Hey everyone, today I'll be talking a bit about the work of Rafael "Rafa" Sarmento. I am irked by his lack of a substantial online presence, but I think there is enough to at least talk about. The most recent information I have on Rafa is from 2008, so it may be a bit outdated, but as of then, he was a self-taught illustrator from Brazil, with plans to study abroad and acquire formal training and some experience. With that in mind (and even without) I think his work is quite impressive.
Something Rafa's been doing lately is "Tradigital" pieces; art created primarily by traditional means, (in this case, graphite, acrylic, and gauche) and finished with digital effects. I am under the impression that this is a technique that's on the rise, but I really like how he's used it; the digital effects augment the traditional foundation in a variably subtle way, without becoming the focus. I think it's good that the traditional elements remain dominant because at least in the case of Rafael's work, the parts created manually have a lot of life and sensitivity in them, which I think is harder to achieve digitally. Here is some more stuff so you can get a feel for his style:
I think it is apparent from the work available on his flickr that he would benefit from a formal education. I don't really think his technique is lacking, but I feel that his creative process would benefit from the experience of art school. His pieces are not exactly homogeneous, but there is a certain similarity between them beyond their shared style, so I feel like has been somewhat limited by the kinds of subjects and style he is familiar with.
I think the fragmentation motif is a lot of fun, but a little played out. Still, I really enjoy looking at Rafa's work.
I hope you've enjoyed and thank you for reading.