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Luis Felipe Camargo, 32, Sao Paulo. Illustrator and Fabric Designer

What you want to do / or be / or achieve: Living on my personal work

“Three and a half years ago I arrived in Brussels to showcase my first international solo exhibition. You can imagine how excited I was. If I knew how special that trip would be… Not only was the exhibition a big success, but it led me to meet the person who changed my life, in and out, completely. During a silly tour in Rome, I met my husband. As I get back to Brazil, I sold everything I had, and came here to live with him. Some people thought I was crazy, but I remembered my mother saying “go for it! how many times have you felt like this?”. And it was true. The only passion i felt so strong was towards my work. Life after that had its ups and downs, adjusting to a new country and life is not easy, but i don’t regret a thing. Now the goal is to get my old brazilian life back, but in here, making my living as a illustrator and an artist. I guess you never know, the smallest encounter can change you life. Just have to be a little brave and persist in it, nothing is for free.”

POST OF THE WEEK: At the time I was engaged to a girl for four years… she saw things differently after her depression

“Once I finished law school, I worked as a junior lawyer back in Romania. I had shorter hair then.
But after that I got a project, in art – I wrote scenarios for theatre places and also played as an actor in a remake of Oscar Wilde’s book. We did an adaptation on his play, a Portrait of Dorian Grey – read the book if you haven’t done so. We adapted it to our day, with a modern version of the character. It’s a very psychological story, about religion, and power… and what happens to him once he takes his Uncle’s fortunes.
I chose to quit my both jobs – as a junior lawyer and as a manager in a big company involved in real estate construction. At that time I was engaged to a girl for four years, who was a judge. She fell in depression for a long time… and she saw things differently after her depression. You know, she studied a lot and didn’t go out anymore. After a long period of this, she didn’t have any more energy, any more power to fight against any of the difficulties. And you have to provide a happiness to your soul so you can keep good balance. She is now in a hospital for people with mental issues. So she came one day and said “I don’t love you anymore, I don’t want to be together”. And really I was doing both the jobs for her because I wanted to be able to provide her the comfort. As a man I do not need that many things, she needed more the make up, the clothes… I was just wanting to share the feelings with someone and have what I need, nothing luxurious.
After this I decided I can’t stay anymore in my country, everywhere I went we had a memory ‘we went there for the first time to eat’ or ‘we met at that corner’ and so on. So I knew I had to change places and start a new life. Then I got this project from a friend of mine, I met her in Milano when I was playing soccer for Inter Milan. She was a Director from the United States. So I showed her Milan and Italy, and we made friends. She knew I was writing poetry and other things, and she proposed me ‘you have talent, you should focus on this… look I have a good opportunity for you – we are going with a private theatre in the US. It is mostly with a charity but they are paying well, and you can help to write the scenarios with us’.
I accepted and started to work with them… and then they thought it was a good idea for me to also try as an actor. They gave me some training, and I started to let my hair grow, because it was for the role. Now the project has finished but I have decided to keep the hair.”

What we didn’t realise, however, is that we had seats next to each other on the plane.

We met in Thailand, about two years ago now. It was in March.

Was it? Yes around February or March.

Well it was actually March 24th. I always remember the dates that I travel to Thailand. And I remember this was the date I was flying home. I had seen her somewhere along our travels, but we finally only spoke at the airport when we were waiting for our flights. We sat together and we just talked and talked, about everything, what we do, our travels, our passions… common stuff, and we had so much in common. So then after about one hour we said bye to eachother, but hadn’t exchanged any contact information. What we didn’t realise, however, is that we had seats next to each other on the plane. In all our time talking we didn’t even mention what our next destination was. So it turned out we were not only going to the same place, but we were sat together also!

So we were able to speak even more now, she told me about her business where she is selling these Spinners. This time we did exchange information… we moved to London together, and now I am helping her with this in my free time. I’m a software developer – and right now this is a kind of sabbatical for me, so we found this spot in the market for Christmas to sell these.

Something I always really believe is if you want to do something, if you have an idea or a desire, then you should just do it, you won’t have a better opportunity than the present and you’ll never know where it will take you until you try.