Susete Saraiva is a miniature & portrait artist who lives in Toronto. As she says, she focuses on the darker side of life.
Susete Saraiva is featured in Fixate exhibition organized by RAW:Toronto. On this occasion, I have the pleasure to interview her.
Miniature & portrait artist Susete Saraiva Interview:
“Just quit your day job, and focus on your art, you can do this.”
Thank you, Susete Saraiva, for accepting to answer our questions. Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born on a Portuguese island, and have been living in Toronto since my family immigrated to Canada when I just two years old. I am an animal loving, nature freak with a soft spot for classic Disney movies, but my passion for art is what makes me tick. My friends often refer to me as the ‘Scream Queen’ given my obsession with all things Horror. A quick glimpse of my social media profiles will testify to the inspiration I find in the dark and twisted realms of the Horror genre.
Were you always interested in art growing up?
As a child I either had a crayon, pencil or my mom’s lipstick in my hand, doodling on the walls in the living room. Eventually, I learned to move my doodles to the traditional paper or canvas mediums. It wasn’t until many years later that I decided to branch out into sculpting and building dioramas.
How do you define your Art? How did you come to this universe?
Pop-Horror Surrealism would be the best way to define my illustrated works, while scale model replication or “DIE-o-ramas” as I have come to call them. I’ve always been intrigued in the contrast between cute and twisted, opposite worlds coming together harmoniously in something as simple as a drawing. This was my inspiration to a lot of the drawings and illustrations I have done.
As far as the dioramas go, I have been a long-time collector of 7-inch scale Horror and Sci-Fi figures, and one day I had the spontaneous idea to reproduce a barn from Friday The 13th to act as the display base to one of my Jason Vorhees figures. This turned out better than I expected, so I started doing more of them, refining my methods along the way, and here I am…
Do you have or have had a mentor or other special person to guide you?
As far as individuals go, No. However, I get my inspiration from so many different sources, personal experiences, films and other art forms, and even places I’ve visited. I have an eye for detail and am a little obsessive compulsive, so once I have an idea of something I want to do, I will spend countless hours studying techniques and methods to achieve the best result.
You are Inspired deeply by a never-ending love of horror movies. Is there something metaphysic in this quest?
My first experience of a Horror film was at the age of 5, when I happened to see The Exorcist. Instead of being frightened, I was fascinated. Yes, there were moments of fear, but I was more amused than anything else. As I grew older, so too did my love and fascination of the genre grow deeper. I have been a sponge to fiction and real-life horror stories since I was that 5-year-old girl.
Is artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
It often is. I spend almost all day and a good chunk of the night in my studio, with only the company of my cats and dogs (who really just acknowledge my existence when they’re hungry). For background noise, I often have some sort of Horror-themed podcast (naturally) or a classic Horror flick.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Just quit your day job, and focus on your art, you can do this.” This was last year, when my husband encouraged me to stop wasting my time and talent in my old office job, and take the plunge into full-time art. Although it was a bumpy road at first, time has shown me some amazing results, and I feel that this is only just the beginning.
You have been selected to participate in the upcoming Raw Toronto FIXATE showcase. What Artworks do you plan to showcase?
There will definitely be a few classic miniature Horror houses, along with other horror themed minis.