​Adriana Santos

​"VIRA RETRO" owner/urban craft/bookbinder/tile lover/photographer/graphic designer

Please see here for information about her stationery products

-What is your inspiration for the designs?
-The house of my grandmother was the principal inspiration for my project. Still today covered with wall paper and the facade with a beautiful Portuguese tile. 

-What do you think the unique character about your products are?
​-The affection that I feel on each products and the journey I've made remind me of my childhood and the time of primary school. Also, the notebooks made in the traditional method and the old designs of the tiles and mosaics remind people of the journey between the past and the present in Portugal just like it happens to me.

-What do you like about your work the most?
-Everything, but mainly the care and the sincere words that I receive from people who like my work.

-What is most popular item? 
-The notebooks and the pencils.

-What do you like to do in your time off? 
-To be honest I don't have much free time... If not sewing, cutting or gluing, I'm researching. But with the little time available I'll try to be with the company of friends and family in Viana do Castelo.  

-What do you like about Portugal?
- I like the history that follows with their discoveries and "adventures", and its people.

-What do you like about Porto city?
-I love the architectures.

-What’s your favourite portuguese dish? And favourite place to eat?
-I really like the good home-cook food. I love the Taberna Lusitana ( Matosinhos ) where we buy fish in the market and that they cook, or we can taste several tapas. 


FEP      -How and when did you start this project?
Adriana -I always had a great will of producing and create some stationary products. When I was young, I made my own school notebooks. I dreamt about making my work as a pleasure, not as a daily basis obligation.
As I wasn't happy doing what I was doing before I decided to go ahead with the idea that has been bubbling inside my head for a while. 

-What made you start photographing the tiles? Have you photographed tiles in any other country?
-When I was very young I watched my uncles-grandparents painting by hand "Vista Alegre" pieces and I was fascinated about their work. But later in university I did some photography work about Portuguese tiles and mosaics.  At this moment I have photographed tiles only in Portugal ( Viana do Castelo, Braga, Porto, Lisboa, Coimbra, Aveiro), but I have a big research of other countries too.

-What do you like about the tiles? 
-What amazes me the most is the colours of the tiles.

She has a degree in Photography and Masters in Visual Arts and Intermedia and she is now a passionate about handmade urban crafts of her own design. Not only designing but she prints and make the products all by herself.

I asked her some questions as I wanted to know how her journey has been as a craft woman.

Adriana Santos lives in Porto but originally from Viana do Castelo which is near the border in the North of Portugal. Adriana makes products with beautiful motifs developed from Portuguese colourful tiles which she loves very much since she was young.

I adore the Portuguese houses and buildings with the traditional tiles. Some of them are rally unique and cheerful and that's what I felt when I saw her notebooks for the first time. Now, I can carry the azulejos with me :)