Goals for 2018

To tell you the truth, I spent quite a while dreading the time when I had to look at the goal list I'd set myself at the beginning of the year, to see what I'd actually accomplished.
I never took new year resolutions very seriously, especially work resolutions: because I had a fulltime job where I didn't have to think about it. But this was the first year I spent being a self-employed illustrator so I thought I should probably make a proper list. I did it but only because everyone else was doing it and I didn't take it seriously. I wrote it and never bothered looking at it again so I had no idea what I'd written and I was afraid I didn't accomplish anything from that list.

The first thing I wrote was to illustrate a story. Now I have no idea if I meant "illustrate my own story" or "illustrate any story". I didn't get to illustrate my own story but I actually managed to illustrate two books this year that I'm extremely proud of so I'm gonna count that as a point for me.
For 2018 'd like to take the time to work on my own story. It's kind of hard to invest in such a time-consuming process but I'll try to prioritize it.

Another goal I had was to start my own newsletter and look at us now in month 9 and without failing any month yet!
I postponed creating it for fear of not being able to commit to it and not having enough interesting content to share with you every month. But being able to stop and think about it and actually take the time to write to you has been one of my favourite things to do each month.

Another one of my goals was to make weekly posts on my blog. And that was a fail. To be honest, I got discouraged by the lack of feedback. It felt like no one was reading it so why bother? Creating content for all these platforms is a lot of work and it felt like I wasn't getting anything back from it so I stopped. Now my approach is a more relaxed one and I'll upload it when I have something worth it. Having a regularly uploaded blog is very important to SEO so I won't give up on it completely.

I also wrote I wanted to upload one new video every other week to my youtube channel but I only got more serious about it in the second half of the year.
If I think about it, making videos is one of the bravest things I did this year and one I never imagined myself doing. But I'm glad I did it. I still have a long way to go there, I still need to be a lot more confident but for now I'm doing it and I'm loving the amazing feedback I've been getting, especially with vlogmas  (I filmed and edited a video every day from the 1st till the 19th of December. It was a lot of work but I think it was worth it).

On January last year I had launched my Etsy shop recently and was excited about it. I wanted to create at least one new design each month and make 4 sales a month. But by April I gave up on the shop for a bit. And I only picked it back up in November when I launched the notebooks. I was sure I missed that goal but I did the math and it turns out I did 4,03 sales a month on average! Most of these sales were made recently but it still counts!! I'm going to count that as a successfully achieved goal.

On a personal note, I wrote I wanted to travel somewhere. Little did I know by then that 2017 was the year I would finally travel to one of my dream destinations: New York and I'm nothing but grateful for that.
I also wrote I wanted to make a 10k run this year and that was probably the biggest fail of all. I slacked a lot on exercise and health but I'm going to make that a goal for 2018 too.

When I look back at those goals, I see I wasn't very intentional with them. I didn't take the time to actually think them through and I didn't make realistic plans to actually achieve them. And that's something I definitely want to do differently in 2018.
I'm still thinking about what I want to achieve next year but I already know I want to be more organized, focused and intentional because I know I wasn't any of those in 2017.
I got from a couple of places the idea of breaking down the year into quarters and plan them individually and that's what I'm doing now, it seems a lot more manageable and less scary this way. I'd totally recommend if you're feeling overwhelmed by all the things you want to do! Breaking big things down into small chunks makes them a lot less scary.
I can already tell you I'm planning on having a very productive and busy 1st quarter!
I wish you all the best for the New Year and thank you for your support and feedback during this year. You have no idea how important it is for me!

One year on etsy - What have I learned

It's the first year anniversary of my online shop on etsy. I decided it would be a great excuse to share with you what I've learned this year and what I wish I'd done differently.

