36daysoftype - food type edition

If you've been following me for a while you'll know how much I love the #36daysoftype challenge.
If you don't know what it is I've talked about it here.

I have shared with you some of my favourite alphabets as the project was running last year. Even though I'm not participating in it this year, I thought I'd do it again as there is a lot of inspiration out there that deserves to be discovered.

Last year I did a food alphabet (it's still one of the projects I'm most proud of) and I realized that this year there are a few artists taking that same approach. So if you liked my alphabet I'm sure you will like these:

  Naniastua  Nani is also using the new instagram feature that let's you share more than one image in a post and showing parts of the process and detail photos in some of the letters. I LOVE this! I always find it magical to know how others create their magical images! Make sure to follow it!

Nani is also using the new instagram feature that let's you share more than one image in a post and showing parts of the process and detail photos in some of the letters. I LOVE this! I always find it magical to know how others create their magical images! Make sure to follow it!

Isn't it just great to see how different people come up with such great and different things using the same premise?


my shitty work


Last week I read this super interesting article by Femke where she talks about how the external pressure to only share great work is actually holding us back and maybe even keeping us from evolving as we're more focused on the finished product than in the process of creating.
I found it inspiring to read something that makes perfect sense but that I never really thought about:

You wanna know the truth? Everyone produces shitty work.
That famous designer you follow on Twitter? I bet they sometimes produce shitty work. Walt Disney? Probably created a bad short at one point in his life.

I don't often show in progress images of my self initiated projects for 2 main reasons:
1. For a long part of my creative process I think what I'm doing is not good enough to show anyone;
2. If I don't show it to anyone there is no external pressure to keep at it even when I think I'm never going to make something good out of it.
This doesn't apply to client work because a) I don't feel right showing work that the client hasn't seen yet and b) quitting is not really an option in that case.

But this post inspired me to share something that as I was creating it I was thinking to myself "no one will ever see this".

The three images in this gif were created in three different days of work. On the first day I did what you see first and what nearly made me quit. It's terrible, it took me a lot of time and I didn't think I could make it better. It took me over a week to have the courage to open that file and try again. And I was incredibly proud of myself for not giving up because if I had given up I wouldn't be able to create something that I am now quite happy with.

This happens with a lot of my work. Even with my first comic attempt that I showed you last week the same thing happened. I created a lot of shit and gave up (for a few hours in that case) before trying again and making something I'm happy with.

I wanted to share this to anyone out there reading that maybe felt the same recently. Just keep trying. We're all making shitty work, we're just not showing it.


my first try at comics

Let me start by saying that I never thought I'd ever make comics. But the other day as I laid in the bathtub i thought I really wanted to share it. That's how it started....

Being a full-time freelancer has been a lot more stressful than I thought it would be so I'm trying my best to find new ways to relax. 
I've heard a lot of people saying baths are super relaxing: candles, bubbles,  calm music, all that jazz. I used to take baths once in a while when I was a child but I never did it as a grown woman so I was excited to give it a try. It didn't go as planed...

Let me tell you it took me a lot of time to create something to have that this only took me 10 minutes look...
But I actually ended up liking the result and I already have a few ideas I'd like to work on whenever I have the time.
I hope you like it too.
Now, off to clean my bathroom!



thank you for the inspiration

Four years ago, while I was procrastinating on the internet, I found this guy who filmed his watercolor process. I found it so inspiring that a few days later I bought my first watercolor set (which I still use) to experiment with them. My experiment sucked and I gave up on it soon after to only get back to it last year. But that's not what this post is about...

A few months later I ended up getting a job at the same company that guy worked for. 
Years later, he told me one of his goals was to inspire people. It was only then that it occurred to me to tell him the story of how he had inspired me when we didn't even know each other. He had no idea.

Last week a girl told me I had inspired her. In a week that wasn't going particularly great, that made my day.
What I want to say with this is that I find it important to invest a bit of our time telling someone what a positive impact they had in our lives. Sometimes we don't remember it, sometimes we're too busy, sometimes we this it's not that important, that other people probably said the same thing already... But what if we're all thinking like that?

I have this friend that when she finds someone inspiring takes her time to write a thoughtful email telling them that. I always thought it was a great thing to do and that I should do the same but I never did.
I'm daily inspired by different people in different areas of my life and yesterday when I couldn't fall asleep I thought those people should know it.

This is why I decided that ever month from now on I will take a bit of my time to tell some people they inspire me.
Maybe I end up sharing them here too, what do you think? Maybe this way you also find new inspiring people. We'll see.

