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Vasco Mourao

Illustrator

in his temporary workshop, Poblenou

Photos : Paola de Grenet - Texts Lucy Baluteig
  • portuguese

"Barcelona is a cosmopolitan & creative city. It's a city where you meet & cross a lot of people. It is a city that makes you optimist"

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Meticulous, rigorous, detailled, methodic, relentless, architectural : here’s how we could describe Vasco Mourao’s drawing line. Vasco is an expert in urban drawing which implies a fascinating level of detail. His astonishing work is praised by clients like The New Yorker, The Washigton Post, Wired, Uncube or even the Brazilian Folha de Sao Paolo who commissioned the artist for his illustrations of both realistic & imaginary cities. Cities that Vasco uncovers in their urban uniqueness : massive constructions made of buildings, bridges, ports, houses, cranes, churches; thin & clear black&white silhouettes which criss-cross to create a crazy yet coherent system. A very personal style focusing on tiny details with an obsessive exactness “I can work up to 6 hours a day. I actually relax while drawing, it is kind of therapeutical!” says Vasco with a black pen in his hand, standing in front of a 13 by 5 feet mural on which he has been working for the past two months.

Vasco graduated in architecture from the University of Guimaraes in Portugal where he was born & raised. A passion and a vivid sense for sketching that he was actually able to sharpen during the first two years of his architecture studies where industrial design drawing is a key discipline. However, once he graduated, Vasco realizes that “processes are not made for me! the idea of spending several hours per day behind a desk at an architectural studio without having any clear notion of the final result of my work doesn’t make any sense to me. Being a piece of a puzzle without any further visibility, that was not for me. So I quit and decided to dedicate my time fully to illustration”. A professional choice that is part of a more global personal reflection about lifestyle options.

"Barcelona is a cosmopolitan & creative city. It's a city where you meet & cross a lot of people. It is a city that makes you optimist"

“I am actually passionnate about travel. In 2014, my girlfriend & I decided to travel for seven months all over Asia. We were curious to see if we could be geographically independent while writing or designing a book and doing other assignments. Travelling but still maintaining a healthy work routine. I kind of love the idea of ‘normal yet extraordinary’ where the normality of everyday life, of your the day-to-day routine, can happen in an extraordinary context. That resonates with me”.

A personal philosophy where hedonism meets cartesianism, which is also the idea behind the website that Vasco set up to give a further insight into his travel-work lifestyle : on Marvami.com you can find a gorgeous curated selection of crafted objects that Vasco & Madalena find during their travels & take back home to Barcelona. “Barcelona is indeed a base and a great urban option to live. It is a cosmopolitan & creative city. A city where you meet & cross with a lot of different people, an city that makes you optimistic. I like that idea of a positive city”. Vasco, who has just finished this week his mural of the city of Genova, is getting prepared to leave again for a new work-travel experience heading over this time to the Açores islands. An adventure to be followed on Marvami to discover some new crafted treasures.

THE ADDRESS BOOK OF Vasco Mourao

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Gracias district - Cool little Mexican restaurant serving super fresh products. Great atmosphere and great people. Love their burritos
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Born district - A nice & cool little pub that serves a good vermut. Perfect for a summer night - or for any saturday night really...
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Gracia district - A great little spot to enjoy good coffee (from Portugal) and delicious homemade donuts (Greek recipe!)
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Gracia neighborhood - A great movie theater with a great program and excellent value for money