Fábio Araujo is a Brazilian artist working for an agency in Abu Dhabi. In this interview, Fábio tells us more about his origins as a graphic designer as well as the inspiration behind his beautiful photo manipulations.
QWelcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you’re from and how you got started in the field?
My name is Fábio. I’m 31 years old and originally from Brazil, although I have been living and working in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for a month now. I first had a career in logistics but wasn’t satisfied with this, so at 28 years old I decided to change careers and become a Graphic Designer. I’ve always liked art, especially graffiti when I was younger and this ended up helping me because I went into design with a different vision about colors. Since I started late in the industry, I decided to go against time by digging into Photoshop and trying to stand out in some way to get work. And before I finished college I had already received two job offers.
QWhat was your first experience like using Photoshop? Which techniques did you have the most difficulty conquering?
I’ve never taken a Photoshop course because in college you learn just the basics. So I started watching the great work produced by other designers and tried to recreate their styles and technique. I dug through the all tools during my spare time and learned that my greatest difficulty was the anxiety I had wanting to be finished with the art. Over time I learned that the longer I spent on a project and the more details I put into it, the better the outcome.
QYour photo manipulations start from simple images that transform into incredible compositions. Do you go into these photo manipulations with a plan or is the process experimental?
For some manipulations I already have the scene imagined in my mind so the result comes out just as I had expected it. But with most of them, the idea changes throughout the creation process.
Q“Aquarium” is a sublime composition with huge amounts of detail. Could you walk us through the process for this piece?
I always like to create manipulations full of color, but many images are often bad quality, so I wanted to create something new and clean in order to improve myself and that’s how the idea for Aquarium came to me. I used a blue texture for the background image, a real image of an aquarium, and incorporated aquatic photos of boats, divers, and an island. Using Dodge and Burn, I created shadows and markings on the glass partitions, and drew over the aquarium to finalize the piece and make it look real. I loved the result and many of my friends didn’t even think it was my work because it was more clean than any other work I had ever done. Later I would follow this same process in order to create “Bubble” and “Fishing.”
QMany of your photo manipulations incorporate creative interpretations of nature and beautiful scenery. What is it about nature that inspires you to feature it in your work?
I love going to new places, traveling in my creations, and creating new landscapes to explore. Photos of Brazil and other places in the world I want to know more about inspire me a lot as well as the sea. And the colors of nature greatly influence my work.
QWhich artists inspire you? How has their work influenced your style?
At the very beginning I was inspired by the photography work of Dave Hill because I admire the production of his work and the perfection in the images he creates. I also admire the master of Photoshop, Erik Johansson. Today all it takes is a beautiful photo to inspire me; and even without editing, if I see an image I like I’ve already started imagining a scene about it.
QWhat’s your favorite part about a career in Graphic Design? And what do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I only have a little time to experiment these days. Most of the work in my portfolio is experimental in order to improve myself and learn new techniques. What I like about design is that we can release our imagination and with it the possibilities are endless. I hope to evolve in my creations because I always looked for a good job in Brazil but was not able to stand out in the profession. When I received a proposal for an agency in Abu Dhabi, I decided to face the challenge. I’ve been working here for a month now, and I hope to always improve and serve as an inspiration to others.
QThanks again for the opportunity to interview you for Psdtuts+! Are there any final thoughts or words of advice you have for our readers?
Thank you, I was very happy to be here on the Psdtuts+ site because I admire your work. I advise all who want to pursue this career to never give up and to never stop creating even when you don’t have much time or when you're tired. When working in this field, it’s always good to not only be aware of what you are creating in the world but to also perfect it. Thank you!