He won the HKDA (Hong Kong Design Award) last year for his book “P 28”. Modest and hard working, Francisco Elias was interviewed by the BEHANCE PT team about his book, its consequent award and what all this experience meant for him.
The P28 Book. Its roots begin in the P28 association, more specifically, in the P28: Association for the Creative and Artistic Development, of which Francisco was a part of one day. But what is the P28 book about? What story does it tell us?
This is a book that wants to ”make the design invisible, while giving more importance to the content and the creative way it presents itself”. Or at least this is what Francisco Elias, 28 years old, tells us that has been the main goal while making this project come true. While describing it (the book), he tells us that it represents “the short life of the P28 association”, and adds that “in it, you can find different works, from photography to facilities, from performances to screen prints”.
But it was essentially its design that brought this award home. “Design wise”, says Francisco, “this was an object that intended to use the tools it had at its own disposal, and that worked them in a symbolic and conceptual way – almost poetic – without ever losing its communicative sense. It’s a book that wants to balance the game between the image – main element of the book -, the graphic symbols created and the empty spaces”.
Francisco also says that during the creation process of the P28 he realized he was making one of his most significant works to date, being “either for the increasingly rare opportunity to conceive a book, or for the creative freedom I had”. And adds that “this book comes to life through the quality of its contents. The contribute of diverse artists and the excellence of the challenges put by the P28 association were key to the success of the work”.
When asked about how he felt by winning the HKDA, Francisco shows himself as being practical and grateful at the same time, by stating that from his perspective “this kind of recognition has only one function: to question if the methods used and the applied logics are walking hand in hand in a sustainable direction”, while adding, “when you initiate a project, the main concern is to focuse essentially on its construction and consequent formalization. The distinct dimensions or lives that the work can achieve, such as awards, mentions or interviews like these, are unconscious during the whole process. However, when you try a certain competition, there’s always some hope to see your work recognized, and, when it happens, it’s a reason of great joy”. He is, also, quoting, “extremely grateful for this distinction”, and says that “living in a country where you fight daily for an opportunity and its consequent recognition, receiving such good appreciation coming from the other side of the world is a handful of hope, that encourages our self-esteem”.
However, he feels that to reach his dreams he still has a long road to travel. “Professionally, I am a young designer beginning his career who wants to make his way through the world of design and leave a qualitative mark. Therefore, I have to gain voice and space, and get the chance to develop work and have ideas that are enough to be put into practice. Most of the times, the creative process is hard and many times you don’t get the wanted result.”
Francisco tells us that besides being a freelance designer at the moment, he has many other professions all at the same time. Impossible you say? Not so much. “I usually say that as a designer I have many other professions: butcher or a surgeon when I try to dissect the other designer’s jobs or a tailor for joining many pieces and from there writing one or more stories – my story”. As for the future, he says that “I believe that continuing to work in the cultural and artistic scene is definitely my project for the future.”