An etsy shop is a commitment
This isn't like one of those places where you drop a file and wait for the money to get to your bank account. Etsy will reward you for being active and updating regularly. Your shop won't work unless you do.
I've noticed a real drop in sales/favourites/views from March until now and I realized this was due to the fact that I stopped talking about the shop. I was too busy to update it on a regular basis and that's ok, I had to prioritize other stuff. But I got discouraged by my stats when in fact it was my own fault. If people don't know you're selling, they can't buy it.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped talking about my shop almost completely. I got self-conscious and afraid people might get sick of me always mentioning it. But what I need to understand is that even the people that really like your work don't see everything you post. That's due to the algorithm everyone keeps talking about and also... people have lives that don't allow them to be online 24/7. So you see, making one post about that new product and never mentioning it again is probably not enough. And I shouldn't get discouraged when people don't buy it.
This created what I called the cycle of disappointment


The other day I asked people on insta-stories if they knew I had an online shop.
I shouldn't be surprised that almost half the people who responded didn't know I had it.

Know your why
The tagline I created for my shop is paper goods to make you smile.
I wanted to make things that people wanted to own and that made them happy whenever they looked at it.
Also, as a designer, the quality of what I'm selling is very important to me. For my prints, I use a fine art paper with a beautiful cotton feel and they should last more than a lifetime. I never want my clients to think they're getting something that feels cheap. (I've been there as a client and I never want my clients to feel that!) This obviously means my products have to be more expensive than something printed on my cheap home printer.
But to be honest, I didn't create the shop thinking it'd be my main source of income. Don't get me wrong, the money is nice, very nice! But with the time it takes me to create/produce/photograph/write descriptions/package orders, I know I don't make a lot of money there. Then I think of how happy you might be when you finally open it and it really is worthwhile.
If you keep in mind why you started you shouldn't get discouraged by the things that aren't directly related to it.

Make more products
Let's get to the practical stuff. The more products you have available, the more chances of them getting discovered.
In my shop I sell mainly prints for two reasons:
1. I love them;
2. They require the least money investment on my part - meaning that if they don't sell as much, I lose less money because I can print fewer of them.
But I've realized that products that have a purpose and aren't just decorative tend to be better received.
The calendar I made last year was my most sold piece ever and the postcards also sold well.
This gave me the confidence to invest in creating new products this year (like the notebooks I shared with you last week).


Shipping is a pain
Be careful with your shipping materials and costs.
Fortunately, I spent a lot of time researching which was the best way to package my orders and have them arrive at their destination in pristine conditions. So I'm happy to say I never had a problem in that department.
I wasn't as careful when calculating shipping costs so I have to tell you that I had to pay more shipping than I anticipated more than once. So take your time.

This year I made 50 sales. Most of them were for the US. And my products now have their homes in places like Portugal, UK, Canada, The Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria.
If you ever bought something from me: Thank you for supporting me and helping me believe I can live this life that I love.

New book is out!

Disclaimer: The book I'm going to talk about is in portuguese. I hope the illustrations are interesting enough to have you stick around till the end of the post.


The last book I illustrated has been released this week and I can finally share more about it!
This book is about food. It aims to teach children about where it comes from, why is it good for you. And I'm not saying this because I'm involved, but it's still quite fun.


One of the best parts of illustrating a book is reading the text and imagining what you can do to make it richer.  Asking yourself "How can I best complement what is written?" And I had a blast doing that in this book.
Besides the illustrations, I also did all the design of the book. It's always great to have projects where I can do the two things I like the most: illustration and design. I haven't done much design work lately and I missed it.
Doing both things allowed me to plan the book as a whole: I designed for the illustrations and I illustrated for the design. I believe this helped make the book very cohesive even though it's not a storybook.
This book was also the perfect excuse to finally finish a font I started drawing 5 years ago. So in this book you'll find my illustrations, my design, my font and my hand lettering. There is a lot from me in it and I really hope you like it.


