Vasco Mourao: Sprawl

Released Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sprawl, by Vasco Mourau.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Médecins Sans Frontières.

Vasco Mourao is a Portuguese illustrator and architect based in Barcelona, Spain. He splits his time working between these two disciplines. Being an architect can be all consuming, but these days, Vasco is trying to give more time and attention to his illustrations – finishing up a children’s book, looking for representation, and organizing exhibitions.

About the print:
This last year, I started to see my drawings as matter that I can mold, break, scatter, compress, twist, and so on. For this print in particular, I am exploring the effect of an explosion on matter.

This is a giclee print on Canson 200gsm acid-free paper with archival ink. Each print was signed and numbered by the artist.


What have you been up to since we last worked together?
I'm currently developing two online projects that are outside the realm of illustration. I've also managed to illustrate a book cover, start a new collaborative project called Ziga Ziga, and I launched a daily drawing blog just to keep me busy.

We love collaborations! Tell us about your Ziga Zaga project.
Ziga Ziga is a little experiment that started with my drawings. Basically, I took one of my biggest drawings and created a couple of "drawing exercices" that were similar to a paint-by-numbers game or a connect-the-dots drawing book, but which were based on my own universe.

The idea behind the project was based on my genuine belief that everyone can (and should!) draw. Just pick up a pen and do it - it's that easy! We all drew when we were kids, and I can't think of anyone who didn't have fun doing it. As Sir Ken Robinson said, "In second grade, everybody is an artist!". But, as we become adults, we tend to think that drawing is only for the "talented" ones. Ziga Ziga is my humble attempt to share my love for drawing with people that don't consider themselves to be artists, and to encourage them to spend a bit of time drawing and hopefully enjoying it!

Each Ziga Ziga exercise had a different theme. The first asked you to replicate the drawing, the second to complete it, and the last allowed you to do whatever you wished. I figured that if you got to the third exercise, you deserved to just go wild. To get people to take the challenge, I offered one of my sold out prints as a prize. The winner was chosen at random. You only had to send me a photo of the process or the final result to enter the competition.

Were you surprised by the results of the project?
More then surprised, actually, I was super excited! Some of the participants were really into it. I think that my main purpose was accomplished - they had fun! The collaboration also provided me with great feedback for my own work - it pushed me in new directions, and gave me new ways of understanding my artwork. To see a little girl draw rainbows and unicorns between my buildings was just priceless! I think that it's always good to not see your work as something sacred, and to get my drawing remixed like that (besides being sometimes hilarious), was very interesting. I will definitely do it again! Be on the lookout for next Ziga Ziga!

How has your work developed over the last year?
I'm getting more precise - I can now more easily draw what I have in my mind. But, I was getting too comfortable just working on bigger pieces that take more time and don't allow that much for experimentation, so I decided to draw a little A5 drawing every day and post it on my blog. It's like my own playground where I can try new things, and some new lines of work have emerged. Next up is to try to draw people!

What is inspiring you these days?
Looking at Philip Toledano's work, listening to a Monocle podcast, or reading The Creative Habit.

Why did you choose to pair your print with Médecins Sans Frontières?
I chose to pair my print with Médecins Sans Frontières because they save lives.

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