{the interview series} Sara Godinho + giveaway!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

>> for the art and lifestyle lovers
>> check here all the past interviews and follow us on facebook too!

Hoje trago-vos a última entrevista que será publicada neste formato, pois como vos disse, esta rubrica irá sofrer algumas transformações neste novo ano!

Sara Godinho é uma arquitecta portuguesa apaixonada por viagens e fotografia que se divide neste momento entre Londres e Lisboa. kanpai! significa viva! em japonês e o seu belíssimo trabalho fotográfico procura precisamente celebrar a vida observando a beleza nos pequenos detalhes do mundo que a rodeia.
Para celebrar o regresso desta rubrica, depois de dois meses de ausência, trago-vos não só uma inspiradora entrevista, mas também um giveaway: a simpática Sara irá oferecer uma impressão fotográfica à escolha de um sortudo leitor... leiam até ao fim para saber como participar!

Today I bring you the last interview published in this format, because as I told you this feature will be having some changes in this new year!

Sara Godinho is a Portuguese architect passionate about travels and photography, divided for now between London and Lisbon. kanpai! means cheers! in Japanese and her beautiful photographic work is all about celebrating life watching the beauty in the small details of the world that surrounds her.
To celebrate the return if this feature to the blog after two months away, I bring you not only an inspiring interview, but also a giveaway: lovely Sara will offer a fine art photographic print at the choice of one lucky reader... read to the end to know how to enter!

Sara Lopes Godinho | Kanpai!
London, UK / Lisbon, Portugal

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Sara Godinho. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, I’m Sara, a girl from the 80’s passionate for adventures, insatiably curious and constantly daydreaming. I love art, stamps, travelling, pic-nics and I’m trying to change the world.

2. You’re an architect with a big passion for photography and travel. When was this creative passion born and what was the path that took you here?
I was always in my element in an art class and I love drawing, painting, screenprinting, jewellery (yes, like you) and almost any art form. But you want to know something? I always thought I sucked at photography. My first camera was a Lomo LC-A and… well, you know how lousy Lomo photos can be. They are all fancy these days but some 15 years ago I didn’t impress anyone with it, specially me. I spent a lot of money in blurry pictures and my friends made fun of me.
My second element is travelling. I feel alive on a moving train and love to get lost in a new city. These two passions collided in Japan, where I lived for 9 months. I was so excited by all the novelty that I bought a digital camera and decided to record everything I saw. I was very conscious that I was living a unique life experience and wanted to keep a memory of every second. That’s how I became hooked to photography!

3. Your photographs are definitely inspired by your travels. What inspires you to create those compositions? Share your creative process with us.
My travel photography starts with an obsession with memory. I want to treasure that experience and that moment forever. Some people might say this detaches you from living the moment but for me really means to embrace the moment, to register it in my brain.
The novelty of a new location makes my senses alert. Although it seems a contradiction I’m inspired by mundane things in exotic places. I like to look at sidewalks, mail boxes, walls. I’m very attracted to how people build their lives in their countries, and how this reflects their culture. I look for differences but also the similaries.Hmm… looks like a very crazy process!

4. Your photographs usually show empty spaces, urban fragments and strong perspectives – I believe that your background as an architect is present in your style. Tell us how this influences you.
Definitely being a trained architect influences my photography. I think that after studying architecture you never look at the world with the same eyes. My brain is constantly deconstructing cities, streets, houses in its elements and I have fun “framing” them with an original photographic view. I love details and fragments and to make them stand out in a scene where they would get lost. But light is everything.

5. You say different cities and cultures always inspire you. Was there any favorite destination? Share some of your favorite travels with us.
It’s only when you contrast yourself with something foreign that you learn what makes you. My favorite destination is always the next, although I love to return to beautiful places where I’ve been happy. Japan, and specially Tokyo, will always be hold dear in my heart. It was a special time in a special place. Recently I completed one of my dream travels: the transsiberian railway. I had it in the “impossible dreams” drawer so it was an amazing achievement to be able to do it. And it was an amazing journey!

6. So, the photographer’s most difficult question… film or digital? Share your thoughts with us.
Well, both! I came to photography through digital, it allowed me to try so many different things and shoot 5,000 pictures without having to spend a fortune in film developing. But my photography journey has brought me close to film cameras again. My mother gave me her old Pentax and I fell back in love with my Lomo cameras (the 15 year old LC-A and a Diana F+) and Polaroid. I really really like film, it’s more physical, and demands that I’m more intentional when I push the button. It’s also surprising! I love trying different films, and do experiments like using 35mm in 120mm camera or double exposures.

