Navigator Paper, a Portuguese brand paper, wanted to start their Instagram account with some artists. I was humbled to be one of the selected for an open briefing. The only thing I had to do was start a story in my account on Instagram and finish it on Navigator Paper's account. If possible, using their own paper. Unfortunately, I had an idea that wouldn't use their paper but it'd show how important paper is in our life. And then I started to tell the story about the most important paper in my friends’ lives.

After a while, it also turned into a real book and it was distributed for many agencies across Portugal. But here there are my favourite stories that I, myself, wrote and photographed.

My role: Photographer, Writer


Book Artists by Navigator






#1

A tax office is not necessarily the coolest place in town. The bell rings. You look up. It’s not your number yet. Luckily, it will repeat every 2 or 3 hours. But it was a necessary evil when I arrived in Lisbon.

In my first days here, I didn't know anyone and I needed a Portuguese to come with me in this funny journey. Either Jaime didn't mind or he wasn’t too busy to come along.

We both speak the same language. But it didn’t look like it. We had an accent problem. But, 3 hours later, I started to get his accent, his grumpy mood, his bad luck in some restaurants and started admiring that short guy, with almost no hair.

After this episode, our friendship grew and we realized we had a lot in common.
He had just arrived in Lisbon. So had I.
He enjoys Chico Buarque, a brazilian musician. So do I.



Jaime moved from his parents’s house, in Vila Franca, and came to Lisbon, to live with his girlfriend, Tania.

Their house became real and official because of a paper. After all, the rent contract is paper.

For them, it is anything but that. They hadn’t figured that out yet, but it was going to be the most important paper of their lives.

Because it’s in that house that they can live all the love they feel for each other.
In that house, I learnt that the formalities of life don’t make any sense if they don’t turn into something good.
And, in that house, we can put in practice the best thing a tax office had brought us: a friendship.


#2




In 2012, I quit my job to study and travel around Europe. It was probably one of the best decisions I made in life. A part of my life I could call rebirth.
My peace, my wife, my job, my life in Lisbon and so many things that make me happy today, I owe them to this trip.

Along this trip, I met many people, learnt a lot and created some stories that I’ll carry throughout all my life. But among all those people, among all those backpackers, I hadn’t yet met Matheus.

We didn't meet in this trip, but in a place that also inspires stories and travelling, called Leo Burnett. There, we did a couple of works together and shared, for a short time, the same house, the same backpack and the next story that you can read on the next photo.



Matheus is a hitchhiker and one day at the agency he asked me a favor. To write a lot of weird names in a beautiful font type and print them in an A3.

Until then, I didn't know how important it was.
But by patiently hanging on the side of the road, holding the paper sheets with those printed weird names, Matheus ended up crossing Scotland and Norway.

Matheus will always travel a lot, but it’s a pity the World is so big. Because I know he’ll make history, meet a lot of people, meet the love of his life, but probably will never be met by those who say that technology will kill paper.

These people should meet Matheus to see how alive he is and how many sheets of paper he will still use in his lifetime. Because while he was hitchhiking he discovered a brilliant way to use paper. And to reinvent things is a wonderful process to reinvent ourselves. Every single day.



#3



At 17, I started to work and wanted to leave my parents' house. I love my parents, obviously, but I wanted to have my apartment, my freedom, my friends over more often, my corner. I was earning R$300 (around 50€) which made it impossible, also obvious.

But my dreams were way bigger. To move to another house, another city but what I really always wanted, I don't know why, was to move to another country.

At 20, I left my parents' house. It was no cakewalk, but I there I went.

At 21, I left the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro to my sweet and also beautiful city of São Paulo. In the beginning, it was hard, pretty hard, but there I went.

At 27, I got what I'd been waiting for my whole life: I left the country.

It was beautiful. And it was thanks to Luciana and the story you can read on the next photo.

Moving to another country comes with a far-reaching learning curve and and an immense amount of paperwork.

Eight years ago, amidst the form-filling papers, Luciana signed the working contract that would change her life. And mine too. That piece of paper brought us together years later. In a very nice little caffe, in a charming little square, in a village called Lisbon, we talked about a job opening.

I came back to Brazil from my sabbatic year, met my lovely wife and, not long afterwards, Luciana brought us back here. The waiting was worth it in order to come to the right place, side by side with the right people.

During those eight years, Luciana's contract changed but she didn't change at all. She's still working in the same company, living in the same house, going down to the same caffe, very human, sweet, happy and spending everything on new dresses.

I hope that everytime she photographs her breakfast in morning she remembers the significance that paper has for her life and also for mine, and for Raul's, Colmar's, Diogo's, and so many others. Remembering it with the same smile of that child playing in that charming little square where we met, a few years back.

Moving to another country changes something inside us.
And, besides coffee, I owe that to you.

