E-ntrevista@Valentim.QuaresmaDesigner de Jóias
Valentim Quaresma, a name that makes eyes sparkle when talking of Fashion Jewellery.
Valentim is young, but full of proven talent, and we have come to expect a limitless imagination from him.
His training started in Escola António Arroio (Lisbon), and continued AR.CO (Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual - Centre for Art and Visual Communication).
He has been making his own creations for two decades now.
The materials he uses may at first seem cold but his jewels create much hearty warmth.
Despite being busy with the opening of a new atelier in Lisbon to complement the one in Beato, Valentim gave up the time to answer some of my questions. I would like to share some of these answers with you.
Valentim, do you remember your first piece of jewellery? Did you imagine, at that time, that it would lead to all this?
Yes, it’s like your first kiss, you never forget it. It was a pincushion made with non-precious stones and copper. It was my first collection for Ana Salazar in 1989.
And how do you define the relationship between your jewels and Ana Salazar’s collections?
It is a perfect marriage; both of us have the same attitude towards fashion and jewellery.
Can we, or should we, still separate the terms Designer Jewellery and Fashion Jewellery?
I do not spend too much time thinking about such questions nor do I think it makes sense to do so. We live in a “cross-cultural” era. To me, what makes sense is quality work. Those types of questions are part of the 80´s when jewellery had to impose itself on a number of issues. Nowadays it does not make sense to use such labels.
And what are some of the marks that jewellery left on the 80s that can still be seen today?
There are many: The start of the jewellery course at AR.CO, Contacto-Directo, the Artefacto 3 gallery, which is now the Tereza Seabra Gallery. All these were fundamental. They managed to stake out a strong position in relation to what was happening in jewellery in Portugal. It was essential to make a difference and put things in the right places and call things by the right names which is why other galleries came into existence, such as Articula and Reverso, and new artists with powerful work emerged, such as Cristina Filipe, Tereza Milheiro, Madalena Avelar, Leonor Hipólito, etc, etc, etc.
What kinds of obstacles did you have to overcome before your work started to gain its deserved recognition?
Many. Mainly having the organisational skills to make all this work, so that the atelier could come to work as a company. I have no training in business and no financial group associated to the company, so managing everything is the hardest part and it is only when this part is stable that the work flows and you get good results.
What advice would you give to young creators?
To get organised and work hard to get what they want, it’s the only way…
By saying that, you remind me of the purpose of ArtistLevel and our network of artists helping each other so that each has greater opportunities to make good in his/her artistic milieu. How important do you think we are to that young blood?
The Internet is the present and the future for all artists and there is nothing better for publicising your work. Good image management and presentation in the right spot is fundamental for publicising your work well… which is no easy task.
Since your well-earned first place in the ITS#ACCESSORIES, with the first ACCESSORIES COLLECTION OF THE YEAR, where have gone with your collections?
I was invited to present my SS09 collection at 080 Barcelona fashion, I went to Riga in Lithonia to take part in an event called MOMENT, and I am going to Barcelona again to present my new FW09 collection in March, for the first time I will be presenting in an individual show.
Individual show... sounds like another victory to me. Tell me about it.
The 080 Barcelona fashion is a fashion event with a show room and catwalk shows from emerging creators, and for each edition a jury in nominated to select a few of the participants for show their collections on the catwalk.
Finally, we want to uncover the secret of your powerful imagination. Where do you look to for inspiration?