The Heroine’s Journey of Zelia Evora

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love that i can wake up in the morning and with my hands make what i imagined. That I can change a pair of pants into something else, make a dress from a curtain. I specially love that i can pass on my knowledge. That people are eager to learn, to make things that will make them feel empowered.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Well, happiness is just an utopic idea these days. As long as we live in a world with these conditions, how can we be happy? Still, thinking of work, which is what we are speaching of, happiness is being able to be yourself. True to yourself.

What is my greatest fear? We have a portuguese sentence: “morrer na praia”. It means to die at shore. My biggest fear is to work so hard and that in the end it won’t work out.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I am stubborn.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Rosa Pomar. She is a pioneer in searching for people who know old traditons in knitting and weaving among other things. She does ressearch and teaches people wonderful things about our country.

What is my greatest extravagance? Making money doing what i love. (And eating tons of cookies and not getting fat).

On what occasion would I lie? I don’t. Sometimes i don’t tell the truth (haha). Even when things aren’t so good, when you are living out of peoples admiration, you are tough (even if you are not. You cry in private, only with the best of friends.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Not knowing what tomorrow will be like. Having to anticipate what people want to buy. It is also what i like most about my job. I know, i am such a mess.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Where i am now. They will have to drag me out. I love it here.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would weigh 5 more kilos. Also i would be this really cool woman. Totally zen.

What is my greatest achievement in work? That someone thought that it was good enough for me to write books teaching what i do. Seeing these books on bookstore shelves, in womans handbags. That people stop me in the market and tell me i taught them something useful.

Where would I most like to live? I love where i live. I live in a small city in Portugal. It’s near the beach and near the countryside. I can walk to work. My kids go to quiet schools. I can’t imagine living anywhere else, my family lives nearby. I can have coffee with friends in the morning.

What is my most treasured possession? My japanese scissors and a ceramic egg by Francisco Correia a friend gave me. It helps me breathe and focus.

What is my most marked characteristic? I am focussed. I don’t dream, i plan.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The place where my atelier is. It is in an old hotel where many artists like Florbela Espanca used to stay. I think it’s inspiring. I imagine lovers meeting there, poets writting in these squeaky rooms. I love it.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Maratona. It is over 50 years old. When i sit there, i can feel the weight of the old days and it also gives me a glimpse of the future.

What books influenced my life and how? I love “o livro do ano” by Afonso Cruz. It has short sentences and reminds me that there is great knowledge in small things. I also love Clarisse Lispector. reading her books made me understand myself as a woman.

Who are my favorite writers? My favorite writter of all times is Margarite Duras. I like how bold she was. Raw.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox singing “sisters are doing it”; or Nina Simone, singing “i feel good”.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Wonder woman.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? I can’t think of just one. I am influenced by many strong people i find in my everyday life. People that struggle everyday in simple things that don’t show on TV or newspapers. These are the people who make the world go round, i think.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The lover. From M. Duras book.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is everywhere. From my 6 year olds drawings to the way you set food on your plate. So, it’s the main roleplay. There couldn’t be my life or work without it. It would be ugly and boring.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Well, my last book came to be because of a friend of mine. I don’t know if he is my biggest fan, but he has a sharp eye, and when i started making upcyled clothes, ( i fixed him a pair of jeans and that’s how i began this new brand he named Re-uZ), he would look at the photos and would text me telling me how i missed a tag, or things like that. Without knowing he made me realise how importante it is to keep clothes that we feel good in, and i began to be more careful choosing fabric and specially buying clothes. We keep so much stuff we don’t actually need. So, i think for this project, he is my greatest sponser. I dedicated my book to him. His name is Romeu Marques. I don’t have a partner in crime. I work alone.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I actually have picked 10 men i want to make a special book with. I will dress them. They won’t be working, but they will be inspiring me. I mostly need to work by myself.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017? I don’t think i can say they are in my profession, i would like to meet Kaffe Fassett.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? It’s a secret but to do it i need to get serious with photography if i have the time.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? Hopefully you can continue to see it in bookstore bookshelfs and my craft work on facebook and my blog. I would like to see it on people, real people.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? They would mean that if you loose it, all things would become cold. You can still make art without passion, but, who would love it?

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Megan Young. I adore her.

How can you contact me?
Though my blog http://zeliaevora.blogspot.com. There you can find me on instagram and facebook. You can email me: zeliamevora@gmail.com

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