7. Would you share some useful tips with us, non-professional photographers, who would like to learn a bit more and make the most of our cameras while traveling or working?
Hmmm… the best tip is almost a cliché but I really believe in it: always carry your camera with you. You don’t have to carry a huge dslr to make good picture, any simple camera will do. When I carry my camera around I notice I pay more attention to the surroundings, I’m constantly framing moments and it’s a really lovely way to keep memories of your life. Also, you never know when a great photo will come into you, so be ready.
Of course second tip is: use it a lot!

8. I’d love if could share some of your favorite artists with us, whether they are architects, photographers or anything else.
I’m inspired by artists that don’t limit themselves to mediums or techniques. In this way the work of Sophie Calle is very dear to me. Mexican architect Louis Barragan is also a reference in an amazing minimal design and great use of color.

9. A friendship and the love for photography gave life to the project Mirror Cities and then A Wonderful Year. Tell us about them.
Some years after living in Japan I had the opportunity to return there for another couple of months. I left my job but in that job I had made a new great friend. Knowing that she loved Japan and was herself a very creative person too we thought of doing a daily project that would keep us connected, so mirrorcities was born. A very simple idea: one theme a day and each one would take a photo in her city, myself in Tokyo, she in Lisbon. It was quite challenging but I’m really proud we made it last for 150 days! We posted everyday in a website and the project was so successful we exhibited in Lisbon and also Porto.
Two years after we did a wonderful year that lasted for the entire 2011. Doing 365 photos was even more challenging but it’s a great way to reflect in your daily life and celebrate the small details that make life. It was also very fun to follow Patrícia’s daily life and celebrate when we were together!

10. Besides traveling and photographing, what do you love most doing in your everyday life?
I love to walk, simply go out and walk. I love reading. I love sleeping. And I spend waaaay too much time on the internet. But I really love the internet.

11. You’re from Lisbon, but already lived in Oslo, Tokyo and now in London. What do you miss most about your hometown? What you love most about your present location? Where would you like to be next?
My friends and family are what I miss most from Lisbon. The easiness to meet a friend when you live in the same location is something I think people that never lived abroad take for granted. Now I don’t regret moving to London, it’s an amazing city, always bustling with energy. I love the human scale of the city and I really love its people, always smiling. I can see myself living in many different cities, although all European. Japan showed me how European I am! Berlin would be lovely but I’m very happy in London now.

12. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
The future, when we have overcome this crisis period and have built a new world based on values other than economical and financial with respect for the planet we live on.

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?
Oh so many… but the lack of general culture, the idea that art is accessory and “doesn’t drive the economy” upsets me a lot. Artists are not taken seriously, there is a lack of governmental support (and I don’t mean funding but a more fair/supportive/respectful tax system), of private support and even support between artists too (it’s a small competitive market, although I have many examples of the opposite, like this interview for example :). And the idea that your creative work has to be cheap. 

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become a fine art photographer?
Just do it! Put yourself out there and take your time. Don’t let difficulties, fears put you down.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
Honestly things are so unpredictable that I don’t do plans for the future. Nevertheless I have some intentions. I want to keep evolving, travel, do new things, combine photography with other ideas, to grow creatively. I also want to keep a positive look on life, focus on what makes me happy and deal with problems and uncertainty with courage.
Regarding my photos, I would love to have my book about the Japanese Bath published and an exhibition.
My most unrealistic dream is to be an opera singer (but I compensate with karaoke).

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

book: dentro do segredo, by josé luís peixoto (the one I’m reading now and enjoying)
music: the divine comedy
movie: manhattan murder mistery, by woody allen
personality/artist: banksy
color: red
object: pen
animal: giraffe
drink: wine
food: cheese
season of the year: spring
travel destination: too many
piece of clothing: echarpe
secret: I can’t call myself an artist

Thank you for sharing your beautiful perspectives with us, Sara!
And now it's...
giveaway time!

Sara is offering to one of you a fine art photographic print from her shop with 8x12in (20x30cm) evaluated in $25. And the best of all is that you can pick your favorite!

So... what do you have to do?
+ visit kanpai! and leave a comment bellow saying what's your favorite print at the shop.
+ 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 kanpai!

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, February 20th, and contacted by email, so don't forget to also leave your name and contact. Good luck!

We had 24 comments and 43 entries in this giveaway.
random.org decided that the lucky winner is the number 3... congratulations Aleka from Fishes Make Wishes! I'll be contacting you soon, I'm sure your prize will add joy to your walls!
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 Sara's work!


  1. beautiful feature, Sara's photos took me on a little trip around the world :-)

    my favorite photo would be this:

    I am already a fan of the interview series and now a fan of kanpai too!


  2. Hi,
    lovely!!! Such a treat for eyes and soul. I would love to have a piece of heaven in my home.
    It is hard to choose, bu siberian blue window is beyond beautiful....
    I'm fan of both FB pages :)

    Thanks, Lenca

  3. beautiful foto work from sara!

    i have visited kanpai
    and one of my favorites
    is this foto here

    i am already a fan of the interview series!

    thank you for the giveaway!

