Stay true
to your style

Pedro Falcão is a multiple award winning graphical artist based in Lisbon/Portugal. As the founder of Atelier Falcão he is working many years for cultural institutions, artists and architects and also creating own exhibitions. Recently Pedro started a new artistic project:
Fly Black Bird - more than a surfboard. We talked with Pedro about style and inspiration after he presented his impressive body of work at our villa in Ericeira.


  all Images by   Florian Lierzer

all Images by Florian Lierzer

At the retreat you presented an impressive body of work: your installations, your commercial work, your book(s), your posters. They all seem to follow a certain very distinctive style.

You can see and feel that this was done by the same person. How did you find your style?

I didn’t project my work to have a certain style. I think style depends on what we see, what we like, what we choose, why we take that kind of decisions. Later you discover your own style, when you realize that your decisions go into some direction. But I think style is also about authorship. If you want to have style you should be an author.

How do you define style?

Style is a personalized creative way that flows with everything you know about this world.

How do you stay true to your style and try new things at the same time?

To make sense, I think you have to search, always, just like when you search for the waves. Style is what defines you, no matter what is around you. But, if you want style you have to choose it, then you have to practice it, and after that, fine tune it. And you can apply what is your knowledge to new things and maintain your style recognizable. Or you can change style with every new work, and that could also be a definition of style. It always depends on you, you are the designer, you make the decisions.

What’s the difference between doing always the same thing (copying yourself over and over again) with every new work vs. creating a distinctive style that’s recognizable?

I think the difference is the concept. Style and concept go together on different tracks, you should give some balance between them.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I have a strong base that guides me, the 60’s and the 70’s. This two decades produced the best creative fields on most disciplines: music, literature, architecture, painting, conceptual art, graphic design, surf, etc. This is the foundation. But I’m careful because you can easily turn it to an exercise of style. Of course I’m interested in everything which I think is valuable to add to my visual luggage, and get inspired.

Surfing and graphic design seem to have walked along side-by-side since it got popular in the late 1950s. Is it inevitable that a graphical designer who is also a surfer at some point of his life starts turning into surf art and surf design?

Not particularly. I think you could have a creative mind and don’t turn yourself on an artist. Probably you have a shorter way to get there, but there’s other questions that you need to consider before you turn your creativity on a surf level.

Where do you see the Fly Black Bird project in 5 years?

I’m not ambitious about the FBB project. Simplicity is something that I preserve, and that reflects on everything I do. Money doesn’t interest me, which means FBB is not a business brand. I hope I have more boards produced and have more friends that share the same thoughts with me.