{the interview series} Mundo Flo + giveaway!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Não podia ter melhor convidada para celebrar connosco a chegada da Primavera!
Adriana Oliveira, criadora responsável pela beleza que habita o Mundo Flo, inspira-se na natureza para criar peças delicadas e de combinações cromáticas harmosiosas. Dividida entre a paixão pelos tecidos e pela fotografia, uma arte parece complementar a outra durante todo o processo: desde a escolha de materiais até à forma como Adriana se deixa inspirar pelo mundo que a rodeia... leiam e descubram mais sobre o Mundo Flo!

E já que estamos em modo de celebração: a Adriana decidiu oferecer ao mais sortudo dos meus leitores um conjunto de 3 belos marca-livros feitos à mão... leiam até ao fim para descobrir como participar no giveaway!

[Este post pertence à rubrica semanal {the interview series}, onde publico uma nova entrevista todas as quartas-feiras, com artistas e bloggers inspiradores que admiro, de acordo com o espírito handmade e um estilo de vida criativo. Tornem-se fãs no facebook e não percam nada!
Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.]

I couldn't have asked for a better guest to celebrate the arrival of Spring with us!
Adriana Oliveira, the artist responsible for the beauty that lives in Mundo Flo, is inspired by nature to create delicate pieces in harmonious color combinations. Divided between the passion for textiles and photography, one art seems to complement the other during the whole process: from the choice of materials to the way that Adriana feels inspired by the world that surrounds her... read and find out more about Mundo Flo!

And since we are in celebration mode: Adriana decided to offer to the luckiest of my readers a set of three beautiful handmade bookmarks... read to the end and find out how to participate in the giveaway!

[This post belongs to the weekly feature {the interview series} where I publish a new interview every wednesday with inspiring artists and bloggers I admire, according to the spirit of handmade and a creative lifestyle. Become a facebook fan and don't miss a bit!]

Adriana Oliveira | Mundo Flo
Leiria, Portugal
site | blog | shop | etsy shop | facebook | twitter | flickr

Light bags

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Adriana Oliveira. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a simple, quiet and daydreamer 32 years old girl living in Leiria, Portugal, with my boyfriend Nuno, my cat Elffie and my creative world Mundo Flo.

2. You come from a background in biology, but you’re now pursuing a creative path. How and when was this passion born?
Yes, I graduated in Biology, though I'm not working as a biologist. Since I was a child, I've always enjoyed all things creative, like drawing, painting, writing, playing music or playing with fabrics and yarns. At 10, I discovered photography, when I got my first compact camera and, at 14, my father lent me his Pentax K1000 camera and I fell in love. I never thought of pursuing an artistic career, though, because I was always told art wouldn't pay the bills. I never knew what I wanted to do for a living, so I found myself studying Biology. When I was doing a master's degree in Ecology, and realizing science was not for me, I felt the need to make things again, like knitting, sewing my own accessories and gifts for friends. Mundo Flo was born from that, in a very natural way, and has become a really serious dream that sounds more like a purpose in life (at last)!

Fern bookmarks
Morning light

3. Mundo Flo is your world of beauty – here you share your sewing and photography work. How do you manage to maintain these different but so harmoniously combined worlds? What gives you more pleasure to develop?
They complement each other. Photography is more spontaneous to me, like a natural extension of myself. I love to frame my world and to register my life through pictures. I do it daily and everywhere I go, I need it! I use photography to collect ideas and to get inspired, in a preliminary phase of research, and also to show and promote the products I make. And sometimes I use photos as products themselves, such as postcards, photo prints or fabric bookmarks. Sewing is the tool I use to put together a finished product containing my ideas and aesthetics. I love each part of the process, because they are all so different, allowing me to do so many tasks. That's why Mundo Flo is the perfect job for me. I can do everything I love most, try different techniques, touch several aspects of creativity, without losing the freedom of being myself! And I love the power of being able to make things with my own hands!

4. Your bags have a simple and delicate style inspired by nature. You say that you love to search and combine colors and textures, but this is only a part of the whole process… would you share it with us?
I work by collection, and I really enjoy this method. It allows me to develop a concept and explore it more consistently, and it's easier for me to get inspired this way. So I start each collection by listening to ideas in my head for a while, then I gather them on a scrapbook, with pictures from magazines, internet, my photos and drawings, etc. I also put down there my color palette and any motifs I want to include on the bags, and then I choose and buy fabrics and other materials.
I make the bags in small batches, though they're all different. Sometimes, while I'm sewing, I change things from the original idea, because they might not work as well as I imagined them. I love adding special details to each piece, like small embroideries on the inside, beautiful tags made with the same fabrics, etc. In the end, I show them to Nuno, and he reviews them and looks for imperfections. Then I photograph them and compose an inspiration book, to show my clients the whole spirit of the collection.