How I create a custom illustration


I've realized I don't talk much about the custom illustrations I do.
I'm not even sure if this is the right way to refer to them. Basically custom illustrations are pieces people commission me to do mainly for personal use or to offer as a gift. 
Whenever I have a request I always try to find the time to do them. It's such an honor to be asked to do these works that I always try to do my best to be deserving of it. Which usually means it turns out to be a very time-consuming process but I'm always very pleased with the result. And my clients too, at least that's what they tell me :)
I did this piece two months ago but only had time to edit the footage now. I tought it could be interesting to share with you a bit of the proccess of doing this kind of work.

How to survive slow months as a freelancer

This article was first shared in my newsletter

Slow months are a scary thing when you're a freelancer.
You've been working nonstop for months and when you're starting to think freelancing is finally starting to work out for you, you stop receiving emails with new work proposals.
At first, you almost don't even notice it as you're really busy. When it's been two weeks you start considering that something may be wrong with your email provider... 
Summer months tend to be slower months when it comes to freelance (depending on your area of work, obviously). But it's hard not to freak out and think you're the worst and you'll never get a new project again.
Here are some ideas of things to do when no new work is coming your way:

Work on your brand
This is something a lot of freelancers neglect especially when they have a lot of work in their hands. But if you're being paid to work on someone else's brand you can understand how important that is. So making time to work on your own is important.
This summer I'm thinking of creating a terms & conditions document to send out to future clients. I don't have anything like that and I can really benefit from being able to communicate clearly with my clients.
I also want to make time to create more videos for my youtube channel as I believe it's an awesome way to reach new people who wouldn't normally come across my work.
I believe that presenting yourself as a consistent brand will help people remember you when they need someone with your skillset.

Create new products
I love creating new products! It's awesome to change things up and to create freely without having to follow a briefing while still having your audience in mind. These products you create in your slower months can later be used as passive income streams to balance your finances when you're busier again.

Update your portfolio
If you find it hard (and boring) to update your portfolio on a regular basis, trust me, you are not alone (I am here with you...). But you also know how important it is, right? Use this time to upload the best projects you did in the last months. I'll be taking the time to write case studies for some of my client projects as I think it's something my portfolio needs.

Create a side project
You probably know I really believe in the power of side projects. It's a great way to create the kind of work you want to be hired for in the future.
I'd really love to have some more editorial illustration opportunities next year so I could create a project to showcase my skills in that area.

Send out promotional mail
 I believe this is still a powerful way to find new clients and keep in touch with old ones when you're an illustrator. But I have to confess I'm terrible at it. This summer I'd like to take the time to do it. But I'll probably wait until September to actually send them out.

Relax and enjoy
We're never satisfied. When you're working nonstop you wish you had more time for your projects and when you have the time you freak out and refresh your email waiting for a new client. This time I will try to stop and enjoy the time I have without feeling guilty about it. I'll binge watch a new tv series and I'm even taking a two-week vacation where I'm considering not taking my laptop with me. Can you believe that?

It's not always easy to stay positive when you're going through this but honestly what other choice do you have?
If everything goes well I won't even have the time to do all these things before new work comes my way. But at least I'll have a plan when it happens again.
I'll keep you posted.

What I've learned in a year as a freelancer

This post was first published in my monthly newsletter

It has been a year since I decided to take a leap of faith and decided to become a self employed illustrator and designer. This year has been filled with ups and downs and I've learned a lot so far. In this post I share a bit of what I've leaned so far!

1. Consistency is key
Now I’m sure you heard this already, I know I have! But one thing is reading about it and other is to know it from experience.
As humans, there’s only a limited number of people we can remember. Ideally, your name is one that comes to mind when someone asks “do you know any illustrators that can do this job?” Being present and staying relevant will help people remember you.
I believe a lot of the work I got this year came about from frequently showing up in people’s social media feeds.

2. Self-motivation is also key
Being a freelancer and working from home, you can imagine how easy it is to hit that snooze button in the morning and staying in your pajamas all day. Especially when you have no clients depending on you. Trust me, I know! I’ve been there!
But try thinking of having no clients as an opportunity. The opportunity to create for yourself the kind of work you want to be hired for! Creating your own projects will make you want to get up in the morning and be excited to be living your dream life. And it will pay off in the long run.