#4




The world makes us very ambitious, if we let it so.

I was never the world’s most awarded art director nor have I been in lists like the “30 art directors before 30” or “10 advertisers to watch”, but I had wanted to be there. It had made me a bad person.

It’s shameful but as soon as I moved to São Paulo I started missing Rio a lot. So I’d hope, for example, to win a Cannes Lion right in my first year so that I could go back home with a light conscience.

In time, I saw I had the chance to go down a less ambitious road. It was a long and sinuous but actually quite simple road. And with that path came big luck. You can read one of the things I won with my new luck on the next photo.


For me, luck comes with courage. And, almost 2 years ago, we moved into a beautiful house, perfect for us, though a little expensive. It wasn’t the right time nor the right rent, but we went.
Unbeknownst, we became Dani’s and Zé’s (my work colleague) neighbours. We weren’t so close then but, lucky us, living in the same neighbourhood made us good friends.

In the underpants-blue building, two streets up from our house, we saw a peaceful loving relationship. We also saw Dani carrying the enormous weight of trying to become a lawyer, of succeeding and, chiefly, to pass the bar exam.

We followed Dani’s efforts closely and also Zé’s love and patience. Recently, Dani became a lawyer and again lighter. Now the bar exam diploma is the most important paper of her life.

This paper reminds them that, if everything becomes heavy again, Dani can look to her side and see someone very special. A guy that guarantees a good time, even in bad days. And, above all, it came to remind that the world makes us very ambitious, if we let it so. But in somewhere in the world there are people like this. Light as a leaf of paper.

Being close to people like this is the best road we can lead our life through.


#5


If it was easy, I would change every three months.
It’s OK to change home. It’s about OK to change city.
It’s a little bit more demanding to change country.

But, at the same time, I believe in the theory of ignorant intelligence. You know you’re in for a headache, but you close your eyes and go.

I knew I’d come here to live on a shoestring until my first wage poured in and I’d have to get myself an apartment within a month. I didn’t know I’d have to deal with one thousand documents and that it would be strenuous.

I didn’t know I’d have to stay away from Paula for months and that it would hurt. But neither did I know I’d meet Lincoln.

Right in the first day, I received the longest hug ever - my mother has never, even in her saddest days, provided me with such a long one - and an invitation to grab a drink and have a chat about apartments. Lincoln was going to explain to me how the hunt worked and tip me off, etc.

We talked about everything. We didn’t even touch our main issue. We ended up drunk.

It was good because I understood where I’d ended up and where my theory could take me. We began a friendship that would teach me a lot. And, eventually, it would also teach me what love is.

I was born in an joyous and humble family with little money.

However, what we sometimes lacked in the bank, we had on the table. If needed, my grandmother would cook bean stew, fish, and chicken, on a classic sunday lunch.

I had never realised this, until it all came together in the middle of one working-day afternoon, when Lincoln called me out for an easygoing snack. I had already rented my apartment and it was still a while until I’d get my first payment. I was half-happy and fully out of money.

I hesitated, telling him I couldn’t because I didn’t have money. Lincoln insisted he’d pay and taught me:
- Wouldn’t you do the same for me? Come on, then.

Two cheese&ham toasts, jotted down on a piece of paper. That’s how it all made sense. That simple gesture, as well as everything my family taught me, was love. Things we do hoping for nothing in exchange.

He doesn’t remember that story because, much like the day we talked about “apartments”, he acted on this giant heart he carries inside him.

All I wanted was to have had kept that handwritten bill. It proves me that love is an inheritance. The best of all. And it can always start on a bountiful table. Or in a simple toast.

We’ll be spending our third Christmas together.
It’s been a while since I’ve been trying to pay back that toast. But I’ve got it: something that is done for love cannot be paid.

#6



In 2015, I spent great days with my mom, talking about everything, between a glass of wine and a Gambas à Brás - a traditional Portuguese dish - that I cooked for her.
I had good afternoons with my dad, analyzing and discussing each vinyl that he had given me.
I saw my second mother, as pure as ever and as drunk as never, in my birthday BBQ.
I was once again able to see many great friends and brothers that life has given me.
I got more tattoos than my mother would ever like my to.
It was painful to say goodbye to some great co-workers, but we had a barbecue to make up for it.
I did some good work and that’s why I grew some more gray hair, but I also earned an award that made me proud of myself.
I traveled a lot in Portugal, this land where I wasn’t born in but certainly want to be in when the time comes to say goodbye to this life.

In 2015, I was able to reflect on the importance of people and our memories when I started this project, where I have a chance to tell stories about how paper is still important.

The most important paper of each one of us can be in the next photo.




It’s been great to remember the stories I’ve told here. These are old memories, stored in an antique wooden chest, were fortunately not forgotten.

