Domingos Tótora is a designer who was born and raised in Brazil. As a designer, he distinguishes himself from today’s artists in any way possible because the artworks he has been creating and his approach are as rare as hens’ teeth. His respect for the environment is at the base of each design he creates since he takes nature as an inspiration source like many others, but what makes the difference is how he nourishes his creativity and turns it into precious artworks using natural elements. What is so unique with his creative process is that he uses recycled cardboard as source material, which he breaks up into small pieces to shape the base of his works. His creative process doesn’t initiate with the final product idea, but the process forms the artworks. He doesn’t create anything with a search for perfection, but he takes imperfections as elements that constitute the uniqueness of his works.
You use recycled cardboards as source materials for your designs which is quite unique even the idea by itself, what inspired you to initiate?
I realized that there was a huge disposal of cardboard boxes at the doors of Maria da Fé’s supermarkets and stores. My curiosity for new materials motivated me to experiment and transform those packages into mass which after drying become as resistant as wood.
You take imperfections as a part of your works instead of pursuing a perfection, what fascinates you about imperfections?
The fascination is seeing beauty where people see flaws, that are revealed only when we are able to let go of distorted values, which the consumerist world has focused on perfection. I believe that imperfection gives singularity and poetry to objects.
What makes your works special is not only the final product but also the process, can you give more details about the process?
The cardboard when it enters the workshop is dismantled and receives a treatment with glue and agglutination derivatives and is transformed into a moldable cellulose mass. 100% reuse is obtained. Cardboard comes from wood and returns to its origin, back to being wood again. The creation process takes place in the manipulation and free gestures with the matter. It results in a balance between quality and aesthetics, creating resistant pieces with immense tactile appeal.Conception and execution go together and the work is sustainable at all levels - from raw materials to social and economic aspects.
Your respect for the environment and your philosophy are at the forefront as much as your works, how would you describe your philosophy?
My philosophy is to live more and more the quietness and simplicity, reinventing matter and nature. Creating pieces with unique characteristics, with stories and emotions added. More than that, however, it is a profession of faith, a way of life. Idealistic and doable.
Your admiration and respect for nature doesn’t stay only in words but you also make a difference for it, what would be the change you want to see in the world through your works?
The change I intend is to awaken the reflection and the construction of the idea of sustainable reuse of cardboard with aesthetic and technical quality capable of transcending time. I believe that speech has to be practice. Sustainability is what you do, not what you say.