Pied de poule interlaced bag
Tiles on camel tweed bag

5. You present us every season a beautiful and elegant inspiration book - the styling, the models, the scenario… everything counts to create the spirit of the collection. I’m curious about the upcoming collection! Can you give us a sneak peek?
This time, I decided to divide my collection into several mini collections, so I can have new products in a more regular basis. The first one will be ready in early April, I hope, and will incorporate some new experiences in surface design. I really wanted to include my sketches, which is another great passion of mine. I'm using nature and urban geometric patterns as inspirations, as usual, and vibrant colors combined with neutral backgrounds. The rest is a surprise...

Wild carrot on cedar bag

6. Tell us now about your photographic work. Your photos are soft and dreamy, mostly inspired by natural elements. What inspires you to create them?
I always photograph what I find. I'm not that kind of photographer who sets the whole scenario or waits for hours for the perfect moment, I'm the opportunist type. I shoot things when I see them, using whatever conditions I have at the moment (always with natural light), and try to do my best with what I have on hand. I'm mostly inspired by the simple things in life, like the flower I see on my way home, the light coming through my window, the pattern of a tree against the sky... I'm very inspired by nature, mostly by plants and the sea. I also love shooting old houses, or any place that delivers the sense of calm and silence. I love pictures that look like desert places, even if they are not. On the other hand, I've been enjoying more and more shooting people, and I have been making some interesting sessions with kids in collaboration with Nuno.

7. Would you share some useful tips with us, non-photographers, who would like to learn a bit more and make the most of our cameras while traveling or working?
Look around you, up and down, try to find beauty everywhere. Try different perspectives, move yourself. Read as much as you can about your camera and use manual mode if you have an SLR camera. Read about light measure (shutter speed, aperture and ISO are the basic concepts you should learn about), and use natural light whenever possible.


8. Through your shop your creations travel all around the world! What means do you use to promote your work?
Internet is my main promotion vehicle. I have a website, a blog where I write about my working process, inspirations and other creative projects, a Facebook page, Twitter and Flickr. And I sell my products through my online shop and Etsy. My friends have been great promoters of my works as well! I'm very shy on showing and talking about it, but they are discovering it and they're spreading the word. Also I try to use my own bags whenever I can.

9. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
When we rented our house, I really wanted to have a room to work, because I was tired of sewing in my bedroom or in the living room. As I have a day job, I must divide my work for Mundo Flo in short periods of time (an hour in the morning, lunch time, evenings and weekends), so I must be able to leave my workplace as it is, even if it's a mess, because I don't have time to clear it up every time I leave.
My studio is a small and cozy room with white walls full of natural light. It has some shelves to store my materials and vintage wooden boxes and cups for smaller stuff, one sewing mannequin and two tables, one for sewing and cutting fabrics, another for painting and my laptop. I also have a collection of objects found in nature, like pine cones, tree branches, leaves, rocks and seedpods, and an inspiration wall, which is a wire hung on the wall with pictures that inspire me, that I change from time to time. Oh, and there's my cat's favorite box and blanket, where he sleeps (the only way he lets me work).

Inspiration wall
In the studio

10. What else are you passionate about?
I love music, sketching, reading, taking long walks, watching a good film at home while knitting, gardening in my balcony and travelling. I wish I could travel more!

11. You live Leiria, Portugal - tell us about what you love most about it. Would you like to live anywhere else one day?
Leiria is a small town with a nice historical center and one of the most beautiful castles of our country. I love the fact that Leiria has become a much better place to live in the last years, it has finally got some culture and nice recreation areas by the river. I love having my parents around, and taking about 10 min to get to work on foot (I don't need a car here). And I love to have the sea nearby, and one of my favorite beaches, S. Pedro de Moel, next to a beautiful pinewood, Pinhal de Leiria.
I wouldn't mind living in another place, though. I've thought about living in Lisbon, for example. And I dream about living in other countries for a while, maybe Paris or Madrid, but never had the courage to leave. When I get old, maybe I would like to live in a small farm at the southwest coast of Alentejo, or have a house at S. Pedro de Moel, to watch the waves crash into the rocks on Winter stormy days... (daydreaming, eheh)

12. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
I like to live in the present! I believe the world is changing and, despite all the problems our country (and the world) is facing nowadays, I smell a breeze of good change in the air too, with people becoming more conscious about their lifestyles. If I had a time machine to play for a while, I would choose to go back to the 60's and 70's and experience some of the hippie movement, be at Woodstock and see some of my favorite bands live, and see the revolution on April 25th in Portugal. Then I would come back to 2012, please...

