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Season 4 Episode 11: Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva on Building Deeper Connections Through Art

“I learned to share silences, paying attention to things that I did not understand, and there was no chance to ask, but just being there was enough to enjoy it. This was deeper than any words I wished to use. Life was suddenly filled with humble adventures.

Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am you host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

I am beyond thrilled that I am travelling virtually to Los Angeles where I am meeting up with Argentine artist, Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva

Since 2004, Graciela has been developing images for graphic design, animation, videogames, comics, and toys. She has always felt comfortable expressing things through characters. She says that drawing is like breathing. One day she decided to go out and draw on the streets, and she has never stopped.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for joining Graciela and me on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you, Graciela, for sharing your insights, your journey, and your connection to the world through your artwork. Your dedication to building compassionate communities through artistic endeavours wherever you go inspires me and all those who have the privilege of meeting up with you.

Listeners, I invite you to connect with Graciela on her website, Animalitoland and Instagram .

Until next time we meet, dear friends, keep safe and be well.

Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva on Building Deeper Connections Through Art Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

By Rebecca Budd

Lifestyle Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

47 replies on “Season 4 Episode 11: Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva on Building Deeper Connections Through Art”

Great interview and what a fun warmup video. The murals are wild, vibrant, and full of fun. I see Ms. Gonçalves Da Silva’s enthusiasm and emotional expressionism flowing out of her murals. Resa is going to love this episode.

Liked by 4 people

Resa was the one who inspired me to follow the mural artist community 5 years ago. I was thinking about her when I connected with Graciela. I am delighted you listened in, Tim. I especially appreciated Graciela’s thoughts and definition on what it means to be a “Neighbour.” am now looking for Yerba Mate tea.

Liked by 3 people

Many thanks for joining me on TTT, Graciela, and for sharing your insights on the creative journey that brings us together as a community. I especially appreciated your thought that feedback is essential for our personal growth. And that neighbours are found wherever we travel, whether we go to the other side of the world or just around the next corner where we live. I am looking forward to many conversations that are waiting for our arrival.

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I too learned to share silence, as you, Rebecca, may recall from this short scribble. A kind of two edge sword or undecided plea, i now send as a reminder.

Blissful Silence
– a scarcity –

A scarcity you say
You’d have it wrong,
Or a fool’s play
As lyrics of a song,
Looking for the day
Sufficiently long,
Tho who can deny,
A pleasurable afford
Of blissful silence,
With built in placidity…

No threat to deprivation
Nor succulent seclusion,
A feast without an equal
For one-way conversations!

written in Sweetsburg, PQ, Canada

© Jean-Jacques Fournier

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Oh Jean-Jacques – many thanks for sharing your words of poetry. I know that Graciela will appreciate this profound message.

“No threat to deprivation
Nor succulent seclusion,
A feast without an equal
For one-way conversations!”

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Indeed! There’s silence if what you want to say is bigger than words, if you don’t want to say anything at all, if you want to make room for others and other things to happen… Its so big and yet it so little explored. Silence sounds like art 🙂

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Murals, an interesting Art Form. I find Graciela’s opening and defining words about the special qualities of murals to be fascinating. It is not a painting that one can take home, nor can a person claim sole ownership. But. those who stop to enjoy the beauty on the street can exchange views with others because it is available and without cost. I believe an important part of this art form is its size, actually “huge” in comparison to all other forms. Graciela’s mention of those passing in a car on the street can see the painting for a few seconds because of its size. I appreciate Graciela’s open and kind conversations with those who watch her paint; she even encourages them to take photos. The words about personal feelings and their relationship to subjects in the painting is interesting! I remember her experience painting with frozen fingers and times painting under heavy rainfall. It brings a smile to my face! ! Thank you, Rebecca and Graciela for this delightful podcast! !

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Thank you Ms. Frances. I practise other forms of painting in the calm of my studio, where I take time to develop the aesthetic and conceptual side of my work. The street is a place where I can put all that to the test. A big mural is like a megaphone: it amplifies the message, but comes with a responsibility, and only makes sense if it reaches and sparks something in people 🙂 I learn so much from that experience!

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Graciela, I’ve looked at a lot of street murals posted by bloggers I follow, and I’ve always wondered what was the thinking and process the artists engaged in to create them. Thank you for answering my question in such a delightful and engaging way!

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Such an engaging conversation, Rebecca and Graciela! It was very interesting, Graciela, to hear you speak about how you got your start with mural art, the importance of receiving feedback from the public, the appeal of participating in festivals, and more. Your art is terrific! And, Rebecca, I greatly enjoyed the video and its lively musical accompaniment!

