Instagram: @tiago.galo

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

I’m a Portuguese illustrator from Lisbon that was once an architect that wanted to be an illustrator. I always had this fascination for comics as a kid and as I grew up I started out with some friends making small home-made fanzines and collaborating with school publications. As I pursued that, architecture also made it’s impact, mostly when I started studying the Bauhaus movement in which painting, design and architecture were getting influenced by one another. It gave me the sense that I could still get myself involved with all of them if I pursued architecture. But in the end, working as an architect turned out to be such an intense and overwhelming experience that really didn’t make any space left for other things to happen, so for a while I left illustration aside. Since this wasn’t keeping me happy, I had to leave architecture behind and started studying art direction which seemed a great way to get back on track to pursue design and illustration. I started to participate in illustration and comics competitions and even won some. That made me realise that I was on the right track.


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

The way I draw the characters on my illustrations was something I came to after realising that there’s always some kind of naive and innocent feeling in all of them. The way they all have painted cheeks, their fixed and incredulous look and the lack of mouth on most of them really helps me on getting them in the small stories and situations I create for that particular world.

I would compare it to the same kind of reaction you get from a goldfish swimming in a bowl.

The small stories and even the color palette I choose helps me create this particular background when someone looks at my work. It´s just like each illustration and character are a piece of a puzzle you can easily associate to that bizarre and surreal world.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Right now I only work digitally even though It usually starts from sketching out ideas that I previously had growing in my head. It´s a process that I find easier to achieve and to try out new things without making a big mess on my workspace.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I´m always getting odd ideas in the most common places and everyday situations. I tend to observe people a lot everywhere I go and I´m always coming out with stories in my head like imagining how did that guy got that stain on his shirt or guessing on which subway station will that middle-age couple drop off. Maybe it´s a condition, I don´t know… After that, I just need to keep all those characters and situations to live in my head for a while until something funny or bizarre comes along.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

I’ve got lots of influences and artists that I admire, not only in the comics and illustration field but also, and especially, in cinema. People like Wes Anderson and Buster Keaton always gave me a sense that it’s possible to make things differently and not to just settle for what’s “normal” or conventional. I like to see work that makes me feel that way. But to be honest I get influenced by so many different things that it’s difficult to say which artists I admire most.

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

Art is like a filter I use to live in this world. I think I´d get insane if it wasn´t for art in general.


7. Where did you study?

I’m a self-taught illustrator even though I have a degree in architecture and digital design.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?

I hope to continue my work as a freelance illustrator.

9. What about in ten?

Grow a whitebeard, live in the country-side and work as a freelance illustrator.

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

I hope to have more filters to me and all the people who also needs art as a filter for reality.


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

Since I live near the sea, I really like almost everything that comes from there, even though I can´t really resist to Shellfish

12. Favourite book?

Just Kids by Patti Smith.

13. Favourite genre of music?


14. What are your hobbies?

Besides drawing I like to see a good movie and to go for a walk in the city.

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

A professional dog-walker.