13. We are both Portuguese, so I don’t resist asking: what are the main problems you face being an artist in our country, Portugal?
It's not easy to be a full-time artist in Portugal, specially a maker. It is nearly impossible to do it for a living, unless you have some kind of income from somewhere else. That's why I have to keep a day job, which takes me a lot of time during the day. I must be really passionate about my project to keep doing it, waking up earlier in the morning or abdicating of my weekends with family or friends or resting to do what I love. And, besides the difficulty in finding a job, there is still a generalized idea in most companies that you must spend many hours there to be productive, what makes it even harder to conciliate a day job with any other activity.
Even if you manage to be full-time, taxes are prohibitive for small independent makers.
And the Portuguese market is too small. People don't have the money neither the motivation to invest in high quality handmade products, they prefer to buy cheaper mass manufactured ones.

From the flea market

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become a crafter/photographer?
I would tell him/her something someone once told me, and I never forgot: focus on what you love the most! It will be easier, you will be more authentic and you will shine.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
I guess they are pretty much the same, my most unrealistic dream is also the one I'm struggling to achieve, which is to be able to do this full-time. So my plans include keep rowing against the current and working hard to be really good and have a consistent brand, have fun with the process and take Mundo Flo as far as possible. In the near future, I plan to make a small collection for men, with my boyfriend's collaboration. Also we are both working on a project which involves services in children photography.


Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: Se eu morrer antes de acordar, by Ana Teresa Pereira
music: Alice, by Tom Waits
movie: Amélie
personality/artist: Freddie Mercury
color: grey
object: my camera Pentax K1000, a sketchbook
animal: my cat, penguins
drink: water and orange juice
food: soup
season of the year: Autumn
travel destination: Paris, Iceland, Costa Vicentina (Portugal)
piece of clothing: bag
secret: I'm not as calm as I look like

Thank you for sharing your world of beauty with us Adriana!

And now... the giveaway you're all waiting for: Adriana is offering to one of you a lovely set of three handmade bookmarks... here we go:

giveaway time!

Bookmarks: "portuguese tiles" | "a tree" | "seagull"

You have the chance to win these three beautiful bookmarks evaluated in 21€!
They are machine embroidered, made of natural linen with printed photography/drawing and reinforced with a padding layer for extra stiffness. Each one measures 17,5x6cm (6.9x2.4in). They are absolutely gorgeous... aren't they? And as I'm an avid reader I know I would put them to good use, adding a beautiful touch to some of my favorite books!

So... what do you have to do?
+ just leave a comment bellow!
+ you can have an extra chance to win by becoming a facebook fan of {the interview series}...
+ ... and you can have a second extra chance to win by becoming a facebook fan of Mundo Flo.

Please, don't forget to let me know if you're a fan in your comment bellow so it can count for the giveaway, otherwise I will miss it.
The lucky winner will be announced on wednesday next week (March 28th) and contacted by email, so don't forget to also leave your name and contact. Good luck!

UPDATE: We had 37 entries in this giveaway! The winner was picked using random.org.
The lucky winner is the number 23... congratulations Megan! I'll be contacting you soon... I'm sure you'll enjoy your prize!
Thank you so much to all participants and new followers! Not only for participating, but also for your kind words about the interview series and Mundo Flo's beautiful work!


  1. Cristina Guarda21 March 2012 at 11:28

    fiquei apaixonada. absolutamente um sonho o trabalho desta fada <3

  2. Parabéns pela entrevista Ana. Como sempre das-nos a conhecer grandes talentos.

    O trabalho Mundo Flo é muito bonito, fiquei fã :)


  3. this was a wonderful interview! thank you for sharing adriana's pieces of life & work with us! i didn't know about her & i am very happy to "meet" her! & of course the giveaway is fantastic! the bookmarks are so elegant! thank you both!

  4. well i forgot to write my email...

    so it's koki@graficbox.gr

    & i also liked your interview series page and mundo flo page in Facebook!

  5. This is a lovely interview, it was a pleasure to read it.
    Adriana is very talented, I added her shop on my favourites, and I can't wait for her new collection.
    I'm not on Facebook anymore, but I read your interviews due to the emails from Eaststreetteam I receive daily.

    P.S.The cat is very sweet xxxx

  6. Uma pequena correcção, os marca-livros não são feitos à mão. Até quem não percebe muito de costura sabe perfeitamente que são feitos à máquina. Aliás a foto da máquina de costura e o trabalho em execução fala por si só!