3. Be organized
I’ve always been organized when it comes to work, it came naturally to me and I didn’t have to work too much on it. But organization means something different when you don’t have a boss telling you what to do nor a teacher reminding you when’s the next project due.
One of the first things I did was buying a planner which I’ve been using religiously ever since (I’m now trying the bullet journal technique).
I’m terrified of missing a deadline or forgetting to answer someone. So having somewhere I can write down everything that I need to do really helps. This way I don’t have to rely on my memory, I can rely on my journal.

4. Organized finances / organized life
So I told you I’m organized when it comes to work, right? When it comes to finances the story is quite different…
Having your finances organized will help you know how much you earned, which are your main sources of income, where did you spend money, how much will you need for taxes, etc. In short, it will help you answer the question “Is my business sustainable?”
Not being organized with my finances is a major source of stress for me and something I need to get better at ASAP.

5. Diversify your sources of income
As a freelancer, you shouldn’t really put all your eggs in one basket. Having different sources of income will help you find balance. If you’re a freelancer you probably heard of passive income and how important it is especially in months where client work was scarce.
My main sources of income are client work, personal commissions, my etsy shop and my cell phone cases. But I’d like to find more in the future.

6. You will feel lonely
I’ve always considered myself as an introvert. So I didn’t think working alone would be a problem for me. Turns out it sometimes is. I don’t mind being alone most of the time but I do miss having someone to talk to, share doubts and ask for simultaneous feedback. I miss making jokes.
To fight the loneliness I try to work from cafes at least once a week. I’ve also been trying to meet people with a similar mindset or career (you’re welcome to join me if you want!). Using a co-working space is something I sometimes think about and if I find something small and affordable I’ll consider joining it!

7. Saying “no” is hard but important
This was one of the hardest things I’ve learned so far. Having something tell you they like and trust your work enough to want to work with you is one of the most precious things you can have. It’s hard to walk away from that. So hard that you’ll say “Yes” more often than not and suddenly you have more on your plate than you can chew. Which will make you stressed and overworked. You will feel anxious at the idea of disappointing someone who trusted you. But, ultimately I think it’s about respect. You have to respect yourself and your limits. And most of all you have to respect the people who want to work with you. You should never give them less than your best. So if you feel you can’t deliver work at your highest quality, just be brave enough to say no.

8. Find what makes you different.
Let’s be realistic: there isn’t really a shortage of designers out there. If you type “freelance designer” on google you’ll get 528000 results. There’s a lot of us out there. And there are a lot of designers capable of delivering a project with results just as good as yours. So you need to find something that makes you unique and explore it, and let people know about it.

9. You shouldn’t always be working
This one’s pretty obvious, right? So why am I even mentioning it? Because I fail to follow it on a daily basis.
One of the perks of having a 9 to 5 job is that you’re often able to come home at the end of the day and unwind. That’s hard to do when all your business relies on you. Even when I’m trying to relax, there’s always a voice in my mind telling me what I have to do. What I find that helps me sometimes is making realistic to do lists every day. When I finish all the items on my list I give myself permission to relax ’till the next day.

10. It will take time to get to where you want to be
When I started freelancing I gave myself a deadline: I was going to try it for 6 months, if I couldn’t do it I’d give up forever and try something else.
Let me tell you something, 6 months isn’t enough time! A year isn’t enough and I’m not ready to quit just yet.

11. Write down your goals and make plans to act on them
Mine is to make a living out of illustration, being happy while doing it and making others happy with my work. But a goal without a plan is just a dream (I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere). It’s important to make plans. They’ll tell you how to act in order to reach your goals.

