Hey Mikel! This would probably be how we would greet the artist Miguel Almeida Sousa if we met him on the street. Born in Penafiel and currently living in Oporto, “Heymikel” is a recently graduated graphic designer from “IPCA” in Barcelos, with a passion for illustration.
A man who wanted to be many things. That’s probably a somewhat accurate description to an artist who once had many different dreams, and ended up by being something he hadn’t quite imagined before. “The way I came to be a designer was kind of accidental. When I was a kid, I said I wanted to be an engineer (even not knowing what that was), I wanted to be a soccer player and even got to play federated, months before going to college I wanted to be an architect… so, I can really say that being a designer wasn’t in my plans”, he says, “but in the end I think it was my passion for drawing that led me here”.
Heymikel tells us that the artist and man within him both share many common ground, saying that “there’s not much of a difference; I don’t want to use a mask or live in realities that do not exist; that only happens in the illustrations”, and adds, “the common point between them is the drive and determination, and what separates them is the attitude”. Regarding the core values of his artistic style, Heymikel replies “Organization, precision, and drive”.
Using a “tablet to draw and paint” and when needed “illustrate on paper and work on the sketch with a nib or an art pen”, Heymikel likes to keep it simple. Just like his artistic freedom, about which he says “I like to draw and illustrate in the graphic diary, there I have all the freedom in the world to do whatever I please – no restrictions; I don’t have to answer a briefing or please certain audiences. In the end, I just like to draw whatever I like as a person”.
And although he isn’t especially fond of illustrating “landscapes or scenarios” because usually he “lacks patience”, Heymikel states he looks for inspiration all around him. “The world and the things that happen daily in it, in any part of it” seem to be his source of creativity. For example, you just have to look at the state of Portugal at the moment and “quickly realize there are some illustrations of political satire and social critique that could be made, especially of the governants”.
When talking about his already made work, his “series of illustrations drawn with a pen for t-shirts” or his “fanzine “fora do formato (out of format)””, are some of the work he holds close to his heart nowdays, either for their “the final result” or the “doors they opened”.
Currently, he is working on some old projects and starting new ones, including a fanzine with social critique and reflection, and his master’s final project or thesis. Regarding his future and dreams, he expresses his wish to “have a professional experience in my area outside of Portugal”, as he sees it as an “important step for my growth as a man and as a professional”. He would also like to work “in an agency or atelier”, being sure that it’s going to be one of his “next steps”.
And, after all, some things may remain the same with Miguel Sousa. “I can’t affirm I am going to do this for the rest of my life”, says Heymikel. And apparently, this isn’t something that scares him. “It might come the time where I have to do something else… and that doesn’t bother me at all”.