FÁTIMA BRAVO

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

FB: Actually, I’m not sure! My academic background is graphic design but despite that I consider myself an illustrator. That’s what I do the most and what I like most to do. But I’m fully aware that my background in design has a major role in my work and has greatly influenced my style of illustration.

FB: As a person, I appreciate the simple things of life and try to take this to my work as an illustrator.

FB: I like to be able to communicate a message clearly, through simple shapes and reduced color palettes. Sometimes it’s not easy to maintain simplicity when there’s a lot to say, but that’s the challenge!

FB: Also, I’m a cat lover! I grew up surrounded by nature and animals and this influences my work.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

FB: The world is our inspiration!

FB: Every moment, every person, every conversation, every place, everything indeed can be a source of inspiration. I believe that inspiration is something we must be predisposed to accept, we just need to observe the world. And what I do to get inspiration is as simple as that: I observe!

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

FB: My process for creating a new illustration project is based on the design work methodology, basically it’s the same. I need a briefing to be able to do both intellectual and visual research and then be able to come up with a concept. After these super rational steps, I move on to a freer process: I start to sketch! Experimenting shapes, compositions, elements, color, sizes, everything! And I try again, until I reach a visually appealing result corresponding to the concept that created it.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

FB: I’d be glad if they took a minute just to look. We live in a world so stressful that sometimes it’s good to just look at something nice. And that’s what I try to do, something nice!

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

FB: Well, actually being an artist has made me change many things in my life. I moved to the neighboring country (Spain) two times, for two different cities to learn more about being an illustrator, to live surrounded by illustration, art and culture. Sometimes it’s fascinating, other times it’s just tiring, it’s like everything in life. Sometimes everything is happening and there is lots of work and there is no time to sleep, other times nothing happens, you’ve doubts about everything and just want to give up. Life you know.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

FB: I’d rather have a briefing, a direction. Maybe because I have this designer side which turns out to be more rational than the art itself. I can not work if I don’t have a goal that can be given by a client or can be created by me, but I need it.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

FB: That we need to be brave enough not to give up. It’s not an easy market. There are a lot of people better than us and this can be intimidated at first. At any moment we can lose focus of why we want to be an illustrator / artist. The important thing is keep strong.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

FB: I think we’re still a profession not valued. People continue to think that we’re blessed with some gift, and we don’t need to work to evolve or that we don’t need to eat! It’s changing a bit but not enough. It makes me sad this kind of thinking.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

FB: I love creating something new, something I’ve never done before. The truth is I always find something new about myself.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

FB: There are many! A classic one: Saul Bass

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

FB: I think it’s amazing how technology helps our work! With the tools we have nowadays we can work anywhere with high quality and in such an optimized way that it makes our work much faster. I’m totally a fan! Of course, pencil and paper are a very important part of the creative process and it’s something I don’t dispense during the conceptualization of a project. But technology is a super useful tool for me!

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

FB: Being an artist or not, we all have different ways of seeing the world.

FB: But I think we as artists develop a different sensibility, and that influences our way of being in the world.

FB: For me, my artistic side shaped me into a different person, made me more observant, dedicated and also more capable.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

FB: Yes, of course! I think everyone does! Well, I should stop choosing favorite cities because I end up living there! At the moment I’m still in love with Barcelona, but Oporto will always be the city of my heart.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

FB: The truth is I’m not a reader, I’ve never been and never will be. It makes me nervous the silence of reading. I just start thinking about other things instead. I don’t know, I just don’t deal well with the silence I guess.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

FB: Well, I think we artists/ illustrators live a bit in a limbo without knowing the day of tomorrow. But my main goal is to be a professional illustrator, have a studio in my small hometown and work for the world. Will it be possible? Don’t know, I’ll be working towards that.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

FB: It means some responsibility. In spite of everything we are (visual) communicators and therefore we must always take into account what we are going to say and use our “voice” wisely.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

FB: Sentir o Sol – Os quatro e meia.

FB: It’s a Portuguese band, I love Portuguese music.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

FB: Hmm… No, just follow me on instagram 🙂

CHECK OUT MORE ON: FÁTIMA BRAVO

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