Eudes Correia was only 12 years old when he first tried watercolor painting; an experience that according to him, he will never forget. His brother was an artist and encouraged the young Eudes to paint. His parents however, weren’t exactly as supportive.
His mother, for one, was appalled by the idea of having another painter in the family. “For my mom, me getting into painting would somehow lead to a life of crime and indulgence,” recalls the renowned Brazilian watercolor artist during an interview with Inquirer Super.
Mr. and Mrs. Correia were familiar with the plight of the starving artist, and subscribed to the belief that artists easily succumb to alcoholism and drug addiction. They feared that their son, too, would be a victim of circumstances, and discouraged him from creative pursuits such as painting and playing the guitar.
The lack of support from his parents did not stop Eudes from carving his path to greatness, but he did not become a famous painter overnight. He worked as a graphic designer for 25 years, creating advertising materials for magazines, billboards, and TV commercials.
Finding his true calling
“I felt limited because I couldn’t express myself through commissioned work. I tried other forms of art but hadn’t yet discovered anything truly fulfilling,” says Correia.
One day, he decided to take a stroll after work. He stopped to paint the people and situations he encountered. It became a regular hobby, and while he did not get paid for the portraits he made, he soon realized that he had found his true calling.
“I felt more fulfilled, more complete,” he shares.
Eventually, Correia gave up his day job altogether and focused on watercolor painting, full-time.
Wine, bossa nova and all that jazz
The 47-year-old Brazilian artist has developed a few habits over the years. He drinks wine and listens to jazz and bossa nova to get his creative juices flowing. But more than anything, he puts God at the center of his work.
Correia’s first painting was that of a swamp in his hometown, but nowadays most—if not all—of his most recognizable works are watercolor portraits that capture his subjects at their most candid or private moments. The portraits are fascinating. The facial expressions are detailed, the emotions, raw.
His fascination with the human form stems from a solid conviction. “I believe everything has been created for people. A house doesn’t work without people inside it. A car doesn’t run without a person driving it. People are the center of everything. Objects only gain importance if people find value in them.”
Correia gets a distinct kind of satisfaction from painting; something an artist experiences when in contact with a paintbrush and the colors. And while there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Correia can create a masterpiece from children’s art materials similar to the ones he used as a wide-eyed 12-year-old, he stresses how important it is for an artist like him to have access to the finest materials available. He believes that questionable paint and brushes can limit the potential of an artist’s work.
Analog art in the digital age
“I see no competition, actually,” says Correia. “I see that there are different paths.”
“Art is art. If you think that your way of showcasing your art is through digital means, like working for advertisements or for movies, you can follow that path. Analog art, however, is completely different.”
“Here’s the thing,” he continues. “If your motivation to pursue art is to make money, then this can be frustrating. We need to understand that to an aspiring artist, art is a form of expression, and that should be the real motivation.”
“Eventually you’re going to be recognized. Develop your techniques, your style, your art. You’re going to reach a point where it’s all going to pay off.”
In closing, he dishes out practical advice you wouldn’t expect form a painter.
“You shouldn’t be a full-time artist until you reach a certain level of recognition. You should have a side hustle that allows you to support yourself. And then you can paint.”
“The moment you paint and devote yourself to art, it becomes intimate, a moment you can have all to yourself. Get a job, but still find time for self-expression. Give yourself time to fully develop your craft, and then you can pursue art full-time.”
“Dreams don’t end. When you stop dreaming, you are ready to die.”
The Portugal-based Brazilian artist visited the Philippines to conduct a live painting demo during Art Bar’s Art Fair in SM Megamall.