KAB.N Interview with Dado Almeida

Dado Almeida: Self Portrait
  1. Who are you and how long have you been working as an artist?

My name is Dado (Daad-Oh) Almeida, but I use Dadotronic on social media. I started with Computer Graphics in 2005 (3D for games) and then I switched my interests to Drawing and Painting (Concept and Illustration) in 2010. I’ve been working in the Game Industry as a freelancer artist ever since.

  1. How do you personally define art block? How often do you get art block?

I have experienced art block as a three-ingredient recipe:

  • Lack of Personal Goal or Objective
  • Physical and or Mental tiredness
  • Input Greater than Output 
  1. What are some specific strategies you employ when dealing with art block?

Knowing how those three major factors above influence my drive to create, it’s a matter of Pause & Analyze to see what’s out of balance. This ‘Pause & Analyze’ tool always works best for me when there’s some physical task involved. I need to shutdown the computer (my version of ‘leaving the drawing desk’) and do something else. I utilize active meditation over the problem. 

  1. Describe the biggest obstacle / challenge you’ve encountered working as an artist and how you overcame it.

My son was born in 2015 and the feeling of ‘urgency’ made me pump art like crazy to post online, expecting that this would lead to more freelance work, which in turn would result in a more sustainable life for my wife and son.

Alongside the freelancer work (which was drying up) I tried to make a webcomic, teach, write blog posts, engage on live streams, post on every social media site, participate on different art-challenges. I just followed what the ‘successful artists’ were doing online. 

Art credit: Dado Almeida

I was ‘drawing from the hip’ without a clear goal and purpose.

This method of Creating (by external input) removed my motivation to create personal stuff. I wasn’t receiving any feedback from my industry or peers and since those were my ‘main drives’ … to sit down and draw felt pointless. The meltdown came with a long (long!) period without any client work. Zero! Nada! 

Art credit: Dado Almeida

I threw in the towel but stopped crying like a wolf. I knew that the help needed to come from inside, not outside.

For two weeks straight, I went to my studio (at the time I was renting a place) and used all my working hours there to THINK!  Quitting social media and reducing entertainment to a minimum gave me the peace of mind I needed to see outside the bubble. Having mundane conversations with ‘common’ (non-artist) people gave me the simplicity I was missing from our Craft. 

Those encounters gave me a spark: “”…I should be knowing “WHY” I’m drawing instead of caring about the ‘WHAT’ I’m drawing!…”
Yes! Genius! But it took me a while to figure out the importance of this.

Look for your WHY! 

I think there’s no need to have a pompous, social, political or ideological reason to live making Art. 

Finding my Why gave me the wisdom to draw for the reasons I care. Today I care about my family. I want to give my kid the opportunities I did not have . A better starting point. 

And I’ll make that happen by drawing “90s-videogame-inspired” artwork! Oh yeah!

  1. Where can we see more of your work online?

You can find my work at  www.dadoalmeida.com or look for @dadotronic on Twitter or Youtube.