I thought that maybe by sharing this you'll be inspired (eheh) to do the same and make someone else's day better!


Há uns 4 anos, houve um dia em que, enquanto procrastinava na internet, encontrei os videos de um rapaz que filmava o seu processo de ilustração. Aquilo inspirou-me de tal maneira que dias depois comprei as minhas primeiras aguarelas para experimentar. Ficou uma porcaria. Desisti pouco depois para só voltar a pegar-lhes o ano passado, mas isso não é  importante agora...

Meses depois, e sem saber disso, acabei por ir trabalhar para o mesmo sítio em que esse rapaz trabalhava. 
Um dia, ele disse-me que um dos seus objectivos era conseguir inspirar pessoas. Foi só nessa altura que me ocorreu contar-lhe aquele episódio e dizer-lhe que me tinha inspirado, mesmo antes de o conhecer. Ele não fazia ideia.

Na semana passada, uma rapariga disse-me que eu a tinha inspirado. Numa semana que não estava a corre particularmente bem, aquilo fez o meu dia.

O que eu quero dizer com isto é que acho que é importante perder um bocado do nosso tempo para dizer a alguém o impacto positivo que teve em nós. Às vezes não nos lembramos disso, às vezes achamos que não é importante, que outras pessoas já lhe devem ter dito o mesmo... Mas e se estivermos todos a pensar assim? 

Tenho uma amiga que quando encontrava alguém inspirador "perdia" o seu tempo a escrever um extenso email a essa pessoa. Eu achava aquilo o máximo e que devia fazer o mesmo, mas nunca fiz. Por preguiça, por vergonha, porque eventualmente esqueci-me.
Sou diariamente inspirada por pessoas nas mais diversas áreas da minha vida e ontem, enquanto não conseguia dormir, pensei que essas pessoas deviam sabe-lo.

Foi por isso que decidi que, todos os meses vou tirar um pouco do meu tempo para dizer a algumas pessoas que me inspiraram. 
Talvez acabe por partilhar isso também aqui, o que acham? Pode ser que assim conheçam pessoas novas e que elas também vos inspirem de alguma maneira. Vamos ver.
Lembrei-me que podia partilhar isto com vocês, que pode ser que vos inspire (eheh) a fazer o mesmo e que assim possamos melhorar o dia de alguém!

January overview

january penguin illustration

January is already over. 
I intended to make a 2017 goals post but life got in the way and I ended up postponing it so much that it doesn't really make sense to make it anymore.
If you follow me on social media, or if you read my last post, you already know that in January I challenged myself by committing to create one penguin everyday.
I did it because I love penguins and I love monthly challenges.  It was hard to have only one subject to work with and I thought about giving up quite a few times but I'm glad I didn't.
I ended up with a few pieces I'm actually proud of and I'm even thinking about turning a few of them into prints and selling them on my etsy shop.

Truth is that this kind of challenges do take quite a big chunk of my time which meant that I wasn't able to complete some of the monthly goals I had set for me in the beginning of the month:
I wanted to post more frequently here on the blog which didn't happen at all during this month, and I also wanted to keep on making one new video for my youtube channel every two weeks. Between commissioned work and the monthly challenge which I obviously didn't want to fail one, I just couldn't spare the time to do it. It's hard. These aren't things I HAVE to do but are things I really WANT to do. But they take time and I've been finding it hard to put myself out there, specially in video
But not all was bad! I was able to create and share new designs in the shop and I also made more sales than I thought I was going to do in January! And I also just updated my portfolio with a few illustrations and patterns I made this past month.

I wish you a great February!
And I hope to talk to you soon.


how to successfully commit to a creative monthly challenge

I love creative monthly challenges.
This year i entered 2: In one I created and photographed one letter of the alphabet made with food. In the other I created funny illustrated cards using watercolors.
These were things I wanted to try for a while but couldn’t find the inspiration nor will to fit into my schedule. These challenges were the perfect excuse!

Why should you do a monthly challenge?

  • They’re a reason to create every day - I sometimes find that if I don’t have a specific goal it’s hard for me to sit in my chair wind just start creating something from scratch. 
  • They’re easier than a year long challenge - I love the idea of 365 days of creating something! But I’ve tried them in the past (one photo everyday and 1 sec of video everyday) and I always seem to stop by april. 
  • The end is always in sight - although 30 days may seem like a long time and when you’re actually doing it it seems like it’s never going to end, when you get to day 15 and you’re getting really tired and frustrated you know that HALF of it has already past and that makes it easier
  • You end up with a huge amount of work - 30 days of something mean 30 different pieces of work and although not all of them will be great, you’ll probably get a nice amount of work you’re actually quite happy with.
  • It’s a great way to reach new people - I participated in monthly challenges that a lot of people participate in (the #36daysoftype and #inktober) these are a great source of inspiration while also allow you to connect to and be seen by people you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.


