1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Rafaela, I was born on April 17th, 1999 in São Paulo, Brazil, and I’ve lived here all my life. I decided to study illustration because I liked looking at book covers and I imagined myself creating them. I didn’t draw much until I started college. I used to draw as a child and as a teenager in the usual way, doodles on my school notebooks. I did have an aesthetic concern, in high school, I wanted to have beautiful notebooks with beautiful handwriting and I was interested in drawing and arts, but I wasn’t very good at it.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My aesthetic is very based on color, it’s my favorite thing. I always try to use unusual color combinations, to match colors that usually wouldn’t work well together. I really like pink. I also really love doing self-portraits. I don’t really know why, but I know my face pretty well and I’m always available for myself, so it seems natural to me to draw myself all the time, and it helps that I have a caricatural face – big nose, small eyes, round glasses. I think that people with glasses are usually easier to draw and recognize.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I am a big fan of digital media, I personally use procreate. I really enjoy the possibility of layering things on top of each other and how easy it is to experiment without being terrified of ruining it. I love changing the colors of everything once the drawing is done, without having to plan ahead what colors I’m going to use and being stuck with them. I’m not much of a planner, I really like seeing how things turn out as I do it.
4. What is your artistic process like?
My process is pretty much just “start doing”, I don’t like the idea of being paralysed by thinking too much about something, so I just start and then it flows easily. I usually discover a lot along the way and add ideas/things/details/colors as I draw. I think while I draw.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Everything that I see inspires me a little bit, I’m very inspired by observational drawing. One thing I really like doing is going on Google Street View and looking for glitches and funny scenes to draw.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I am a freelance illustrator, so it is my job, but it is also my hobby. I draw a lot every day. Usually, when I have illustration work to do I think to myself “I’ll just start with a drawing for pleasure first, just a small one, just to warm up”, I really enjoy it.
7. Where did you study?
I’ve studied illustration in Escola Britânica de Artes Criativas, in São Paulo.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself working with freelance editorial illustration and books (all sorts of books).
9. What about in ten?
I hope I will be doing the same, but more people will enjoy it.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I hope that people like it. I really enjoy creating things that communicate with people, rather than doing something just for myself.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
My favorite food is chocolate cake, but unfortunately, I can’t eat it due to an allergy. I actually can eat it, but it causes a terrible rash in my hands, so naturally, I just eat it sometimes, when I’m willing to have a rash on my hand.
12. Favourite book?
Probably One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Do androids dream of electric sheep? by Philip K. Dick or A desumanização by Valter Hugo Mãe.
13. Favourite genre of music?
From age 12 to 17 I would only listen to The Beatles, but now I enjoy a lot of different types of music: indie rock, 60’s music, 80’s music, but usually random songs that have nothing to do with one another. I like to create playlists for each month of the year so that I can go back and see what I was listening to in the past.
14. What are your hobbies?
I would say just drawing. I used to play the piano but it’s been a long time since I’ve played it. I also have a small collection of postcards.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Something I sometimes think would be the coolest would be playing in an orchestra, but I wouldn’t play the piano (which is the instrument I moderately know how to play), I would play the violin or a wind instrument (something that there would be a lot of the same instrument playing as well), being part of that would be very cool.