I’m also remembering other stories I couldn’t tell yet. I remember how there are still good people who think only of doing good, as Diogo, Raul, Salvaterra and Su. I remember how I learned to drink shots at lunch, with Hugo and Reis. About how good it is to make noise with Leo and Zelia. I remember when Paula said Yes.

Maybe I’ll talk about those. Or I might start talking about the new ones that we’re going to write in 2016. Flavia and Colmar’s new life. Carlos’s new story. Douglas and Natasha’s new start.

The New Year is an important piece of paper for us. It’s a blank sheet of paper. Clean, virgin, naked, pure. Ready to be written on. It’s a renewal of hope that we need to create a better world - because this one... it seems that everything is almost lost.

I don’t know whether 2016 will have rainbows, unicorns, life on Mars or Pluto. But I know we’ll write a gorgeous story, all together, in this brand new paper we have in hand.

#7



My first job was at SV, a design and technology studio.
But one day before punching in I went to a job interview at an Internet Service Provider. Strikingly different paths.

Well, I had joined SV to a do an HTML work.
They used to work with Dreamweaver. I only knew how to work in FrontPage. I said I knew Dreamweaver perfectly well there I went.

It was a one-week freelance job and I honestly don’t know how they let me stay for three years. Because in my second day there I spilled water on my boss's laptop.

It allowed me to buy the first birthday gift for my mother and I got to work a bit on everything. Servers, programming, motion, creativity, design, art direction.

Luckily or not, I pursued the latter.
And with that decision I had to leave SV because I wanted more. To learn more, work more, grow more.

I went to work at Submarino, a Brazilian e-commerce company, where I met the people who probably made me love what I today call my profession.

This story continues in the next photo.

A friend of mine always said: be careful what you wish for.
If I wanted to learn more, work harder and grow, that would come with a price. And it did.

In my first week at Submarino, I wanted to quit. The stress was too much but that was how they made me see how every detail could make a difference and how a good idea was more important than anything else.

In a short time, we created a family and João became kind of my beacon. The labrador of a blind man. He pulled me out of that huge e-commerce enterprise and took me to a digital advertising agency. Then he convinced me to move to São Paulo. He gave me a place to sleep when I needed most and introduced me a lot of bands that I still I don't like.

Since good things never change, João keeps using paper to pull all his projects and ideas out. I think we put on paper all the dreams we want to get off the page.

He is still that simple boy from Bangu who teaches me, even from a distance, to be a better human and a better professional.

As a professional, I'll put into practice everything I've learned from him in the Navigator’s contest that starts today for designers and art directors. And as a human being I'll try to put into practice the humility, the love and the affection I've also learned from him.
Towards everything and, especially, towards everyone.

#8


When I was invited to collaborate with @NavigatorPaper the goal was to tell a story a month. I wrote the first one and felt like I could write many more. I asked them to double the dosage and they gently accepted it.

It's been good as hell but now comes the time Camões would call "writing block" - and I pray the client won't read this.

My dismay might come from changing houses after two years living in the same one. Which is weird because since I left my parents' house ten years ago I have never spent even a year in any house whatsoever.

I left my parents' house at Méier to go to Copacabana, then I must have been through some ten houses in São Paulo, then I left my stuff in Rio to travel to Dublin, came back to live in Rio and finally went to Lisbon.
But now that we've completed two years here in the ground floor of the nr. 33, we've also finished our last month.

The house is for sale and we have to move. Until today I had always said that changing houses was piece of cake. It isn't.

That's been getting on my nerves because I was never good at goodbyes. This is my new attempt, which continues on the next photo.

Two years have flown by, since that Friday Jaime helped us move in. We spent the Sunday after playing cards with Anna, Lincoln and Henrique, in the backyard table, freezing.

It went by too fast since that open house with more than thirty people, where Emanuel and Mafalda gave us some tips we still haven't used.

From then on, our house became a meeting point. A place where a lot of friends came together and hugged, kissed and spread love. A lot of dinner parties, barbecues, feijoadas, meetings, Christmas. Broken glasses, all our dirty tableware to be washed the morning after - not a glass would be spared - and wonderful Sundays of pure procrastination, just Paula and I lying on the couch.

The joy of being near Douglas and Natasha, Zé and Dani, and Matheus.

Our house was always full of people. There was even a dog, whose owner we didn't know, that came in to watch a football game. In the same World Cup but in a different match, Colmar practiced his book-throwing skills during the euphoria of a goal from Brazil. Then we had another barbecue to celebrate that.

Many people have lived here. Many people have slept here. But seeing Gui, Fabio and Alex sleeping together in the same bed in the night of the New Year's Eve was truly unforgettable.

I'm not good with goodbyes, Carlos, but we were very happy here. Very happy.

It's sad that the house is for sale but it's even sadder that a house is assessed only in terms of square feet, amount of rooms and localisation. Because a house is made of stories.