12. Believe in yourself
A daily struggle and something I need to remind myself of. One of the things that have helped me lately when self-doubt kicks in is remembering the people who believe in me and have trusted me already. When I doubt myself is almost like I don’t trust their opinion. That usually helps.

how can cafe working help you be more productive

 photo from  Tania carvalho

photo from Tania carvalho

When I started working from home I realized I’m not as focused as I thought I was.
I get distracted quite easily and if I didn’t seem like much of a problem when I was only doing it on the weekends, it sure is when all your income depends on it.
Add that to the fact that working from home can feel quite lonely sometimes and you get the reasons why I added working from cafes to my weekly routine.

What kind of work can you do?

As an illustrator, I usually need a lot of space and tools to work. That's not ideal when you want to work from a coffee shop. But, if you're a freelancer you know that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes, other than the actual work you're usually hired for.
What I find works for me is doing the tasks that I find myself procrastinating the most when I’m at home and that doesn't take much space. I usually do all my written work from cafes. Everything from blog posts, emails, budget requests are usually done in the morning while drinking a nice cappuccino at a coffee shop.
I find that my writing is slowly getting better because I now take specific time to work on it. Sometimes I can also do some initial sketches that don’t require the computer. It depends on what I need to do that week.

Reasons to work from cafes when you’re a freelancer

It's inexpensive
Co-working spaces are a nice option for freelancers but depending on the places, locations, and commodities it can get quite expensive. If you can’t afford it right, cafes can be a cheaper alternative and with a delicious breakfast.
Less distractions
It may seem weird but I find it less distracting to work from a coffee shop where everyone is doing their thing than from home where there’s always something to do or something to clean.
Getting out of the house
Ever since I started working from home I need to find reasons to get out of the house. I never really spend my day working in my pajamas (I have to walk my dog everyday) but there are days where I don’t do more than that. Adding the cafe work to my routine gives me a reason to get dressed and out of the house, new people and different sceneries are good for the mind.
Helps to socialize
I haven’t met anyone while working from a cafe yet but I know people who have. But sometimes, instead of working alone I get together with a friend and instead of being alone we make each other company.

Tips for cafe working

Create a routine
Cafe working is now part of my weekly routine. The number of times I do it each week depends on the kind of work I have to do. But I’ll do it at least once. Having that as part of my weekly routine gives me something different to look forward to.
Have a topic in mind
When I head to a cafe I usually already have in mind what I need to get done. This helps me stay focused and I know that when that’s done, the “cafe work” part of my day is done.
Charge your laptop
I know this isn’t the same for everyone but I find it works perfectly for me. If my laptop is fully charged I won’t have to worry about sitting next to a power plug and I also know exactly how many time I have which makes me get focused easily.
Choose accordingly
Some cafes are busier than others. Some have bigger tables, others don’t have wifi. So if you have some research to do, maybe good WIFI is important but if the internet will get you distracted, not having wifi is probably a better option.
Try to think of what you need before choosing your spot and try to used a few different places and switch between them so you never get bored.

to blog or not to blog.

I've started my first blog in 2007 and I've been on and off it ever since. At first I only shared funny stories and thoughts but as my path evolved to a more creative career I started sharing more and more about it.
With time and as I began working creatively I grew more attached to my work and it also became harder to share it openly as it felt way to personal. And internet trolls exist and I admit they got to me.
With this blog (and other things I'm doing like the newsletter and the youtube channel) I'm trying to fight it and share more about me, my process and my work.

I love other creative people's blogs and that's what Inspired me to add a blog to my portfolio.
With the rise of social media, blogging lost some of its power and I understand that not everybody wants to take the time to come and check my blog out. But I also feel that if you're here, it's because you are truly interested and that's my greatest encouragement to share more of what I don't share there. I hope this blog feels like a much closer connection to me because I definitely feel the same.

Blogging isn't easy. And I believe it's even harder when you're not particularly good with words. I could make this an image based blog but I don't really connect to those so I don't want to do that for myself. You have plenty of nice imagery if you just open your Instagram feed. I want you to have more here.

In the future, I want these posts to be more valuable to you. 
It's hard to objectively look at myself and think of what valuable knowledge can I share when I believe I have so much to learn.

