The eXTra finGer

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...& visit my web sites: Claudio Parentela's Official Site ''Claudio Parentela:Contemporary Art with a Freakish Taste!'' Lights&Shadows Disturbing Black Inks


Friday, February 16, 2007

Interview with Rui Tenreiro

q) Introduce yourself first please?

a) I'm primarily an illustrator. I do comics as a hobby and I edit a
small, independent publisher as a hobby too. Lately I've been asked more often to take part in some
exhibitions, but I don't label myself as any of these. I'm not sure if
I am an artist or an illustrator, an editor or a cartoonist. But I think it's ok not
to have a name.

q) Where do you live and work?

a) I was born in Mozambique and now I am based in Oslo. But I work
from anywhere, and often my only contact with clients is through email. So it makes
little difference.
Also, this year I've been working from home.

q) How did you started? How have you realized you wanted to become an

a) I started drawing quite early but it was always a hobby until I
had to choose
something to do with my life - a university to go to. In the beginning I did
Art Direction in Advertising, but then I took illustration. During
this time I did a lot of animation with 8mm, cut-outs, charcoal, models and video. I wanted
to do this until I worked for my first commission with another person, but it
went so badly and I was so unmotivated that I didn't do more than 5 sec. of
animation, and not a second after that. I've been doing illustration and comics
since then but I'm not sure if I have consciously decided 'to become an artist'.

q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

a) Pen and paper, because this is how I began drawing at school. It
was what was
available. But in the last year I discovered ink and calligraphy pens.

q) Do you draw influences from a wide range of artists, musicians, books…?

a) I think my drawing comes a lot from films, in terms of mood. Specially from
film-makers like Akira Kurosawa, Tarkovsky and also Ingmar Bergman recently.
Graphically, I am influenced by alternative and underground comics,
like Jordan Crane, Anders Nilsen, Sammy Harkham and Chester Brown -
and norwegian comics collective Dongery, and illustration collective
Yokoland. I grew up with Hugo Pratt too. And
I am discovering Tove Jansson only now.

q) Do you rule by any tendency in your creative work, or you only follow
what comes in your mind?

a) When I think of something it's the overall mood that comes first. I usually
stop what I'm doing to write down or draw these images from my mind. I
keep this sheet
of paper throughout the project because it contains information about the first
emotions of the idea. What I do afterwards is to develop that project and
polish it around that mood and idea. I am beginning to work with
'story' in a way
that gives me more pleasure but the aesthetic element of the work is also
extremely important.

q) What haven't you done yet that you definitely want to try someday?

a) I would like to try to do clay work and pottery - or something to
do with crafts.

q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a) Yes, mentioned these in my influences.

q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a) This depends a lot. Comics generally take longer but illustrations can
go pretty quick. What takes longer in illustration is the layout of elements.
The actual drawing goes pretty quick. But I always stop to consider what
will be drawn next, and where. There is no formula, so...

q) What music, if any, do you like to have on while you're working?

a) Many - These days it's 'Final Fantasy'. But it can be anything from
Animal Collective or Michael Andrews, to Burzum, to Toru Takemitsu.
Toru Takemitsu greatly influenced the mood of a story I sketched
recently called 'The Ogre'.

q) Do you do many art shows?

a) Not many, no.

q) Favorite clothing setup?

a) Hmm... of mine? Not sure. Jeans, t-shirt, flat/saling shoes or chucks.
sometimes a cap.

q) What are you doing when you are not creating?

a) Watching movies, reading comics, or going out. I also waste/spend
a lot of time online. I'm not yet sure how useful this is on the long run.

q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work
when it is sold?

a) I don't miss commissions. I'd like to destroy them as soon as I can.
The only reason why I keep the originals is because I think someone might
decide to re-commission me. I was asked recently to send my own personal
originals to sell, which has been hard because I can't decide which ones
I'd like to keep. Yes, I got emotionally attached to some. But I don't remember
the last time I sold an original (I don't think I ever did?)

q) What new projects or exhibits are in your future?

a) I've received support to finish my new story. It will be a 100 page long
graphic novel/comic about two travelers who find a strange, dead creature
in a forest. The story includes Shinto elements, myth and supernatural
In terms of exhibitions, I was invited to take part in a collective exhibition
in England. Ten artists will paint/draw over printed posters. I will probably
post it on my site. It will happen around March/April.

q) Describe your work space.

a) I try to keep the mess on the table and not on the floor. I only have
one table on which I have a laptop and on which I draw and sometimes
paint. There are 2 lights on each side, but there are other things scattered
around it, like: postcards, pantone guides, band-aids, receipts, money, CDs,
hand cream, books, etc. Next to me stays a laser printer on which I make
all the Soyfriends fanzines - and paper, lots of it.

q) What kind of projects/shows have you been involved in?

a) Not that many. I have made a list of this on my about section
in my site. There was quite an interesting one recently at the
Monsterchildren store in Australia. (

q)your contacts….e-mail…links

a)My work can be seen at:
I edit these artists books:
I have a collaboration with Stig Andersen:
And sometimes with photographer Mona Moe Holhjem:
(Stig's site is:


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1:32 AM  

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