Nirvana works as creative inspiration for artist Vitor
VITOR Dos Santos describes his South Lismore studio as a mix of extended cubby house meets the Aussie bloke's shed.
The idea of the art studio as a place to play, a sanctuary from the world, a workspace and living room is important in his art-making practice.
And that sense of play is especially important to him
"I think the studio is about having a space to just come in and just play around," he said.
"Sometimes I'll invite friends around and listen to music and have a couple of beers, it's just like an escape really."
His light-filled studio is one of two garage-style spaces situated in the lively industrial area of South Lismore.
There is a glass-blowing studio and a woodwork shop nearby and a trucking depot and tow truck business around the corner.
Mr Dos Santos was born in Portugal and moved to Australia with his family when he was nine years old.
He has been very successful since graduating from the Southern Cross University in 2008 with strong sales made through local and interstate galleries.
He has just shipped a large collection of new work to Melbourne for a group show at the Libby Edwards Gallery.
"My girlfriend jokes that my work is Portuguese abstract," he said.
"I don't see it that way, it's really a natural progression from the drawings I have always done in my sketch books.
"I grew up in the Grunge era and was really influenced by the music of that time like Nirvana and Soundgarden and that is really reflected in my work."
Working mainly in acrylic, pencil and charcoal he also often uses photo copies and collage in his work.
When developing new subject matter Mr Dos Santos said there were an almost overwhelming number of resources at his disposal.
"If you want to look at something you just Google it and there are several examples of it.
Despite his emphasis on the playful aspects of his practice, Mr Dos Santos says artists need a strong work ethic.
"You can't expect it to just happen, you have to be productive and do the work," he said.