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Thank you Dave! I love how Rebecca’s poetic words go together with Don’s sound & music expertise. It was so bubbly talking to them -It is rare to see couples working together- Gave me hope for my husband and I making an art project together one day too 🙂

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I so enjoyed this episode! I love the immersion of art within the community in such a bold and wonderful way. It reminded me of the joy I find when I come upon a musician who is playing on a street corner. It is the unexpected joy of hearing music when you least expect. Finding someone painting a mural is much the same; suddenly, an artist is in your midst and creating something before your eyes. There is a sort of magic to that…the element of surprise, and the wonder of what image will appear. I like her final comments about looking at the world with ‘fresh perspective’. In that way, a walk in the neighborhood is never ordinary! I also liked her earlier comment that a mural is much like ‘stepping into a painting’. I never looked at it that way, but it is exactly right!

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I am delighted that you joined Graciela and me in the neighbourhood, Linda. I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts that when we experience creativity in unexpected moments, there is a pause, a longing to engage with a fresh perspective. Many thanks for your thoughtful comments.

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Hi Rebecca, I love these two videos. Art and colour is so important in our world. My son, Greg, was going on last night about how the Bachelor of Science degrees are so much harder than the Bachelor of Arts degrees and I told him that is not true. Learning to create beautiful music, art and writings is a difficult thing to do and takes years and years of dedication and commitment. For me, it is much harder to write a good book than to put together a prospectus. The world would be a dull and depressed place without all the artistic people of this world and I feel their contribution is understated, especially from a financial perspective. Great to meet Graciela and learn about her initiatives and contributions.

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I imagine that was an excellent conversation – Bachelor of Science vs Bachelor of Arts. I would have loved to be in this discussion. The questions I have often thought about is 1) Is science a creative endeavour and 2) Is art objective, mathematical.

It seems that objectives are the same: humanity’s attempts to understand and describe the world in which we live. What comes to mind is a venn diagram. Now you and Michael have sent me on a research project. Many thanks.

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Hi Rebecca, I don’t think many people realise how much creativity and innovation are interlinked. Science could not progress without the great leaps of innovation that are inspired by creative thinking. This is why some scientists and mathematicians are only ever executors of other peoples finding. They don’t have the temperament and creativity to make those leaps of faith and logic. This is even the case in my job. People always ask me how I can solve such complex transactional structural issues so quickly and work out the path forward within minutes. I tell them I see it all as a colourful puzzle. It appears as a formed puzzle in my head and I just unravel it backwards to work out the steps. They think I am teasing them, but I am not.

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How interesting that you strategize and problem solve as a colourful puzzle. Don uses the term puzzle as well when he is working through a strategy – just as you do. Many thanks, Robbie for your profound observations. I continue to learn and learn and learn….

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Hi Roberta, it’s interesting this difference between Science and Art you mentioned. I think that, apart from the grass always being greener on the other side, Science looks for order and certainty while Art dives in chaos. And we need both extremes to have a nice middle ground to live at. In the past years I found myself reading a lot Neuroscience and Affective Science books, because I wanted to see if we had any “certainties” at all on such an abstract topic as “emotions”. I found very interesting material, and surprisingly, it’s all from the past decades -so there’s still a lot of ground to be explored. This researcher has a very funny way to express her journey on this, and her latest book “Atlas of the Heart” is just mind-blowing: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability

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The grass is only greener financially on the other side in my opinion. The life of a corporate person is always demanding as the recipient of the services are only concerned about money. Even medical laboratories which research treatments for illnesses like cancer are driven by money and a return on investment. Artistic endeavors are so freeing. We primarily do them for the pleasure of others and ourselves rather than commercial gain which is a nice to have secondary motivator.

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Hi, Robbie. Your comments about the BA versus the BS caught my eye because at times I’ve felt I got off too easy doing a BA. All I did was read literature, analyze my reading experience, and make up stories–three things I would be doing anyway.

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HI Liz, I suppose its all about perspective. If your gifts were maths and science instead of English and writing, you would have found your course very challenging. I chose accounting because I knew I would nail it. Accounting, maths, tax, and auditing all came fairly easily to me. Greg was in the top 1% in the country for this final IT exams last year with an average of 98%. My point was that everything is important and we all have to apply ourselves to our choice. You had to read the books and analyze them which required effort, even if you enjoyed the tasks. I feel that Science and maths people are a bit superior and that isn’t really justified.

