When we think about Portugal and the street art scene, there are some names who are already familiar to us, like Vhils, Bordalo, Odeith and Mr.Dheo. But there are other greats not known as well yet, such as Daniel Eime.
Daniel learned his trade on the streets at the age of 16, he began with graffiti, followed by experiments in several methods of artistic expression including the use of stickers and posters, culminating in the current exploration of stenciling. This technique has been the core of his works since 2008, being present in all paintings he has produced since that time.
Following graduation in Set Design, Daniel Eime began to work in that industry, but before that he had been living exclusively off the money he made in street art and painting.
Being recognized for his large scale murals and very detailed stencils, Eime's works depict intriguing characters that cast enigmatic gazes, frequently combined with abstract elements. His works aspires to capture the inner glow of his subjects, with every line on their faces telling the story of their and our own lives.
He has participated in several street art festivals, and has exhibited in both solo and group shows around the globe, from Portugal to the United States, to Morocco, Italy, Germany, Russia and Spain, among others.
As he is one of Portugal's stencil masters, I invited him for a beer on behalf of NYC's newest street art publication SOLD Magazine, and we had a great chat …
Fernando Bastos: Daniel, could you please introduce yourself to our readers who may not know of you already.
Daniel Eime: Sure. I am Daniel Eime, a 31 year old Portuguese plastic artist specializing in stencil technique.
FB: What’s the origin of your tag name Eime?
DE: It comes from the German word Eimer, which means bucket or pail. Over time I lost the R, merely to simplify writing and sound issues.
FB: How do you define yourself... An artist? An urban artist? Or do you prefer another definition?
DE: I prefer plastic artist, because it encompasses both painting and scenography, which is my actual area of formation.
FB: How did your whole career begin, and at what point would you say is it at now?
DE: It began, more professionally 6 years ago, when I was annoyed by the life of set designer who, with little work, had many annoyances and little money. I decided to reverse my situation, turn a negative into a positive, and made my hobby my profession. It was the right decision at the right moment. It's been a few years but I believe knowing myself, it will take a long time before I feel totally satisfied.
FB: Usually people think that artists are eccentric. So, what's the first thing you do when you wake up?"
DE: This is a stereotype I can not identify with. I am a very normal person, with very few habits, almost none and without "Artist manias".
FB: When you are in your creative process, are you usually in contact with another form of art, such as music? If Yes, is there a specific music or singer that accompanies you?
DE: I like to work with music, but not always. There are times when silence is the best company. Often is it just enough to have some background noise, I turn on the radio and I'm fine. The style of music is fickle, it depends on the day and type of rhythm I want or need to work.
FB: In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you?
DE: A lot of things. I can not describe it. It is simply too much.
FB: What is the most difficult part of your creative process?
DE: Usually it's finding the perfect face for that space. Then the process unfolds more naturally.
FB: Do you have an artist you admire, if so why?
DE: I have several, like everyone else I'm sure. Usually admiration comes from the passion that is seen to exist in what it does. I do not usually admire just because it is known or already painted in half world, in relation to urban art.
FB: Which cities inspire you the most?
DE: Usually the oldest ones are the best. I do not really like modern, uncharacteristic cities.
FB: What other passions do you have besides art?
DE: Dogs, I like them very much. I am not of great passions. I like a lot of things but besides urban art, I do not have anything else at that same level at the moment.
FB: Do you have a project that you would like very much to carry out even though it is something very extravagant?
FB: I know you are a master of the stencil, but you could tell us about your art, including symbols and messages. Is there always a pattern that repeats itself in your works?
DE: Neither symbolism nor messages. I also do not repeat patterns, but I try to keep the language the same, although I try to give a different touch between works.
FB: We know that urban art is in some cases an ephemeral art, but do you have any idea how long a work of art can survive? Does this vary from country to country or is there a global respect for your art?
DE: It can vary widely, especially between cities. I do not know if there are countries with more or less respect for urban art, at least not yet. Normally my pieces are not vandalized, but if they are, it is part of it. I have pieces already 5 years old or more, still untouched, while other more recent ones have already been erased or undergone some kind of modification. It honestly does not bother me that much because I accept and understand that being in the public space, whoever wants, good or evil, can come and manifest as you see fit. Usually people who "screw up" the murals are also those of the urban artistic universe, so there is no global respect, when those who should respect, do not.
FB: Has anyone ever approached you and told you how you felt when you saw your work? If yes, what were these comments?
DE: Of course, that's one of the advantages of painting on the street. Opinions are free so listen to everything. But I like that instant feedback.
FB: Do you have any secrets you wanna tell us?
DE: The secrets are not told.
FB: In terms of invitations to make great murals, when and how did those invitations begin?
DE: The first big mural I made was in 2011 in the Azores, at the invitation of the festival Walk & Talk. It was at this moment that I realized that it was urban art that I should invest time and dedication.
FB: In international terms, you have many jobs in Italy. Is there any particular reason for this or is it because you like Italian food?
DE: I love Italian food, but I can not explain why I've done so much work there in such a short time. It began with the invitation by the festival Memorie Urbane and later it was a development of them. One leads to another and perhaps because of physical proximity and the fact of representing people, has led to so many invitations. I think that their greatest connection to my work should be portraits, because they are a people of great contact and appreciation of the human.
FB: There was some project that you carried out that you liked more to see accomplished, if so what and why?
DE: The Tour Paris in 2013 was something quite positive on a personal and professional level. I was recently in this circuit and because I could see many artists that I admire, working beside me and the space outside, it gave me great pleasure to be part of the project. From then on, there were some good doors to open.
FB: What are your creative plans for the future?
DE: Follow my instinct. I do not need much more than that.
FB: Do you have any thoughts or messages that you would like to convey to everyone who is reading this interview?
DE: If you are trying to follow this area, stick to your ideals and try hard. Everything tastes better after a good fight.