Even though I don't get much feedback on these posts I know you're there (not to sound creepy but I see you on the analytics - the blog is one of the most visited pages of this website). I hope you're finding value here. And I hope one day you'd like to share your thoughts with me.

a week in the life of an illustrator

I love vlogs from other creatives. I always feel inspired to create after watching one of them and I have found myself thinking I wanted to make them too. So I finally just decided to gather the courage and do it.
Making videos isn't easy. If you're anything like me, you'll understand how hard it is to talk to a camera and on top of that having to edit it too!
Turns out I really liked the process of making it and the final result, even if I still cringe when I watch myself talk...
So here's a little peek into a usual week in my life as an illustrator.

Working happily

When I started working for myself, something I didn’t really expect happened: I started going to bed at night thinking I couldn’t wait for the morning to come so that I could get to work again.
Even when there were no client projects, and almost no money was coming in, I was still happy with what I was going.
I was working happy.

Work hard
I read a lot about working hard, productivity and making better use of your time. So much so that I often feel guilty about the time I spend watching silly videos on youtube. I know I could be working harder.
Working alone requires a lot of self-discipline and I’m still trying to adapt to it. I’m also learning tricks to keep myself from procrastinating (like writing to you from a cafe instead of doing it at home).
I’m trying to accept that I’m working as hard as I can and not as hard as I see other people do on social media. Let's face it, we're only sharing our good times there. Having a to-do list as helped with that. I now keep track of everything I do and when I feel like I haven’t done much, I can go back to my list and see what I actually accomplished.

Work smart
Another thing people say we should do is to work smart. And it makes sense! You can be working hard at something but if you’re not doing it right, you won’t see much results, you’ll get discouraged and eventually give up.
I’m not sure I’m working smart. I have a lot of ideas and I should probably focus my attention a bit more. But there’s so much I want to do. I really need to get better at this, maybe I should write it on my to-do list…
This brings us back to working happy.

Work happy
As you can probably guess, I’m not happy all of the time. What I shared here brings me a lot of anguish and even though I wake up happy and excited most days, it also takes me a lot of time to fall asleep. I keep thinking if I’m doing the right choices, or that I should have worked harder that day…
But I’ve decided to embrace this “work happy” as a life motto because if I’m happy with what I’m doing, I must be doing something right.

Inspiring Side Projects #1 - Thanking around

I love side projects!
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, a side project is something you do aside from your main job. It's a creative outlet that allows you to fulfill a passion you probably don't get to explore anywhere else. You do it because you want to challenge yourself, you want to get better at something or maybe acquire a new skill.
There are a lot of reasons for having a side project but what they usually have in common is that it's something you are passioned about and committed to.
I also find it very inspiring to find new side projects other people created. My favourites are the ones where I think I wish I had that idea!
That's why I wanted to share some of my favourite side projects from fellow creatives. Inspiration needs to be shared.
My lastest discovery was Thanking Around by Isabella Lião.

Isabella is a letterer and digital nomad. In this project, she creates a lettering piece with the words thank you in the language of the countries she visits. She then offers a print version of the finished piece to the hosts she stayed with.
Just by itself this idea seems awesome to me but Isabella goes the extra mile and also shares the process she goes through when creating each piece. From photos she takes and uses as inspiration for the piece, till the actual creation of the piece sharing her doubts and the obstacules the found along the way.
It shows you that design isn't only about making things pretty, it's about transmitting a message in the best and most engaging way possible.
I just hope that she travels a lot for me to keep seeing these lovely pieces!

daily art challenge

I love daily art challenges.
I started with the 26 days of food lettering. Then came inktober and 31 days of creating animal watercolours and my last project involved creating one penguin illustration every day for a month.
The truth is these challenges are hard to commit to and they do take up a lot of time. I even wrote a post with a few tips about it.
When Catarina challenged me to create one piece every day for a week even tough I 've been quite busy lately, I knew I had to do it.
Whenever I want to draw something just for the sake of creating, my go to ideas always seem to feature animals. I noticed it started to be my safe area so I wanted to change things a bit this time and decided it could be a good idea to practice drawing people. So that's the route I've taken.