  4. Entrevista maravilhosa. Adorei tudo.

  5. que fotografias tao bonitas!
    a minha preferida é esta:


  6. Hi:) It is hard to choose but... I choose: http://www.etsy.com/listing/80040068/little-gods-japanese-original? in love <3
    I'm fan of both FB pages :) (my FB is Verónica Caulfield)

  7. By the way, my email is: veronica_velilla_17@hotmail.com
    Sorry D:

  8. Awesome feature. Great photos! My favourite is
    I am already a fan of interview series and kanpai on facebook!
    vivika87 [at] gmail.com

  9. a minha preferida é o "unlock my red heart"

    será que me vai sair a sorte grande outra vez? ;)
    beijinhos Ana

  10. What a fun and sweet feature. I love her train photo a lot http://www.etsy.com/listing/103021521/lets-travel-original-photography-8x12. Liking your FB page already :)

  11. Olá

    A minha preferida é esta:)


    Obrigada Sara por partilhares as tuas fotos!



  12. Nada como o olhar de um(a) arquitecto(a) em registo fotográfico! E sim, Sra. Arquitecta, também gosto muito das suas fotografias :)
    A minha fotografia favorita é sem dúvida "stripey green deck chairs". Luz maravilhosa! Quase "mono-tonal" nestas variações de verde relaxante. Sente-se o cheiro da erva, ouvem-se as folhas nas árvores...
    Fan do "the interview series" passei agora a fan do "kanpai" sem dúvidas.
    Obrigado Ana!

  13. Mais uma excelente entrevista :) Há muito que namoro a foto "the red chair and the grey mosaic" ;) Já sou fã das duas páginas.

  14. My favourite: http://www.etsy.com/listing/115671211/let-it-snow-original-photography-decor? because I rarely see the snow and I love it!

  15. Sigo the interview series no facebook

  16. Cá estamos caras arquitectas...
    ...daquelas que fazem muito mais do que arquitectura e fazem muito mais pela arquitectura!

    A minha fotografia da Sara Lopes Godinho favorita é a "stripey green deck chairs"! Lembro-me bem do dia em que as vi, do que senti junto àquele lago, das bolhas que fiz nos pés de tanto percorrer os caminhos do hyde park, de como fui feliz sósinha, a pensar em todos os que amava!

    Obrigada a ambas por terem tornado presente para mim hoje um momento tão feliz do meu passado!
    Maria Teresa Penas

  17. http://www.etsy.com/listing/80040796/omikuji-japanese-wishes-original?

    Porque expressamos muitos dos nossos desejos secretamente na esperança de atingir em silêncio uma viagem sempre renovada, seja pelo caminho mais simples ou mais aventureiro.

  18. Adorei a foto unlock my red heart!

    Sou fã das duas páginas no FB: Carla Cruz

  19. Obrigada ! de novo....é que depois dum grande suspiro já me sinto inspirada novamente e cheia de vontades de ir fotografar e ir viajar .

    entre outras, escolho esta , porque no dia em que a vi fixei-a logo ;-)

    beijos e felicidades
    ás duas , claro !

  20. Há algum tempo que sigo o projecto da Sara!!!
    Belíssima entrevista!!!!

    E a minha favorita vai para esta:


    E continuação de olhares assim.....

    Joana Patita

  21. Um "Hola" de Barcelona!

    Leio o teu blog há já algum tempo e ainda não me tinha dado conta
    que tinhas pagina também no facebook. Já gostei tanto da Kanpai
    como The Interview Series. Gosto sempre de ler estas entrevistas porque sempre nos dão a conhecer um bocadinho mais das pessoas que estão por detrás das historias que leio.
    Foi difícil escolher a minha foto preferida preferida, mas acabei por decidir por "Let's travel":

    Provavelmente porque a minha cabeça anda mais em viagens que quero fazer na vida do que no
    meu atual dia a dia!

    Obrigada pelas imagens e historias que partilhas no teu blog!

    Joana Sarmento

  22. Difícil escolher só uma, fantástico trabalho! A minha favorita http://www.etsy.com/listing/78876858/a-yellow-bicycle-and-grey-wall-in?. Já sigo as duas páginas no facebook ;)

    Telma . tfp.oliveira@gmail.com

  23. my fav: http://www.etsy.com/listing/78941670/siberian-blue-window-original-travel?
    :-) já conhecia a loja da Kanpai e já sou fã das 2 página no fb.
    (filipa cruz - sufragista@gmail.com)

  24. Giveaway closed!
    Congratulations to the winner, Aleka, and thank you to all the participants! Make sure to always come back :)

  25. Thanks everybody who entered! And thank you for the compliments! Kanpai!


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