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Well, this is simply an excellent interview.
Thank you Rebecca and Graciela!
Graciela, I adore street art. I have a blog where I have posted almost 1500 works. There’s everything from large murals to garage doors (lots of garage doors..very popular in Toronto) to tiny bits, paste-ups and more.
Have you done any murals or pieces in Toronto?
Anyway, your enthusiasm cup runneth over. Your energy filled me, so I was antsy to do some of my art. I had to stop half way through and go work on my new Art Gown. (Gowns made from trash…landfill in waiting, etc.) “You’ll be wearing trash, but you’ll look like a treasure.”
As you said, things don’t always go perfect. I’m in one of those stages. However, from listening to you, I have developed another idea.
This could be the one!!!
Rebecca, this Art Gown will be dedicated to Shey! HUGS to both of you!

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Remember, Resa the first time your read my blog “Presence”? In your comments you asked whether it would be possible to have Graciela on TTT. This post is dedicated to you, Resa! I am inspired by your dedication to featuring amazing street and mural artists. Sending many hugs along with my gratitude.

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Thank you Resa, I’m so happy to read that your wheels are in motion! The act of simply doing (instead of arriving to perfect results) allow us to discover so many things in the process, it always ends up being a generous journey 🙂 That gown sounds out of this world! Going to check your blog now too. Oh, and I haven’t painted in Toronto yet. But since you have an eye for street art, tell me: didn’t it changed the way you see the city? Specially if you look for tiny hidden gems. Sometimes I carry crayons in my pocket so if I see a little neglected spot, I’m ready to act quickly (not everything is about giant walls). But if you walk and see in a straight line, you miss those spots. Your eyes need to be like a little mouse, entering every little corner and space in between things. Then, the city becomes a gigantic playground! 🥰
I’ll recommend this artist I already mentioned to Rebecca: Olgairesse https://www.instagram.com/olgairesse/ I came across her in Vancouver thanks to the “mouse eyes”. She places stickers with interesting words in lamp posts, signs, dumpsters, and all kind of small places in the city. She makes use of unexpected spaces, and does art with words. Isn’t that inspiring? EVERYONE READING THIS BLOG, GO OUT THERE, YOU GOT SOMETHING TO SHARE FOR SURE!

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Oh yes!
Street art changed a lot for me.
First mural I ever saw was in Winnipeg. My mom was in a hospice for about 3 months before she passed. When I looked out her window, I saw a mural. It was of Charlie Chaplin and a group of vaudevillians.
It was on the side of an old hotel, where Chaplin stayed when touring, and performing in Winnipeg. He wrote his brother a letter from there saying he was leaving the vaudeville circuit, and moving to Hollywood to try his luck there.
The letter still exists on the hotel’s paper with letterhead.
Now, I can spot pieces through the corners of my eyes a block down an alley.
I take many different routes when I walk, because I never know when there will be a piece or a pod of art.
There is a LOT of sticker and crevice art in Toronto.
So happy to have met you. I’ll visit the link you left, and visit your site later.
The link to my Art Gowns blog is: https://artgowns.com/
When I am spending months making a gown, I draw gowns, and make like a comic strip with the characters. I call them “Gowntoons”.
Rebecca is one of the characters, the Art Director who wears Palazzo Pants.
There are pics of the Art Gowns on the sidebar.If you click on a pic, you will go to the post about that gown!
Cheers to you, and keep up the good work!
Make Art Not War!

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Ah, Graciela, if only invasions were as beautiful as yours, our world would be so much better!!!! Thank you Rebecca for the wonderful interview with Gabriela. I remember your video from the Mural Festival and how much I admired it then [as I do now!].

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Thank you, Liz, for your heartwarming comments and for listening. I agree that the world needs more artists like Graciela. When I was visited my father in hospital several years ago, I was surprised by the number of artworks on display. I felt energized when I walked down the corridor. I was not surprised to read on an explanatory wall plaque that art was found to be healing and influenced the mental well-being of patients.

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This was a wonderful interview, Rebecca. I love learning about different art forms.

One of the things I like about art is when I get to see or come to understand the process. I’ve never seen a mural being painted, and I’ve often wondered how an artist works at such scale.

I think the best thing an artist (of any sort) can do is accept that “if you like it, others will.”

I think it’s interesting how many ways creative people interact with and draw from the community they are in. We’ve discussed this in comments on blogs, but I think the notion of ‘community’ is broader than we normally consider. I thought of this early in this podcast, but again near the end when Graciela talked about the help she receives from neighbors at a festival.

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I am delighted that you listened in, Dan. Like you, I appreciated Graciela’s broader definition of “neighbour” which gives the ability to to build communities and friendships wherever we go. When I first met up with Graciela, she was working on the higher levels of “Presence” on a small area, compared with the grandness of the wall. How could visualize the whole when working on a part, I wondered? And how could she complete the mural in the limited time given? I went back several times to she the progress. It seemed like magic because every time I stopped by, there was a marked notice in the mural. Many thanks for your your insightful comments!!!

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