    1. Nesse caso dir-se-ia que praticamente nada hoje em dia será feito à mão... mesmo que os marca-livros fossem cosidos à mão e não com o auxílio de uma máquina de costura, seriam usadas agulhas, suponho... mas eu, admito, não percebo nada de costura.
      Quando digo que os marca-livros são feitos à mão refiro-me ao processo manual - por oposição à produção em série - que caracteriza o modo como são feitos. Os tecidos são cortados à mão (com a ajuda de uma tesoura, é certo), os desenhos e fotografias são realizados pela Adriana (usando caneta e máquina fotográfica, respectivamente, é certo) e impressos em papel (com a ajuda de uma impressora, é verdade) e mais tarde cosidos um a um nos respectivos tecidos (usando uma máquina de costura, como se pode ver nas fotos).
      Talvez este seja só um modo pouco restrictivo de classificar uma peça como sendo feita à mão... mas, enfim, é apenas o meu humilde ponto de vista... não quis obviamente enganar nem induzir ninguém em erro - até porque, como diz, é bastante óbvio que os marca-livros são feitos usando uma máquina de costura!
      Ainda assim preferia que não tivesse deixado um comentário anónimo... só não o apaguei, porque preferi esclarecer o meu ponto de vista em vez de a/o deixar na dúvida. Obrigada pela contribuição.

    2. Esta serena e bucólica delicadeza que as peças me transmitem reflectem bem mais do que o processo através do qual são executadas. A mim não me faz diferença.. Aliás, adoro máquinas de costura!! :) Parabéns, Adriana, pelo teu Mundo Flo, e obrigada Ana, por tornares o meu mundo mais rico todos os dias. Beijinhos, Tânia (P.S. Amo os meus brincos novos! :))

  7. A very lovely interview. I like Adriana's work very much and I have been following her blog for quite a while, so it was really nice to find out more about her.
    (I am a fan of both Interview Series and Mundo Flo and I would love to win the bookmarks!)

  8. great interview, as always, it's so great to see the process and everyday life of a creator! Adriana's work is fantastic, I love the fabrics she uses for the bags :-)

  9. I liked Mundo Flo's page on facebook too :-)

  10. Gostei muito de conhecer o Mundo Flo, obrigada Ana, é um prazer passar aqui.

  11. Lovely work!!! Really cute!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. and I did liked you page on facebook! Amaranta Guevara

  13. Já sou fã do trabalho Mundo Flo há algum tempo, são peças muito sensíveis e bonitas! Conta comigo para o giveaway! São lindos os marcadores feitos à mão (mesmo feitos à mão!)

  14. Beautiful photos of beautiful work. I love the "texture" variety in the totes and bookmarks, makes everything seem "earthier."

  15. Claudia Vigario23 March 2012 at 18:11

    Parabéns pela entrevista, está muito boa. E parabéns pelo excelente trabalho :)

    Vou enviar o meu email via mensagem do facebook :)

  16. I am a fan of Mundoflo, and I have one of her wonderful bags! Now, I would love to win these bookmarks... thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Beautiful post and interview! I love Adriana's work :)

  18. I'm already a fan of Mundo Flo on Facebook, but I liked the interview series on Facebook also!

    my email: megan.sassenrath@gmail.com

  19. So lovely... and i'm a compulsive reader, so i would like to have one of those beautiful bookmarks!!!

    I'm Fb fan of {THE INTERVIEW SERIES}...

    And i'm FB fan too of the MUNDO FLO!

    Wish me luck ;))

    Carla Cruz

  20. gostei imenso do trabalho da adriana! ja aderi à pagina mundo flo no facebook e às interview series! :)


  21. oh não sei como ainda não tenho aqui a minha tentativa de sorte;)

  22. Wonderfull blog!
    Lovely work from Adriana!(way to go girl!!!)
    Thank you for the inerview.

    (martket.gr@gmail.com, http://donotforgetblog.blogspot.com/)

  23. I did liked "The interview series" page on facebook!

  24. And I also liked "Mundo Flo" page on Facebook!
    Thank you!

  25. Hey! I loved Mundo Flo's work. I liked both pages on facebook. PLease pick me :)


  26. I enjoyed reading the interview. I like the bags, the little details on them. nice work. i found out about Mundo Flo through a friend and i will definetely become fun. thank you
    my mail:

  27. The giveaway is closed and the winner in announced!
    Thank you to all participants and new followers!

  28. Thank you Ana for this beautiful feature of my work! Thank you all for your wonderful comments, they made me so happy! And congratulations Megan, hope you like the bookmarks :)



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