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INTERVIEW: WASTED RITA

Rita Gomes or better known as Wasted Rita. She declares herself as a natural born agent provocateur and a full-time thinker who writes about life, human interactions, and random inner-self dialogues. Her authenticity and unpretentiousness make it hard not to dig her vibe. Although she studied at a religious college, she later became a mixture of Jesus Christ and punk-rock. She's known for her dark sense of humour, drawings and hand written statements that were featured on many websites, in magazines and a couple of books. Her work has already been exhibited all over Europe and last year I had a chance to see some of her prints that made quite an impression on me. I think her speciality is distorting mundane everyday situations, sayings, and stereotypical beliefs in a witty, naturalistic, and direct way. One could also say her inner and interpersonal observational skills are off the charts. Read on and see for yourself!

Hi there Rita, wassup? What was the first thing you've done this morning? 

It’s 4.30 am in the morning right now, I haven’t sleep yet - does it count as "this morning"? If yes, the answer is writing this answer; if no, I woke up at 8 am to go shopping for a new jacket and sneakers. Before leaving to the streets, a shower was taken, teeth were brushed and minutes were wasted on QuizUp. But the first thing I do every fucking single day right after barely opening my eyes is to grab my phone, check emails, and my social networks accounts, I believe that answers your question. 

Why did you choose the name Wasted Rita?

It’s the perfect name to keep me moving. Despite of what most people think I didn’t come up with this name for being drunk all the time; it is a self-wake-up-call to stop being afraid of being myself and to embrace all the possibilities life has for me. At one point in your life, to stop believing, feeling insecure, turning into another 9-5 zombie, and lowering your expectations in life, seems to be the easiest path. I chose to do what I love, having my own standards, expectations, believing in what feels right, avoiding any kind of society pressure. To do so I had to become aware of what I am, want, and can do and stop wasting myself.
We all know that illustration is not an easy field to get into. Why did you want to become an illustrator in the first place and what were the main motives behind that decision? 

Well, I am not an illustrator. My work is 80% based on things I write and 100% based on things most people can relate with. Illustration was just the starting point. How did this started?  Well, I studied Graphic Design at Fine Arts Academy of Porto, and I always had a natural manual, trashy, DIY, not computerized approach to the briefings. Spending hours on software like Indesign or Illustrator always felt like torture to my brain. Plus, when I was finishing my bachelor, not only had I one of the most talented Portuguese illustrators as a professor (Júlio Dolbeth), but also the first illustration-only oriented galleries started appearing, so it was kind of going with the flow. Illustration is not an easy field but it's appealing as fuck: all the exhibitions, good looking people with wine glasses in their hands, interviews, doing things on walls, having tattoos, geek eyewear, knowing how to draw… ugh, is there any cooler scene? (Sarcasm. I hate looking-cool super-shallow scenes.)
There are several distinctive themes appearing in your work. What are the main sources of inspiration behind them? Are they in any way connected with your motherland, Portugal? 

Inspiration is a word I’ve grown to dislike. I don’t do inspiration, I just keep my level of attention and interest in this world high; distinctive themes will appear in different personal phases of my life. Portugal… yes - first, everything I do is connected with all the things that influence me the most, and Portugal, being my messy bankrupt no opportunity country is probably all over my most frustrated works and, second, I used to hate this country, so I guess that’s from where all the necessity to leave came. 

You have a somewhat strong feminist/punk outlook which is always laced with a fair dose of humor that shows through your statements. Can you describe the process of making your statements, including getting the idea and motivation behind it? 

Hey, what process of making? The process is to wake up every day, to be open to everything as much as I can, or have time to, and to keep some sheets of paper and markers around to write shit that I feel down. The motivation behind it is to keep on being alive. This is done purely by myself, for myself – it’s a self-defence mechanism I invented to heal my wounds.

What influences you most in your life and work? 

What influences me most in my life is my work and what influences me most in my work is my life. 

I found out that you once had your own record label "Not Just Boys' Fun" (great hard core by the way!). Can you give us a little history lesson on how and why you started it?

How the hell did you find out about that? I started it because I was growing up as a female-punk-bands aficionada and I felt the urge to share with other people my love for angry girls. I started it because I didn’t know I’d lose all my savings putting out two records. I started it because I always wanted to be active, do things, not to be silent and inconvenient. I started it because Kathleen Hanna. I started it because of Bulimia. I started it because I needed to. So, it was a short term experience, I still have a huge box of female bands records from all over the world somewhere at my parent’s house. Wasted Rita is now my way of sharing and reaching people, passing a message, irritate people and be totally inconvenient without the losing all my savings part.

What would be your #1 art tip or words of wisdom to an aspiring artist?

My #1 tip to anyone aspiring anything, not only aspiring artist, will always be authenticity.
I know that 80% of people live their entire lives without becoming fully aware or believing that there is something special inside all of us that we should be exploring. If you know what your special something is, do yourself, and this world, a favour and dig deep on that shit. 

If you could collaborate with one punk figure from any era, who would that be and why?

I don’t have this kind of desires of working with important or scene related figures. I’d be thrilled and at the same time scared to death if Sleater-Kinney got in touch with me to invite me to make their new album artwork, for example. But I don’t daydream about those things, because I’ve been accomplishing unthinkable things with amazing people just by doing what I love the way I love. 

If you could have one superpower, what would that be? 

Teleportation, definitely. Is that a superpower? 

You have a date night with Henry Rollins (Black Flag). What would be the date plan? 

Fuck. I don’t know. I guess it would be pretty boring, since I get kind of mellow around people whose work had or has a big influence on me. But, I love the classic date plan: dinner plus drinks after. It is perfect to test a person, to be submitted to a righteous amount of awkwardness of first interactions and still being able to escape, if things don’t go as expected. Would he be grabbing my ass and sucking my tongue at the end of the night? 

Thanks so much for your time and answers Rita!


You can stalk Rita over on her Instagram, Facebook pagewebpage, or blog where she's doing some epic shit every day.

xxxx

3 comments:

  1. Never heard of her before, even though she comes from the same country (and same city I guess) as I do. :)
    And actually, when I read her name "Wasted Rita" I didn't related it with being drunk. It didn't even crossed my mind before I read it :)

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  2. I'm not familiar with her or her work so thank you for the FYI. I love this girl, her illustrations/writing are amazing and I adore how humble she is.

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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