These pieces took me around 3 to 4 hours to create each day (the one with all the faces took even longer!). I really like most of the pieces I created for the challenge and three of them were even updated to my portfolio. It was a very good experience!

 sneak peek into the process of creating the illustrations

sneak peek into the process of creating the illustrations

April overview

I can't believe April has come and gone!
Let me share with you some of the highlights of my month and even where I feel I failed:

1. I started working on a new book! It's going to be a lot of work and a very challenging project but I'm super excited about it.

2. I received some of the cases I illustrated for gocase and I created a few more. It makes me very happy to know people like my work enough to have it with them all day everyday.
Did you know my horny unicorn case is my most sold item?

3. My first editorial illustration was released and I got my copy in the mail this month. I loved working on it. So much so that I can't wait to have the opportunity to work on something similar in the future.
I wrote a blog post about it, you can read it if you want to see more details.

4. I started working on my first font ever! I drew the letters 4 years ago but never finished it until now. Vitória gave me a lot of advice and even said that with some tweaks it could be good enough to sell! Which to be honest never crossed my mind. I'll let you know if I do it. Until then here's a sneak peak of it.

5. This month I also conquered one of my fears and finally made a youtube video talking to the camera. I'm still super self-conscious mainly about my english and whether or not I have something valuable to share but I'm glad I did it. I really want to be an illustrator with a youtube channel.

6. This month I neglected my etsy shop a bit and I'm quite sad about it. Hopefully I'll be better at it in May. I have some new prints I want to put up and I really need to take some time to take care of that!

my work in PPM

Today I’d like to share with you one of my most recent works and one I’m very proud of.
Last month I was invited to create the illustrations for an article of Pet Product Marketing magazine.
was over the moon: illustrating an article about pets! Could there be a better theme for my first editorial illustration work? The answer, as you may have guessed is no.

The challenge of translating text into images and add something new to it isn’t easy (or it wouldn’t be a challenge) but it’s what I love most about it! I really enjoyed creating these illustrations.
I was so happy when I received my copy in the mail…
I’m looking forward to making this kind of work again soon! So if you know of or have any kind of editorial work you think I could be a good fit for, tell me!

my #meettheartist

This week I finally shared my #meettheartist and I used that excuse to finally make a new video for my youtube channel!
But before making my own I decided to check the lovely world os instagram for some inspiration and I made a selection with some of my favourites! 

 kimliesterdesign | gabriel.soareszz | story_monster purpleland_ | kamisketsa | mikelodigas alvaro_ortiz_ |  greenpotion | srita.ment

kimliesterdesign | gabriel.soareszz | story_monster
purpleland_ | kamisketsa | mikelodigas
alvaro_ortiz_ |  greenpotion | srita.ment

This is the first video I made speaking to the camera. It was scary. It still is...
But anyway, I really liek how my meet the artist turned out. I love to have Tosta (my dog) by my side because that's usually how I work nowadays: WIth her asking for attention from time to time.
I hope you like it!


Ladies, Wine & Design

 photo from Ladies, Wine & Design - Lisbon

photo from Ladies, Wine & Design - Lisbon

Whenever I attend a Ladies Wine & Design (LW&D) event or when I talk about it, there's always a few people curious about it so I decided to write about it today as it's been a week since I attended one of their events.

If you don’t know what LW&D is here’s a little description I found on their website

Ladies, Wine Design was started by Jessica Walsh after writing this article as an initiative to foster female creativity. Only a tiny percent of creative directors are women, and LW&D wants to help change this through mentorship circles, portfolio reviews, and creative meet-ups. In less than a year of launching, we've spread to chapters in over 75 cities all over the world. In New York, LW&D is a monthly salon night limited to a small group of creative women. We’ll wine, dine, and have casual conversations on a wide variety of topics relating to creativity, business, and life.

