All Eyes On: Joana Maria Sousa

Searching for beauty in strangeness is my motto.

I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1987. Since I was a child I have always been in touch with the arts, through my mother’s paintings and writings, theater and music through my older sister. I studied Architecture and then Psychology until I found my path when I started the adventure of studying Cinema, Video and Multimedia Communication, at Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon. It was there that I discovered my love of writing, directing, editing and photography. (Yes, I am a storytelling freak, I confess.) I enriched my training with Essemble Project in Brussels, Cologne and Budapest specializing in directing, which gave me the opportunity to direct my first financed fiction short film – WE ARE DESPERATE – by Europe Media Program and consequently my first short documentary – LIKE A TREE – shot in China at the invitation of Looking China 2015.

I was also part of an artistic residency in Barcelona – DYF: Design Your Future – which motivated me even more to use my art in favor of social activism and which proved to be fundamental in the making of the video – SEE ACTIONS. NOT COLORS. – which I created still as a student as part of an awareness campaign for social inclusion and won two awards, one from the Council of Europe and another from Plural + organized by the United Nations

Filmmaker & Visual Artist

Purple World

For some time I was feeling that my creative production was suffering by not accomplish a lot of the ideas I had, time is so hectic that I always left some of my personal projects to “one day when I have time”. The time is now and I have to make room for it. For that reason I’ve decided to challenge myself and start creating an image (moving or still) every day for the next year, 365 days.

The idea was to explore a creative field I didn’t felt comfortable but really wanted to explore, digital art, and hoping at the end of it to have gathered all the knowledge and experience I didn’t had when I’ve started and even a portfolio to show in this particular field of the arts. The theme I chose was my inner world which I call Purple World, the most spiritual color of all, and always be true to this life motto I have of searching for beauty in strangeness.

I believe that inevitably quantity leads to quality and above all I believe that doing things leads to greater knowledge and inner evolution and that’s the most important for me and the reason I’m doing this.

I’m a firm believer that it’s in the process that the greatest learning experiences
and revealing moments take place, as much as the final result can be incredible.
For me, it’s all about opening room for emotions and sharing them.
What inspires me the most is my family history, the strangest I know,
that’s why I always felt the need to find beauty
in the strangest places (the darkest).

– Joana Maria Sousa

Purple World 154/365
Digital Art, 2022

Purple World 155/365
Digital Art, 2022

Purple World 157/365
Digital Art, 2022

Purple World 160/365
Digital Art, 2022

Purple World 161/365
Digital Art, 2022

Purple World 162/365
Digital Art, 2022

Purple World 168/365
Digital Art, 2022

Purple World 170/365
Digital Art, 2022

For more information about the artist, please visit:
Instagram: @imjoanamaria

All photographs courtesy of Joana Maria Sousa
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