Interview with Aka Corleone
Tell us about how you got to where you are now.
For me, everything started in my father’s sculpture studio. I used to spend my days there watching him work. In this kind of environment, it is natural for me to know that my path had to have something artistic. Later on, graffiti came into my life – I still think of it as my true “Art School”, where I really developed as an artist. With graffiti I could freely express myself in the streets. Always keeping it in mind, I got a degree in Graphic Design. I worked as a Graphic Designer for a while until I understood that I wasn’t made for it. That was when I started to explore illustration, which is what opened the door to the artistic work I do today, from shows to murals.
How and when did you start exploring yourself creatively through drawing?
I started by dirtying walls with graffiti when I was a teenager. I got hooked on the paint, the colors, the streets of Lisbon… Later on, I wanted to start doing another kind of interventions on the streets – that was when I started to bring my illustrations to the streets on a different scale. That ended up becoming my profession as an artist / muralist.
What was your starting point and inspiration behind the work you developed for Monarte? What did your creative process look like?
For the piece I developed for Monarte, I got inspiration from my city: Lisbon. I really like illustrating Lisbon and giving those illustrations my personal interpretation of the historical and cultural figures, including my vision of the traditional architecture and the colorful and lively environment that is so characteristic of this city.
My creative process was very similar to what it usually is: it involved drawing quite a bit beforehand, walking around Lisbon (as I normally do), allowing myself to get carried away with inspiration from streets, typographies and people.
AkaCorleone loves the streets of his city. He loves making Art ON them and FROM them. This is his natural habitat, where he feels and becomes his best and most natural self. Which is why it’s no wonder that the work he developed for Monarte is fully inspired by Lisbon, whith its iconic figures: Amália Rodrigues, Fernando Pessoa, 25th of April Bridge, Christ the King, among others.