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Posted by portugalpress on April 28, 2017
André, Freddy, Ivan, Fred & Murphy
Atelier do Sul, Boliqueime
Fatinha, Fred's main reason for having moved to the algarve in the early 70s sadly lost her battle against cancer in 2009. She is still dearly missed by all
Maria Takuchi Freddy's partner, musician and composer based in New York
Sharon Phillips

Creativity runs deep in the Phillips family, with art and family coming together across their careers and personal lives

They say the apple never falls far from the tree and in the case of Fred Phillips, the founder partner at Atelier do Sul Communication Design, his family of creative talents is testament to this, with his sons and their partners all successfully pursuing artistic paths.

Fred moved to the Algarve to live and work in 1973 and can be credited for creating the now famous term of “The Golden Triangle” as part of a presentation to various developers in the Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago areas, in conjunction with Time Magazine Europe, back in the eighties. While living and working in the region, he married local Portuguese hair stylist Fatinha and their family began to grow, as did his design business.

Growing up in a household where creativity was central to both parents, clearly had a profound effect on their three children Ivan 40, André 34 and Freddy 27, with all three now working within the arts, communications design or creatively in general.

“We were not fine artists in a physical way around the home”, explains Fred, “In that I did not spend my days painting or creating sculptures but I would often bring new design projects home and bounce ideas off Fatinha and the boys”.

Fred approaches creating communication solutions for businesses with a holistic approach, and working to find a communication design that works to make people’s lives easier and gives a ROI to his clients, inevitably led to his work making its way back to the family home.

While Fred plays down the influence his work potentially had on his sons, a freedom to explore their own creativity is a common thread between them.

Ivan, a professional librarian in the Cultural Division of the Loulé Council, who works with children through drama, music and reading while also performing as a singer and a musician, said: “Growing up it felt natural to explore and discover my creative capabilities and I found out that I had a natural flair for music at an early age”.

Freddy, the youngest of the family, has forged a successful career as a digital media design artist and Art Director, helping to create dynamic looking 3D work for international brands and has been based for the past eight years in New York, producing work for some of the biggest design companies in the world while also being selected by Saatchi & Saatchi for their New Directors Showcase 2015. He also remembers growing up with a creative freedom: “I found that I was always encouraged to pursue my own path,” he said, “I was always given enormous freedom to seek whatever field really interested me”.

For André, who is now a partner and senior designer at Atelier do Sul alongside his father, there was never any pressure to follow a creative path or to join the family business but he found himself naturally working within Atelier do Sul from a young age.

“Dad always had his business since I was born and I started working there when I was quite young, during holidays to earn some cash mainly,” jokes André, “But starting so early in the business helped to give me a special feeling for design, which then naturally developed through my teenage years and when it came to choosing what to sit for my degree, I chose Art and Design”.

Having so many creatively dynamic influences in one house has not only helped to further the careers of each member of the family, but also their personal family relationships.

“Having a common bond through our creative personalities makes for a very easy and natural relationship between us all,” explains Ivan. Fred continues: “André and I work together so we are always meeting and discussing new creative projects and we often bounce ideas off Freddy. We are currently also helping Ivan with a new project and have helped his wife Sharon, who is a professional makeup artist, by creating a name and identity for her business and a website.”

She already has bookings going into 2019!

Freddy adds: “My family have always been able to give me constructive feedback on my work and I really value their creative input, after all, four brains are always better than one!”

For Fred, art and creativity is a trait he is proud to have passed down to his sons and one that he hopes will continue on for many generations. “For me, design is a passion that gives me great satisfaction and I guess our boys have the same passion in what they do, as I have about what I do.”

As.phyx.i.a, an experimental film project by Freddy Phillips and Maria Takuchi and performed by Shiho Tanaka, explores human movement through motion capture. The project is an effort to explore new ways to use and/or combine technologies and different fields in an experiment without many of the common commercial limitations. Having used two inexpensive Xbox One Kinect sensors to capture the movements, Microsoft contacted Freddy, and he agreed to licence it to them for their promotional use.

Text by: Daisy Sampson
Photos by: Har Klunder
Digital editing by: Frederico Phillips