This week’s ArtDrop is created by Paradigm Stories, an artist from Portugal creating incredibly detailed surrealist illustrations, all hand-drawn on paper.
Hi Tiago! Looking at your work we can easily tell you must’ve been honing your skills for a while now. When and where did your drawing?
I have been drawing for the last 25 years. It all began with having a father who was a painter and portrait artist. Even though he was a professional artist, he never taught me anything. Hence my initial motive was trying to champion him. Eventually, I did.
Alright, you became more skilled than your dad… What happened next?
I needed to make some money, so I decided to get better at being a portrait artist. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t enough. I felt that, with portraits, the creativity was being put aside. There’s not really space for that when you’re doing commissioned portraits.
So what did you do?
I started to come together with a group of artist friends. We started to make drawings similar to the “cadvre exquis” that surrealists used to do. Also known as Exquisite Corpse. It is a method by which a collection of drawings is collectively assembled. Each collaborator contributes to a composition in sequence, by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person added.
This is where paradigmatic drawing starts. Surrealism was always a thing that I enjoyed. I’ve been a big fan of, for example, Escher's illusions.
Ever since then I kept drawing in this style. Surrealism. It’s perfect for me: there are no boundaries to the limits of creation. Normally I pick a concept and dive into it. I still haven’t found a way to explain the process, but like the “cadvre exquis” I never know what it will look like in the end.
First of all, I have to carefully decide my starting point (which I do by using the Golden Ratio), then I draw some freehand dynamic lines and this is the base of it.
Where does inspiration generally come from?
From past experiences, from what simply comes to my mind, from pictures I took, and so on. There are various elements in my drawings that follow me from work to work. These have significant value and are easy to manipulate and integrate into the process. As you can probably tell; it’s hard for me to explain my process in words. It’s easier for me to draw it.
How did you get into NFTs?
There were several friends that started to tell me “you should get into NFTs”. So I started to dig a little deeper into NFTs, but I discovered that it was too expensive for me to get into it (minting, listing). Gas fees were really high around the time I got in. Another thing that demotivated me, was that the community was already crowded with magnificent artists.
But then, one day, I met a guy and he told me I really should go and list on Foundation. Both him and another friend kept pushing me.
So I said to myself: “well, I don’t have the money to go for it, I have to sell some works and do some portraits to go in”. I then met a girl that said she would give me a Foundation invite if I could explain myself and my work, and I did. After I finally finished my first work and minted it, I decided that, if it would get sold, I’d use the money to mint the next one, and so on.