Instagram: @cinarasaionara


1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I’m not one to talk about myself, so this is kind of a hard exercise for me. Let me see… I’m a simple girl, living in a small flat with two gorgeous and mean black cats. I pretty much had a blessed childhood. Grew up in a very small village, where we didn’t have cellphone network up until recently, with a huge family and amazing parents. I grew up very innocent, in the middle of nowhere, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I’ve come to learn that I enjoy simple, almost childish like drawings, with lots of texture. Also, some days I feel very colorful and some days I see everything grey. I’m moody like that hahaha. Though I tend to use a lot of colour I think my work conveys my mood swings. I would say that colorful and messy are the best way to describe both me and my work, alongside the concept of layering.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I absolutely depend on crayons, just basic colour pencils, and my computer. Tried other materials but didn’t felt right and I honestly didn’t care much for the end result. I also have a love for collage and the process of assembling things layer by layer. Those two give me the freedom I need. However, to tell you the truth, there’s lots of digital work that follows. Lately, I’ve been thinking how dependent I’ve become of photoshop and if whether I should embrace it or do something about it. Haven’t decided yet.

4. What is your artistic process like?

Because I work much as a Scenic Designer as well I had to learn to adapt to each assignment and especially time constraints. I think about what the client wants, what the project needs, and what I think it deserves. And then it’s kind of a dance. If I’m working on a movie, or a show, I usually do a bit of research first. The thing I love most about it is that I can learn so much in that process of combining real-life details with things from my imagination. When I’m illustrating, though, it always starts with me staring at the blank page, maybe a basic drawing, and I go from there. It’s like I have two different processes for two things I so clearly separate in my mind even though sometimes they merge. Then I try to do things for myself, just for the fun of it, and if that’s the case I try to let myself go and not be too much conscious about it.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

You know, this might be a cliché answer but it’s true, everything that surrounds me. Nature amazes me, I’ll say that much. And then, I think everyone has had this feeling of wanting to do something right away just because they just saw something amazing. Don’t know if I’m explaining myself right. There’s also other people’s work that can inspire you but that can be dangerous in a way. Someone once told me that it’s important to take in our references with a level of maturity. I found that to be wise advice. Anyways, sometimes it’s a big thing that inspires you, a person you see, an event, someone you admire, and sometimes it’s a very small thing, or maybe you just woke up feeling great that day. Regardless of what it is, you feel full of possibilities and it gets you to wanna roll up your sleeves and do things. What can be better than that? The rest of the days, those when nothing happens and you feel like the least talented person on earth, are the tricky ones. I found that traveling helps too, though lately, I haven’t travelled as much I would like.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I’ve never considered myself to be a selfish person but I think art helps me relate even more to others. It can make me feel lonely as well. Sometimes it’s a punch well needed. Just because, you know, the world is beautiful and all that but it’s also a very dark place. Art shows you both sides of the world you live in.


7. Where did you study?

My academic background is a bit eclectic. I first studied Journalism, though I hated everything about it the first day I stepped foot at the university. Because I was the third person in my big family to go to college I felt like an ungrateful brat just thinking of giving up. So I went through those 3 years of education. I will say I was completely lost but did it anyway. Then, I decided that I would try something that I loved and that’s when I did my master degree, which brought me to where I am professionally speaking. To make things even more strange, I wrote my master thesis about Portuguese Horror Movies, with conveys my other passion besides illustration, moving images.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see a place for myself, my cats, and my boyfriend, somewhere when everything it’s green and, if we’re lucky, there’s a river passing by. I see myself laughing about those days back when we used to live in a crowded tiny flat with no space at all. I definitely see a place with a big space for me to work more materials and spend less time on the computer.

9. What about in ten?

I think that maybe in 10 years I’ll be grown up enough to be a good mother to someone. In a way, I’m still a child myself. Let’s hope by then I’ll be a wiser woman with more stable finances.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

Honestly, nothing much. I do what I love to do, and I would like to keep doing that. If that ends up meaning something to someone else, if my work gets to inspire someone, it’s an honor to me. But ultimately I don’t want to be anything more than just a happy, well resolved, decent human being. The rest will follow naturally, I think.


11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

It’s a portuguese dish called grão-de-bico com bacalhau, ahaha. It’s basically shredded cod fish with chickpeas, raw onions, salsa, boiled eggs and vinegar. I love me some burritos too.

12. Favourite book?

Tough question. There’s an animation and illustration book called História Trágica com Final Feliz, which translates as Tragic Story with Happy Ending, that I find brilliant in many ways. It’s from Regina Pessoa. She inspires me. Am I cheating because I chose a picture book? ahaha Hope not.

13. Favourite genre of music?

I like real hip-hop, and not just because it’s fashionable these days, and I like tropical music from the 70’s, mostly because it’s all my boyfriend plays around the house. When I’m felling down I like to listen to Phil Elverum. I feel like his pain eases mine.

14. What are your hobbies?

I used to play soccer, very very badly but still. Since I moved to the city I haven’t had much time for hobbies. I watch movies, read a book once in a while, and take time off to be with close friends. That’s pretty much it. Yesterday I found this kind of cultural association near my flat with tango lessons. Maybe I’ll try something like that, though I’m as terrible at dancing as I am with soccer ahaha

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Not sure I consider myself an artist. I think of me as someone who still has a long way to go, lots to learn and experience. In a way I feel like I still have much work to do till I can call myself an artist. I would say that If I wasn’t able to do what I do I would probably be miserable. Maybe my bank account wouldn’t be as depressing, but I would definitely be lost.