I don't know how many good stories a house can carry. I truly don't. But I know that many stories I lived here started in a piece of paper. Two years ago.

#9



It seemed madness.

To change from the seaside to a town with no beach.
To spend all savings on a single trip.
To become married before a year had passed.

But madness is to wait years and years to go live together and get married, and to accomplish whatever there is to be accomplished. In the end, I learned that time doesn’t build love. It’s exactly the opposite. Love builds time - thanks for that, @PedrinhoFonseca.

It’s a good thing that life answered back the way it did, so that I could meet Paula and thus be in the story that continues on the next photo.






After my trip, three years and two months ago, I was completely broke. I got lucky that my good friend Luiz pointed me out to someone. Even luckier then, Leo like my face and offered me some work.

In less than a month, I had made some good friends, worked on a couple of jobs and started to flirt with Paula. I was defensive at first. After all, we had only known each other for a month. But then we found out we were going to the same show: Criolo, Circo Voador, 11th and 12th of January, 2013.

I was going on the 11th with a friend. She was going on the 12th. I apologized to my friend and switched the ticket to the day after, guileless that that decision would change my mind.

It was a beautiful night that ended in an impressionist art exhibition on a museum nearby. And, since then, her toothbrush never left my house.

Today, three years and one month later, I write to a mirror. Because she is where I can see myself. And so, I feel reborn every time I see that certificate of marriage, or every time we hug before sleeping, or when I wake up and look her face, or when we sit on the counter and starts the day preparing a sandwich, while I make the strongest coffee in town.

I confess I’m not very religious but recently my mother and my friend David explained to me a lot about spiritualism. And I understood that it wasn’t that crazy to know someone, start dating, change country and get married all in less than a year. Such is Love.

I hope this paper will last a lifetime or more.
Otherwise, I’m ruined.


#10



Our work is often our second home. At least for me, my work has always been more than that. Fortunately, it was also the place where I always made a family. Of friends. Brothers. Victors.

I worked together with Victor in Sao Paulo.
We always helped each other at work. And then when the work allowed, we went to some bars and laughed together. We used to meet on Saturday morning at the Villa Lobos Park to play ball. After that, we had some açaí and took a nap in the grass to sunbathe and talk a bit more. But we got closer when he moved abroad.

He was realizing his dream and mine too, at the same time. This helped me to quit my job, to buy a ticket, and understand a lot of things that are on the next photo.

Victor made me realize great things.
It was with him that I saw that friends are a big part of the family I have. And there should be a name for this category of friendship.

I was with him and with a glass of beer in my hand when I cried in a sad time of my life. But I also laughed so hard in the best time of it: our first big trip together. In the middle of it, luckily, my current boss contacted me. And after the trip, life led me to find my lovely wife.

In short, he helped me to find myself.
And all he did was to distance himself from me (geographically) and go and live abroad.

In the end, I realized that the ticket plane meant courage. And that courage also helps to cross an ocean and our own internal barriers, just to give a great friend a hug.

A thing that I would repeat a million times.

#11


My father always tried to make me have good taste. He used to listen to Led Zeppelin, Rush, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Iron Maiden and many others in maximum volume. When I liked something,he'd give me the band's CDs. He listened to everything but hated Gilberto Gil.

Influenced, I didn’t like him either. But today, fortunately, Gil isn't missing from my Spotify.

We don’t care so much, but influence is one of the main threads of our lives. For better or worse.

Luckily, I always had my good influences around. I still have contact with childhood friends, for example. We never lost this link and I force myself to keep it from happening. But the contact is never exactly the same. Because, on the way, new friends also appear in. Radiant people, just like Douglinhas.

This friendship started here in Lisbon, where he ended up thanks to a paper he'd seen stuck on the wall at college, back in Brasil, about a students exchange program to Lisbon.

What he didn’t know was that this paper would change his life, his profession, his civil status and would make me see life in a better way.

Because I moved a few times, I ended up losing contact with some friends. The internet helps but I sometimes find myself yearning for Antenor’s good energy, Rejane’s chuckle, and Renato’s jokes. The caresses of my mother. Dade’s onion pie. My grandmother having a beer, every single day.

These are good influences that I carry in my heart. But as we can’t have all our friends close by, we need to grow our friendship circle and have people like Douglinhas around.

Thanks to his influence I saw that, despite all the problems that the world goes through, we can always lead a happier and lighter life. And we can have an even bigger heart.

Once, on his birthday, I wrote him a letter and delivered it with a bottle of whiskey. The letter said that I loved him and that, fortunately or unfortunately, I knew that someday we wouldn’t share the same work desk anymore. And it happened because his talent is much higher than his mustache.

Life can separate us geographically. But I’ll never, ever, let this good influence, this enthusiasm, this smile and this giant heart that Douglinhas has, become distant.