I hope that by now you’re convinced of how great monthly challenges are! However, these challenges are not a walk in the park and I’m assuming you have other things to do in your day (a job, school, house chores…) so you can’t spend all your day doing this. There are a few things I’ve learned along the way to help me keep on track and not give up.

1st - Plan
Planing is very important in a monthly challenge. For example: In my food challenge I had to have an idea of what food I was going to photograph each day in order to buy the supplies beforehand. With my watercolors I had to buy paper and some colors I didn’t have and thought I should. Doing this before hand makes your life easier as it keeps you from wasting time

2nd - Create accountability
This may not be important for you but it sure is to me. Telling people I’m doing these challenges makes it feel more “real”. Posting these challenges online and having other people know what I’m doing makes “failing” a bigger thing than it would be if no one knew what I was doing. It's also great when your followers get involved and want to see what you're going to create next. 

3rd - Build a schedule
These challenges take time, you don’t want to rush it and make something just for the sake of it. You want to make something you can be proud of and this can take time. You’ll probably need to stop doing other things in order to fit in the time to create into your schedule. It’s prioritizing.
I, for example, like to wake up an hour earlier to work on these projects as much as I can before my actual work. Also, I usually don't watch my favorite series when I'm doing one of these projects.

4th - Have a theme
This will help you to always have an idea of what to create each day. it’s hard to sit down and think “now I’m going to draw something” all ideas seem to vanish. But if you have a theme i.e halloween/christmas/… it’s easier to come up with what to draw. There’s also a bunch of monthly challenge ideas around the web, a quick search will lead you to them.

5th - Have fun
If you’re not having fun what’s the point in doing it? Trust me, there will be times when it won’t be fun you’ll fail and you’ll have to start over. So in order for you not to quit when times get rough it needs to be something you really enjoy doing.


My next challenge

Lately I’ve noticed I love drawing penguins. Can I draw 31 different penguins? Sounds like a challenge to me! So starting january 1st I’ll be drawing one penguin everyday. It doesn’t matter the medium (It can be whatever I feel like) nor the size. It just needs to be a penguin. I hope I can stick to it.
If you'd like to know how it goes make sure to follow me on instagram as it's usually the place I post first.


My first month on Etsy + freebie


disclaimer: If you take a closer look you’ll see there that my shop was created in 2014 and that’s because a few years ago I tried to sell a couple of illustrations there but I didn’t take it seriously.

It has now been a month since I opened my etsy shop and I decided it would be a good idea to share with you my thoughts on how it has been going since it’s something I get a lot of questions about.

Starting from the beginning, I was quite scared to open the shop. I made the decision in August and it took me three months to actually launch it. Opening a shop isn’t easy, there are a lot of things to consider such as how you want your packaging to be, what items will you actually have for sale, how to take good product pictures, etc. I read a lot about it before making my decisions and still I made quite a few mistakes along the way (I can share those in a different post if you’d like).

But anyway, the process could have been quicker if I wasn’t postponing it. Truth is I was afraid of rejection. What if people don’t like it? What if i’m investing all this time and money and noone buy’s it?

The morning i finally decided to launch I was terrified. I remembered staring at that “online” button for quite a while. When I finally got the courage and hit that button and nothing happened. I remembered thinking ”well, that wasn’t so scary after all”...

At first I had prints and a pack of postcards for sale but Inktober allowed me to also put up original watercolors, calendars and greeting cards! So the shop was born and grew up a fair amount in only one month.

Taking care of each order is one of the best parts! It’s quite time consuming but I love adding a special touch to each order to let people know how important it is to me that they support my work.

I have now made 15 sales. I don’t know if in general this is a good or a bad thing but for me… it’s awesome!!! I’m super happy and excited for what’s to come. Most of my sales were made in Portugal but I also had some international ones. My work is now in the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, United Kingdom and I just made my first sale to the US today!!!

I’m super inspired to make new illustrations and put them up! I just hope you keep on supporting me as you’ve been so far.

