1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi! I was born in Porto (Portugal), lived for one year in Budapest (Hungary) and I am now in Berlin. Besides freelancing in illustration and animation I also have a gallery for contemporary illustration that I co-run with artists Anna Benner and Theresa Grieben.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I definitely enjoy painting more than drawing, so I tend to use mostly flat shapes with bright and minimal colour combinations. I’d say I’m very drawn to storytelling so in my work you’ll see mostly quirky characters in some sort of situation.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Depends on the project! If it’s commercial work I’ll use only Photoshop. I don’t use vectors (even though it’s a very flat and clean style) because I find that a bit of “wobbliness” gives it a bit more life. If it’s children’s books, it will be a combination of scanned textures and details painted with black gouache and Photoshop. If it’s a personal project, I usually paint with gouache: it’s nice to be able to hold an original, with all the flaws and happy mistakes that make it interesting.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I spend most of the time on the idea stage: I sketch a lot of tiny thumbnails until I find something that makes me smile and gets me excited. Then I do a quick sketch of the colours in Photoshop. Sometimes I have a very clear image in my head, and sometimes it takes hours of fiddling around until I stumble across something that works and feels fresh. Honestly, this is my favourite step so I don’t mind it at all if it takes longer. After that, the execution will depend on the project, as I mentioned before.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Phew, one of those hard to answer questions! An idea may come from many different places, like someone I saw on the street, or a colour combination on a photograph…sometimes my brain “surprises” me when I’m working on some commercial project that I’m not enjoying as much: it’s like it is trying to get out of it and starts throwing exciting ideas for personal projects at me! The artists will vary according to what I’ve been thinking of or what I need to draw. The Provensens and Scott Wills (especially the backgrounds for Samurai Jack) are always a sure one when I have a children’s project going on. Currently, I’ve been drooling over Gaugin, Matisse, and Inés Longevial.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art is always a bit like a window into someone else’s world, imagination, preferences and concerns… so it connects me to different realities and people’s experiences. It definitely plays a central role as it’s my favourite form of procrastination!
7. Where did you study?
I studied Communication Design at the Fine Arts University in Porto, and I did one year of animation at MOME in Budapest.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Definitely not! I enjoy working with agencies but I enjoy even more being a freelancer. Hopefully, in 5 years I will have a better life-work balance, so I see myself still in Berlin but having more time for personal projects and trying out a few collaborations.
9. What about in ten?
So much can change in 10 years! I see myself perhaps in a big studio with other artists from different fields (like ceramics and weaving and screen printing), doing commercial illustration and animation 50% of the time and doing personal pieces while playing around with different materials the other 50%.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
If someone looks at one of my pieces and it makes them smile, or takes them to some nice memory, is usually enough for me. Art doesn’t always have to be about creating discomfort and making you re-evaluate your preconceptions. Having said that, I’ve been experimenting with ways of interpreting a serious issue that has been on my mind and showing it under a quirky and funny angle. One of them is my series “Things You Cannot Do On Mars”, based on the idea of having to abandon Earth and all the things we would miss…
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Octopus, roasted or fried (moving out of Portugal and only getting to eat it whenever I am there, made me realise how much I loved it).
12. Favourite book?
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
13. Favourite genre of music?
I don’t listen to a lot of music… but I do listen to a lot of podcasts, does that count?
14. What are your hobbies?
Board games, and lately I’ve been into sewing and making my own clothes.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?