Robert John Paterson

Our new artist in residence at RAIZVANGUARDA – Associação Cultural RJ Paterson and his interview:

• What attracted you to come to RAIZVANGUARDA as a resident?

I’ve always wanted to visit Portugal, and the studio being so remote was a bonus. I was looking for a place where I could get away and really focus on a project. I also liked that RV accepted many different artistic disciplines, I enjoy meeting and working alongside people that do different things than I do. I feel these kinds of outside influences help inspire and influence me more than artists that do very similar work.

• Where are you from? Tell us about your educational background?
From Toronto Canada. I have a Bachelor of Design Degree from OCADU, majoring in Illustration. Toronto is a busy city with a lot to offer. Ideal for starting a career as an artist. So many opportunities to show work and develop my craft.

• In which art field do you work, what topics are important to you as an artist? What are you passionate about?
I’m an illustrator. I do mainly commissions, editorial, and promotional work. To achieve my illustrations and posters I mainly use printing making techniques, specifically screen printing. I love working as a screen printer because it forces me to think about an image in 2 or 3 colours and really break down what are the most important parts worth showing. Because of the limitations of printmaking, my work has a minimalist kind of vintage/retro style.

• Tell us a little bit about your project that you work on here in RAIZVANGUARDA?
I’m here to grow my skill set, this month I’m making an experimental animated short film. I came here to get away from all distractions and try to complete a 3-5 minute film about technology dependence. The idea is having access to phones and the internet is great, but they can be addicting and over-reliance and overuse can be scary.

• What do you like the most about RAIZVANGUARDA?
The weather! Canada is cold in the fall. I feel like I’m making everyone back home hate me with my constant Instagram stories of cloud-free skies, picturesque landscapes, and this huge studio space. Canada has about 17 minutes of summer, coming here in October is like resetting my year all the way back to July. It’s fantastic.

If you want to see more of Paterson’s work, visit his website or facebook page.