Staying Creative with Francisco Marques
Francisco is a Portuguese born artist, metal worker and overall maker of things, who’s work you may see on paper, canvas, tattoo, or as hand-held objects of steel.
His drawings are often unapologetically dark and evoke a sense of raw power and trepidation. Francisco’s cinematic sensibility finds his subjects in the middle of fog, silence, and often the dead of night.
We've collaborated with Francisco across several seasons, our most recent collab forming part of AW20's Blade Runner Capsule with his carefully drawn 'Bo The Dog' design across three different styles.
Which artists have been the most influential to your work and why?
Hieronymus Bosch, Caspar David Friedrich and Francisco de Goya, because they are all a mix of the themes I'm most interested in, romanticism, the macabre, surrealism and myth. Most recently I've been following the works of the norwegian artist Sverre Malling, his level of technique mixed with all those themes above are my goal as an artist.
How do you go about choosing themes/points of exploration?
I always start with nature, I find myself sketching trees all the time. If I can't fit a tree in my drawing I'll always find a way to add natural elements to it, like a flower in my self portrait or the texture of trees in a space themed painting.
You use several different techniques, including calligraphy ink, graphite, oil paint, etching and extensive line work,
how do you balance and move between these techniques?
I will always prefer graphite over anything else, It's my favourite medium. Graphite is very versatile, you can create any texture with it. When I use different techniques with different mediums it's most of the time just experimenting and trying to find finishes that I can try and copy while using graphite.
I do like to use other mediums and techniques but I don't spend as much time perfecting them, therefore I don't think I can ever make a masterpiece using a medium other than graphite. I will try and explore as many different art making techniques as I can just for the sake of learning something new.
Can you tell us about the metal work that you do? How did that come about?
I always loved handcrafted knives and the ones that can keep a sharp edge for a longer time are the best, I guess I always wanted to make my own knives, but it's really just a stress relieving hobby, I don't plan on pursuing a career in blacksmithing. But I will definitely forge a sword someday. I just need a proper workshop and lots of practice.
Today, more and more Artists are working entirely digitally, how do you think this enhances/impedes the work an artist does?
I guess It's how humans work, we are always trying to find new ways of working or to simplify the way we work, doesn't really enhance or impede anything, it's just us trying to move forward to the future. Don't think the classic artistic techniques will be lost anytime soon. Personally I never really enjoyed working digitally. There's a lack of material handling and texture feeling that I couldn't work with.
What would you consider is your ‘field’, or title, as an artist? What are the best/worst parts about your title, or about the industry in general?
I look at myself as a maker, that would be the correct title. I Don't think everything I make is art. The worst part about this is that, in order to make a living doing what you love, you'll have to be a freelancer, there's not many jobs going for artists. That makes it harder to make a living, you'll most likely have to find some part time job to be able to pay for your bills. Be persistent, do it because you love it. Don't be a dick.
Favourite film / film that influenced you most?
7th seal- Ingmar Bergman
Finally, any artists/designers we should know about?