AAA: What drives you in the morning when you step out of bed? What are your motivations?
B: Those types of questions… (funny laugh…). Well, at the moment, it’s that project that I’m working on (Wasted Time). I started to think about it two or three years ago, it’s a pretty ambitious project at its core, so there is a lot to be developed and to be designed yet. Things are getting material, where there were only ideas before.
AAA: Why Wasted Time?
B: I like sarcasm, and I think there is a negative connotation to it, but it’s actually the very opposite. You’re wasting time doing something that you love and that you are going to be using for projects or your professional life. It has a double meaning. Plus, it sounds good.
AAA: It does sound good! So, why this passion? Painting, handcrafting…
B: I come from graphic design. And graphic design, at the moment, in this century, you’re only or mostly working with computers. Everything became super digital. I remember when I was at school, starting visual communication, people only said “You should get into digital, development, community management”… And that’s everything that I despise (laughs), and I don’t want to do in this area. So, I was on the computer a lot, and that’s when I felt like I needed to be more creative manually, kind of getting my hands dirty. And all this painting, printing, everything that has to do with processes from the past that are more organic somehow, it is really what attracted me.
AAA: So, you said that you studied graphic design. I remember that you did part of your studies in Switzerland and part of your studies here (in Portugal), is that right?
B: I studied Hotel Management in Switzerland, so it had nothing to do with graphic design, but a lot to do with entrepreneurship and working for yourself and being a one-man show, sort of. But then I studied design here in Lisbon, yes, in Chiado.
AAA: And how did you link this passion to surfing?
B: I think there’s a lot of creativity involved in surfing. There’s something really beautiful about managing and being creative in the way you approach surfing. And not just ripping the ocean sort of. There’s just the love for the ocean. It’s almost like a meditation, you go out there, just waiting for the good one, and time just passes in a flash. It’s really good for your mind and body. So, yeah man. Love surfing (laughs).
AAA: And how do you relate painting to surfing, and vice-versa?
B: I think when I first started working, I was getting more inspiration from the sport itself that I could use in my work. But I think, as I evolved, I feel like surfing is more of a moment where I’m with myself, and it gives me time to think. When I’m sitting in the line-up, I’m thinking about the projects. I work a lot with typography, so I use a lot of words in my work, and this is a moment that’s very creative for me to think about the concept, and how am I going to put posters, etc. I can think about the concept behind the artwork. Actually, a lot of this thinking happens while surfing, not actually while surfing but while waiting for the waves, or just paddling out. It’s a moment where it’s you with yourself, and it gives you a lot of freedom to… yeah, just to let your mind wander and come up with good ideas.
AAA: Cool. So, when you’re surfing, you think about your projects, you think about what can you be creating, about some next steps, but does the same happen the other way? When you are painting and working on your stuff, do you also think about surfing?
B: Can be, yeah, can be. Especially if I had a good session or a good wave. I’m pretty often thinking about surfing and sessions, good moments. Moments you share with friends in the water, but I’d say it’s mostly the other way around. Surfing is definitely like a… it’s a passion, but it’s a hobby. It’s something that I need to keep going, definitely. But so is my work. They are both very important and related somehow. When I’m surfing, I’m thinking about work, but in a good way, not in an “Aw s***, this is work”. No, nothing to do with that. It’s kind of like “Aw cool, I’m going to do that later or when I get back to the atelier”. And then, of course, the aesthetic of surfing. It has had and still has a lot of influence on my work, that’s for sure, even though I’m moving into something a bit different now. And this kind of organic vibe also has to do with surfing, nature, and the ocean.
AAA: How did you discover this love for arts and crafts? As you said, you studied something totally different in Switzerland. Where did this come from? Is there someone in your family that had an artistic influence, someone that inspired you?
B: Back in Switzerland I used to draw a lot when I was a kid. I was always being super creative. And then I kind of pushed this aside, it happened naturally. And then I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I ended up going to this hotel school, which was a really good school, and it would prepare you for pretty much anything. So, to me, back then, it was the right decision to follow. And then, after one and a half or two years of actually working in companies I realized that I just wanted to do something more creative, something I could be more dedicated to, and actually had an impact on the final project. In these big companies, sometimes you’re like a piece of bigger machinery, and all good ideas go through so many layers of hierarchy and decision-making, and in the end, you end up with an average outcome. And I felt like I wasn’t making any difference. Whereas, working on my own, really bringing my knowledge and my know-how to projects, I could be helpful. Regarding the handmade traditional processes, as I said, I was super computer-based and just needed to evolve into something that was more like me. And that was a way for me to escape that office computer feeling. When you’re printing something, and you’re pulling it yourself, and you lift your frame, and it’s there, it’s physical… You can’t match that with a computer. When you print something on your office printer, it’s not going be the same vibe.
AAA: That’s awesome. Thank you so much!
B: Thank you!
Make sure to follow Basile’s project Wasted Time on Instagram here.
Stay tuned for the next BAM story!
See you out there!