Pedro Alves - Find What Drives You to Create Art and Hold on to It, Never Give Up (Artist)

Pedro Alves


My Name is Pedro Alves, I was born in Lisbon in 1982, and now I live where I always wanted, in Torres Vedras, the birthplace of my family. I always dreamt to be an architect so in 2001 I went to architect school and between drawings and playing guitar in a band, I finally got my degree in 2008 and I've been working as an architect ever since. 


Pedro Alves


1. Tell us about your background and journey.

My Name is Pedro Alves, I was born in Lisbon in 1982, and now I live where I always wanted, in Torres Vedras, the birthplace of my family. I always dreamt to be an architect so in 2001 I went to architect school and between drawings and playing guitar in a band, I finally got my degree in 2008 and I've been working as an architect ever since. 

In 2015 my life changed when I finally merged architecture and illustration and began to work solely as an architectural illustrator using watercolors and digital tools to help clients and designers to visualize their dreams. 


2. What inspired you to pursue art?

I have drawn since I was a little kid, I always felt the need to express myself with sketches and doodles instead of written texts and dialogue (yes I was a bit antisocial in my early days...) But the click to pursue an artistic career happened when I joined the Urban Sketchers community in 2014. 

I've been fascinated by artists who sketched their world with simple lines and expressive colours, and ever since I had the opportunity to meet talented people who are now my friends with whom I learned a lot. 

I keep saying that drawing is a path instead of a goal and I keep sketching to improve my skills whenever I have the chance. As an architect I find cities the most exciting subject to sketch and it's mostly the reason that makes me pull a sketchbook and start a new sketch or watercolor. 


3. How would you describe your style and aesthetics?

I'm an architect at the core so my style is very centered on that discipline. Expressive lines and colours to create light and shadow are the main elements of my artistic creation. 


Pedro Alves


4. Which mediums do you usually work with and why?

Pen and paper are the essential tools I carry with me all the time. It allows me to sketch whatever is in front of me in a few minutes and it never runs out of batteries so there's no excuse not to sketch. Then, later in my life I began to use watercolours and a passion was born. 

At first colours were just an add-on to my sketches but quickly become as important and sometimes more important than lines. The fact that watercolours rely on an almost uncontrollable medium such as water, there's always something new in every painting. 

 

Pedro Alves

5. How did your art evolve?

Big evolution here, especially since 2014. I already had a very expressive line, from years and years of sketching, but quickly it became more fluid and more precise. With each new sketch I could use less lines and get more information into the paper, all because of this daily routine I created since then. 

Colours were, as I said, very sober and were used as a complement to the line sketch, but in time I felt that colours should have centre stage alongside lines and sometimes is the main element of my art. I grow tired of doing the same thing over and over so I'm always trying something new. Even now, I can't say that I have a style because I still don't know where this road is taking me... 


6. Who is your favorite artist and why?

My all time favourite artist is the Pre-Impressionist painter J M W Turner. His drawing skills were out of this world and his use of colour in his later work is something that truly inspires me. Then I also like Picasso for the most astonishing evolution in art and everything he accomplished in his lifetime. 


7. What tips and advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Find what drives you to create art and hold on to it, never give up, and if sometimes you feel tired or disappointed, take one step back to leap forward. Keep a pocket sketchbook with you all times and sketch whatever comes in front of you. 

Learn the rules in order to break them afterwards and not the other way around... For materials, get materials that are good enough to your level. If you get expensive stuff at the beginning you'll be afraid to ruin them and if you get the most cheap ones you might get frustrated especially if you already know a thing or two. 

And keep track of others' work, study how they do it, what their struggles were. Think that the most talented artist you know had to start somewhere, sometime... 


8. Which is your favorite book and why?

That's it.. my weakness.. I don't read books unless it is something technical, historical articles or the daily news. I can't say I have a favourite book because I don't remember ever to finish one... lol 


Pedro Alves


Pedro Alves

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Interviewed By - Serene Ingle

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