Vera has been a full-time masseuse and beautician since 2006 but also finds the time to be creative, and is a multi-skilled artist at that. Vera has been passionate about drawing since she was 10 years old. She told The Portugal News “As a child, I did drawings in pencil and made small things but with time I started to want to do more and challenge myself.” “Art to me is a hobby but it is also an anti-stress.” Vera went on to explain how she has never done an art course, she is self-taught and she creates art for herself. I like experimenting with different mediums and I have learnt a lot from online. It was actually the street Rua das Lojas in Portimão that inspired her, she would see artists with their stalls and would spend time learning from them and keep trying until she succeeded with her craft. When asked if she has a favourite artist, Vera was quick to say “I like a little bit of all of them, everyone has their own style and I cannot say that I 100% like one artist over another because they all have one aspect that I like. I appreciate everyone works in different ways.”
Vera does commissions, from family portraits to animals as well as bookmarks for children using watercolours, which can be in any colour or style you require. What really impressed me were her handcrafts and ornaments where she creates small yet beautiful Bonsai trees with gems that would look wonderful in any home. Vera pointed out that it “It takes a lot of work and a total of four days to complete each one. She also makes flowers out of beads, with orchids and roses in different colours. Additionally, she also works with feathers, in which she makes dream catchers, earrings and ear cuffs.” Finally, Vera upcycles furniture so if any readers would like items revamping please do reach out to her. “My first upcycled project was of my grandmothers' 50-year-old chair, it was either learn how to upcycle it or put in the bin but it had so much history I felt like I had to at least try and it worked!”
When asked about the handcraft scene in Portimão, Vera told The Portugal News that she believes the public need to bet more on artisans. “It is difficult to make a living this way and people do not give real value to handicrafts. For example, they think it is too expensive because they can buy cheaper items at Chinese stores across the Algarve. They don’t realise that it takes time when you work with your hands and it takes materials and a lot of time. We have handcraft fairs in Portimão but I think people need to have more of an open mind and understand the work that goes into making each piece.”
When asked about her hopes for the future with her crafts, Vera said “I would like to exhibit in the Algarve in the future, who knows, I am open to new things but it would be great to share my art at fairs or exhibitions.”
For more information and commissions, please email Vera Benedito at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know it would mean the absolute world if you would check out Vera’s work on her Instagram @goddess_handcraft.
Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.