A file with the building’s floor is opened for the fifth time. A email notification continues, incessantly, to demand attention. The constant hum of the printer stops suddenly and the toner change warning appears on the screen. The day is almost over, the only thing left to do is to send the final render. Ana Maio sets the mouse down, probably for good.
In a childhood divided between the buzz of the city and the house of her grandparents, Ana experienced the ritual of agricultural work and lived with all kinds of animals. She has, ultimately, became attached to the land that saw her grow. Her natural appetite for creative areas found an echo in stories and fables that marveled her and made her dream. The music was also a passion, which she made a point of including in his final thesis of her architecture course.
The University of Porto trained her with the ruthless domain of precise technical and legal aspects in mind, but also for the sensitivity of art and the deep admiration for the humanity of simple things. When she entered the professional world, she noticed that this second facet of architecture was gradually engulfed by a distant digital world, a barrier between man and environment. She missed the more practical, operative, and creative side of the office, going into the technical stationeries and seeing the meticulous organization of paper by weights and textures, the hustle and bustle, the dust and heights of a construction site, exchanging impressions with masons, carpenters, plasterers, people who, in the end, contain an almost ancestral wisdom of manual know-how. On the other hand, in a society too preoccupied with perfection and homogenization, one loses the important human aspects of things. For Ana, it is fundamental to know the purpose of any given work, the history of a place, and the minutiae of the details that do not fit into constraining times of effectiveness.
She then opted for another path that would allow her to explore her creativity and began to outline, in 2016, the concept that would become the Indigo Paper Lab. The paper floral arrangements and bindings were among the first projects and in 2017, with which she won the scholarship prize for the project 'Embrace the Lusitanian Tradition'. It was a gratifying experience that bridged the culture, identity, heritage and know-how she always cherished, and put her in contact with countless creative minds in the most diverse areas. All had a common goal - to make handicraft a way of life based on process and language innovation and not just a secondary activity, as well as demystify the idea of crafts as something outdated and static, or relegated to the production of pieces without practical utility.
The Indigo Paper Lab project began with Ana's beautiful floral arrangements, but it did not stop there. In an attempt to expand her creative universe, she also focused on Origami and Papercraft. When looking at the organic forms of floral arrangements and the angular functionality of Papercraft pieces, it is impossible not to perceive a certain dichotomy, which, as a whole, reveals the talent and flexibility of its creator. In order to replicate flowers, she pulls the petals out, one by one, in order to better reach the desired final shape and the more rigid materials with which she works guarantee substantial longevity. Every creation of Ana is unique and the result of much work, experimentation and dedication. Her watchful eye also falls on environmental concerns, and she re-uses even the smallest pieces of paper for a touch-up in an arrangement or filler. For now sales are made through a website and social networks, but Ana wants to have a physical store that brings her closer her customers. Sharing knowledge and creating synergies with other creative minds also appeals to her and therefore she doesn’t rule out the possibility of workshops and training.
The name and logo of her brand are a reflection of what Ana values, in an increasingly accelerated society: the ability to enjoy the fleeting moments in the middle of Chaos. Born and raised in Aveiro, she has an affinity with the swallows, whose migrations echo in Portuguese nostalgia. When the sky at dusk acquires an indigo hue, she likes to stop a little and watch these pesky birds in their frenzy of catching mosquitoes, completely oblivious to the chaos of the city and enjoying a freedom with which we can only dream.
Ana, in turn, also continues to dream ... and to create.
Visit Indigo Paper Lab and shape your emotions.