylistically close to my personal endeavours.
André BeatoAndré Beato

How much sketching is involved in your pre-production? 

It really depends on the complexity of the work, but usually i start with a really rough sketch just to try to figure out if the type structure is safe and sound. From there i go straight to the computer, it´s much easier for me, because you can be more precise and quicker to realise if the illustrations fit and work.

From your folio, do you have a stand out piece you’re most proud of? What gives it that quality?

What is your proudest moment? The one that comes straight to my mind is “Stripes”. I think it’s probably due to the fact that I was able to make a piece that visually looks really simple, but at the same time is complex due to the fact i create my monogram (AB) out of vertical lines, i think turn out a good twist. It is really rare for me to look at a piece of work I have done a while ago and not feel the need to tweak it in the slightest and that happens with this one. Also, the feedback I got from it has always been positive and I find it amusing that some people read FAB in it!

Your Book Club neon piece looks amazing. Where did the idea come from?

Thanks man! I had this idea when i was doing some research for the "Not for rental" exhibition, my piece (a videotape cover) was based on the Ghostbusters movie. Halfway through the research process i stumbled on this expression "Stay Puft" - based on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man - which means "Walk tall and smile big”. It is basically a way to encourage others to be positive in a bad situation. I found this such a catchy sentence, that i decided to grab it and produce/create something with it in the future… Luckily that time came early than expected when I was invited to exhibit on Bookclub some months after. I had been thinking for quite some time about creating a neon and i thought this could be the perfect moment… So I just did it!

What was the main challenge of working with neon tubes? 

The neon production was quite tricky because most part of the companies here in the UK were really expensive. But fortunately i got a contact through a friend, of a company with a better price/quality relation based in…Poland! They were great, and I was able to follow the whole production process through emails and pictures. The most stressful part was to get a transport company to deliver this huge and super fragile neon piece in London, on time for the exhibition! Fortunately everything went smoothly… But yeah… Definitely the delicate nature of a big glass object was the main challenge.
André BeatoAndré Beato

Do you have any other plans to use any other materials or techniques?

Yes! That’s definitely one of my main goals for 2015!.. Using different materials and media… It’s just a matter of time until the right projects show up.

Perception of colours is unique to every person. How do you view use of colours in your work?

It’s a bit of a tricky area for me. I have always had a hard time figuring out color combos. That is one of the main reasons most of my inicial work is black and white. But lately I have been forcing me to explore color a bit more and just go for it.

What new technologies and creatives tools do you think we’ll have in near future? What would help you creatively? 

An idea extractor, a tool that grabs and transports your idea straight to the computer!

The neon piece is currently for sale, have you had much interest? 

It had an amazing feedback! It was exhibited in The Book Club and then at the Queen of Hoxton. Unfortunately one of the super fragile bulbs broke and I had to withdraw the neon piece from the market. It is currently on stand by until I get my head around fixing it...
André BeatoAndré Beato

How much is your work influenced by Lisbon and how much by London?

That’s a bit of a tricky question. Obviously both cities have a big influence in my work. One because I was born and raised there, and another because it is where I currently live. But there are other cities that play a strong role in my creative speech. New York, for instance, is one of them. From graffiti to the whole hip hop culture - that is one of my greatest influences, stylistically speaking - to the big city feel, it definitely plays a big part on my work.

What was your main challenge when you moved to London? 

Finances! I had just a few years experience as a freelance and my client network was still at a newborn stage. I didn’t have a constant influx of work as I fortunately do now. That and London’s standard of living that is so much higher than Lisbon’s, proved to be quite a challenge in the beginning.

Has living in London been helpful to your career? 

I’d say yes, it has. It has obviously helped me to live in a city where I can find some of the best agencies worldwide, where the quality and quantity of exhibitions is going through the roof. It is a great place to network, and it is also great to see that people support you if they like your work. There is a big drive to make things happen.

When creative ideas hit the block, where do you go to recharge or what do you do? 

I like to get away from the computer. Spend a day or two cycling around London, going to exhibitions, taking pictures, buying magazines, looking at details on letter signs, streets, shops… That usually does it for me.
André BeatoAndré Beato

How much creative work from today do you think will be still relevant in 10 years time?

10%

If you could start a new social network, what would you start?

In my honest opinion there are way too many social networks already! But if I really had to think about one, maybe something that would facilitate collaboration between artists by submitting projects where you’d need someone else to work with you… Think about a typographer being able to meet a carpenter to work on a letterpress alphabet.

What is the piece of work that you consider as a timeless classic?

Star Wars movies, Roy Lichtenstein Art and Frank Sinatra songs.

Lastly, what are you working on at the moment? 

I have just finished an illustration for Esquire and I have been working on some ideas for Carhartt.
André Beato


CREDITS & INFO

Interview by Radim Malinic
Images by André Beato

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