Naíma Almeida has created an exceptionally creative and unique process for translating her illustrations into three dimensional pieces of art while enlisting a fresh take on the use of familiar materials.
Working with a common staple in any arts and crafts kit, Naíma Almeida takes the humble felt and turns it into fantastical, colourful art pieces through a process of diligent layering and collaging.
She has also developed the process further, turning to laser cutting techniques to work with hards acrylics, which bear even more intriguing and distinctive results.
Naíma talks to us about this process in depth, describing the painstaking stages she goes through to create these pieces and what inspired her to take her work in this direction in the first place.
“My name is Naima Almeida, I’m an artist from Brazil.”
“I always knew I would work with something creative. But for a long time I didn’t know if it would be music, fine arts or design. In fact, I decided to go to college for graphic design after reading in a magazine that a designer was the person who creates book covers and posters.”
“I started college without being very sure what graphic design was but I fell in love right at the beginning. I was instantly interested in design of the 60s and 70s, I was crazy about the geometric compositions of that time.”
“I see design as a crossroads where creative areas intertwine. I don’t want to try to define the limits between design and art, analog and digital, because I really appreciate the free flow between these areas and different media in search of a satisfying outcome in every project.”
“My work is often a graphic and colorful explosion with great care in the details and color relations. This can be seen in my big compositions with hundreds of felt pieces embedded, overlapping, and glued, one by one.”
“Most of my work starts at the computer drawing and planning what will be hand made. Sometimes the reverse happens, starting manually and then going to the computer.”
“I always start any work with research of the subject to dive into that universe, I look for texts and images that can increase understanding on that subject. After I start the part to be sketched, I do countless studies before reaching what would be the artwork.”
“It is a work of a lot of intuition but it is also the moment to resort to all the baggage of previous knowledge, everything I have lived and studied. And mainly it is a time of many, many tests.”
“After all is set, with the design ready, I begin to think about the three-dimensionality of the piece, to plan how will be the arrangement of the layers of those elements.”
“Only after that do I go to the manual stage. It is at this moment that I review some aspects of the drawing, adding and removing elements as the piece comes to life.”
“I’ve been working with hand-cut felt for a long time so I guess it’s fair to say that this is one of the main materials I use. But I have expanded this to other materials as well. From materials that require a long time of construction of the piece like hand made tapestries to faster and technological resources like the laser cut of acrylic.”
“The most important thing for me is to always keep this creative process.”
All images © Naíma Almeida