Featured Artist Interview - Adhemas Batista
Batista made an impressive name for himself as a young artist by opening his own agency at the age of 19. Inspired by his father and brother, Batista worked very hard to get where he is today.
A man of patience and honesty, Batista is married with two kids and currently works as a freelance illustrator.
TAXI >> Hey, Adhemas. How is it going? You have made an impressive name for yourself as an artist from such a young age. Tell us more about yourself.
Adhemas Batista>> Firstly, thanks to the Taxi team and users for this opportunity and greetings from Brazil, it’s one more step in my life I conquered. I am Ademilson Batista da Silva AKA Adhemas Batista, I was born in November of 1980 in the south of Brazil, São Paulo city, the biggest metropolis of this country. I come from of a family of the north of Brazil. My father works in civil construction and my mother takes care of the home. I have one brother and three sisters, I am in the middle. I am married and I have two kids, the boy is four years old and the girl, almost two years.
TAXI >> While other artists are striving hard to earn a reputation in the industry, you started work at 15 and your own agency at 19. How did all that happen? Did you have time for soccer as a kid in Brazil?
Adhemas Batista>> (Laughs) Yes I had time to play soccer. In Brazil, soccer is part of our culture. You talk about it everyday, when you’re with a friend, watching TV, having lunch. I played lot of soccer until I discovered the computer, I dreamt to be a Ronaldo Gaúcho.
Starting work at 15 is common in Brazil. Most teenagers had to start soon to help their families and get a good position in the future. My situation was not different, I needed to start early, to learn and get experience.
About my experience with my own agency at 19, it was great. But it was during the Internet boom and everybody was doing it. The volume of work was high. Sometimes I worked three days without sleep.
In 2001 that situation was different, the two towers came down and our dream came down together with it. But I learnt a lot.
TAXI >> Growing up and working in Brazil, what was your early source of inspiration when you were freelancing as a teenager?
Adhemas Batista>> My brother. He gave me the opportunity to work with a computer and told me that I have talent, countless number of times. That inspired me and I am so grateful to him.
He started work at McDonald’s, cleaning tables and preparing lunch. Today, he is one of the Board Executives at Wunderman in Brazil.
TAXI >> As kids, we all had our idols and people we looked up to. Most of us look up to rock stars and sporting gods. As a graphic artist, who is your idol?
Adhemas Batista>> My father. He worked hard to support my family. It was not easy for seven people living in a small apartment.
I think you’re asking me for idols in the industry. The answer is myself. Only I know how much I needed to work to be here today responding this interview. My family and my wife helped me and followed. But, only I know how much frogs I had to swallow.
TAXI >> I’m assuming that when you made your first commercial piece at 15, you were self-taught. In your opinion, does attending art school make someone a better artist?
Adhemas Batista>> Yes, sure, I am self-taught. But going to schools, studying and listening your teachers, help you to start off. I had much difficulty and needed to experiment to find my way. A good school Is very important.
TAXI >> You started your agency with your brother back in 2000 before going into full-time employment. Is your brother an artist too? Do you guys still collaborate?
Adhemas Batista>> He is a Board Executive as I said. We talk a lot about a future, about the market, but now each one has his own way. I am doing my freelance works and he is working hard at Wunderman.
TAXI >> Accolades and awards mean so much to young and upcoming artists. You won the Brazilian Cannes Young Creative in 2003. What were the first thoughts on your mind when you knew that you were being rewarded for your hard work with a prestigious award like this?
Adhemas Batista>> I felt very happy and I thought my path was opened. I knew I had potential and could do more.
TAXI >> Collaborations with other artists broadens and opens one’s mind to a bigger picture. What are your views on collaborations?
Adhemas Batista>> I like collaborations with others to see what others have in mind, so I could do something with the same theme.
TAXI >> There are some who stick to particular styles and some who venture to try out new ones. How would you define your style and how has every project you have worked on helped to you fine tune that style?
Adhemas Batista>> I tried many things, trained a lot and I found something I consider my own style. I don’t know if what I do is classified as a type of style. I consider it a colourful and vibrant style. In every project I have more ideas to broaden my style and explore what I created with swirls and coloured palettes.
TAXI >> I like to work in an environment with organised chaos, whereas my colleague cannot bear the sight of unwanted material on the worktable. How about you? Is your workplace organised or do you like the mess?
Adhemas Batista>> (Laughs) I think I am like you too. Organised chaos. Sometimes I clean up the table to work, but that is because my wife will be angry with me or I need more space to move my mouse. But I don’t like to leave food and dirt, just books and tools I am using.
TAXI >> Experimenting and taking risks bring out the hidden creativity in many. Have you experimented with other mediums?
Adhemas Batista>> Yes, I like to say that I do what I want. I like to work with all mediums like design and advertising. Each has it’s problems and advantages.
TAXI >> As a freelancer, you get to make your own work timings to suit your daily life as a family man. Which part of the day does the creativity in you rush out the most?
Adhemas Batista>> It is good to work at nights. After 6pm and until 11pm is my best time.
TAXI >> It has been great talking to you, Adhemas. Before we end, tell us a place where you want a taxi to bring you right now.
Adhemas Batista>> To my bed, so I can sleep.
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