The event was brought to Portugal by two awesome ladies (Bárbara and Yana) and it has been hosted in different locations since last July. The themes have varied from freelance to leadership and family/career balance...

I used to work with Bárbara in my last job so that how I first heard about the event.
Now, as you may or may not know I’m quite a shy person (and an introvert) so even the word event can be scary to me. But when LW&D was first starting out I was still working full-time with Bárbara and I could see her enthusiasm and how happy she was and that was so contagious that I knew I wanted to attend and be part of it. So far, I’ve been to three of them.

And what’s the difference between LW&D and other creative events? First of all, it’s for women only and most subjects are seen from a feminine perspective and we talk about the struggles we have as women in the creative industry. But one of my favorite parts of it is the fact that it’s for 6 people only which means there’s space for everyone to talk, give and receive feedback! There are never small groups formed, which tends to happen in bigger events and the conversation is so interesting and flows so naturally that you don’t usually feel time pass.

 Group photo from one of the events I attended where we showed our portfolios and gave critique and advice to each other. Photo by Olga Moreira

Group photo from one of the events I attended where we showed our portfolios and gave critique and advice to each other. Photo by Olga Moreira

In every event, Bárbara and Yana invite two women to talk about their experience in any given topic. I just learned that this is something they added to the original event and I find it to be a great idea as it usually helps to break the ice and begin the conversation.

Hosting an event like this while having to also focus on your work can’t be easy and I have huge respect for what Bárbara and Yana are doing, so much so that I really want to see LW&D grow and grow in Portugal even if it means the events are always fully booked and I can no longer attend them!

I hope this sparked your interest! The event happens in a bunch of cities around the globe, you can see if there's one close to you here. And if there isn't, how about creating it yourself?
If you're near Lisbon, please consider attending one of the next events! Visit its facebook page for more details.

March overview

Hello dear friends!
Let me start by saying I love my job!
There has been a lot of ups and downs and I'm sure this is just the beginning, but I really love what I'm doing and what I've acheived so far. I actually need to put that in writting to remember it when times get rough.
About rough times... I had a few this month. What helped was putting things in prespective and thinking where I've been and how much I've evolved.

 how I used to draw a cat in 2006 and how I am doing it 10 years later. I can definetely see some evolution!

how I used to draw a cat in 2006 and how I am doing it 10 years later. I can definetely see some evolution!

On a brighter note, this month was packed with exciting new things and projects! Here are a few I can already share with you:
The third book I illustrated was finally released! It's the traditional tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and it's available in Pingo Doce (a national store) 

 the last book I illustrated

the last book I illustrated

I created two new little illustrations I really like and also received some lovely feedback from you on social media. Over the next few weeks they'll be added as prints to my shop

 two illustrations I really liked making this month and that will become prints in my shop

two illustrations I really liked making this month and that will become prints in my shop

I also shared a bit of the process of creating my Amy Winehouse illustration. It isn't easy for me to share work that isn't final yet but I'm glad I did! You can read more about it here.

This month I created some editorial illustrations for an article about pets (what a great subject!!!) and I'll be sharing the final results soon! I'm now searching for some more work in that are so if you have an awesome article that would benefit from my illustrations, make sure to contact me!

Yesterday I attended a Ladies, Wine & Design event. It was my third one and I'm planning a post about it later this April so make sure to come back for that.

This month I decided it was finally time to create my newsletter. I started working on it and I already had the first draft ready. But then I came across a few articles about why you shouldn't start one and I found myself second guessing the decision. There are obviously ups and downs to it. I think I'll eventually go ahead and do it but decided to think about it for a little while longer as I really want to make something that's worth the confidence of the people subscribed.

I guess this is pretty much it! I really like writing these overview posts. I hope you like them too. And I hope you feel confortable enough to also share some of your achievements this month down in the comments. I'd love to read it!