As I'm writing this I just realized I never actually took the time to thank you for your support. You really are the best! It's great to know you're there and your feedback is very important especially in this new adventure I'm living. It's one of the reasons I love doing what I'm doing.

As you probably know already, I'm terrible with words so I decided to give you a little something to show my appreciation. It's official Christmas time to me (there are christmas songs playing on the background) so I decided my cellphone should match my mood. I created this little illustration you can also download and use as your wallpaper. There's a mobile and desktop version for you to choose from.

download here: MOBILE / DESKTOP

The story of how I decided to make a calendar

Making a physical monthly calendar has been one of my goals for a very long time…

  • Chapter 1: Ancient History

Every year for a few years now it usually goes like this: around November/December I remember I want to do a calendar, By this point it’s already too late to start creating one so I get sad and promise myself I’ll start thinking about it earlier next year. 

  • Chapter 2: Recent History

This year I remember it in the middle of September which is kind of late to start thinking about it but it’s still doable. Since it’s the first year I’m working as a full-time freelancer I thought it was kind of my job to finally do it, there were no excuses. But, and there’s always a but, I wanted to have a nice theme to work around and I couldn’t think of anything. I just admitted defeat and tried to move one.

  • Chapter 3:The fears and insecurities of the creative and broke mind

Then came October and with it Inktober. In the beginning of the month I talked to a few friends who told me I should do something with the illustrations I was creating. I remembered I could make a calendar with my favorite 12 illustrations. But I would only be able to do it in November which again… is already late to start a calendar. Also, there’s the usual doubts: you can only sell calendars for a limited amount of time and not having a huge following I’d probably end up investing the money and having a lot of calendars around every room of my house (on the upside, I could see which day is it while in the toilet… that’s the dream!). That’s a very big risk to take when you’re just starting out.

  • Chapter 4: The actual process

I ended up forgetting that idea… for a little while. Then on Saturday the 5th November I was working on my computer at night and decided to JUST DO IT. So I stayed up very late working and spent all day sunday working on this calendar.

I decided I wanted it to have a handmade feel. My inktober project was all about the ability to use tradicional mediums, it only made sense that the calendar had that same feel. So I wrote all the months and days by hand and scanned them. All the lines and numbers were also handmade by me. I have to say I quite like the end result.

  • Conclusion

And now it’s out! And I’m very happy I took the risk. It’s already my most purchased item and I’m so thankful for the support I’ve been getting!  

You can buy it here

A day in the life of a freelance illustrator.

Even when I was working a 9 to 5 job, I always loved watching “a day in the life of” videos, especially from freelance illustrators. They were living the life I wanted to live so I just watched them daydreaming.

When I finally decided to jump on the fulltime freelance train I thought I could maybe make one of my own. But there was always something stopping me. Or it was because I was to shy to put myself out there like that…. or it was because I don’t have that much commissioned jobs… Or it was because I should be working instead of wasting time on youtube…

Then, two weeks ago when I went to bed after my birthday I remember it was a great time to just start making videos. I had a lot of work that needed to be done the next day and it could work like a new year’s goal.

So I did it.

Now, I’m still not confident enough to put myself out there but I hope it gets better with time. 

For now my commitment is to make a video every two weeks. I hope I can get something done for next week!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a day in my life as a freelance illustrator. Days tend to differ a lot in my life now. I mean: I’m an illustrator and I didn’t illustrate that much that day! But maybe it’s an excuse to make a new one soon.

My shop is finally online!

Hey guys!

As you might have guessed from the pretty self explanatory title, I finally opened my shop.

There were a lot of things that needed to be ready before opening the shop, things I didn't really think about before. Maybe I can make a blog post about it as it was something I struggled with and there might be people out there like me.

This monday morning, after staying up late the night before making sure I had everything in place, i hit the publish button and the shop is now live!

It's both an exciting and scary time. The shop is setup on Etsy but you can link the shop button on the top menu of the page and it will get you there.

I hope you like what you see there and if you have any suggestions make sure to let me know! Feedback is always welcome.



After participating in #36daysoftype last april, I've been wanting to join another monthly challenge. I have been postponing it for months because I didn't have any ideas that I thought would be worth it.

For those of you who don't know, october is the month of Inktober. And what's Inktober? It's this kind of event where artists from all around the world embrace the challenge of creating one ink illustration everyday.

At first, I didn't think Inktober would be for me as I work mainly digitally and it would probably be too time consuming. Hum... sounds like a challenge!

For this challenge I was inspired by card design which is something I really like. I decided to make some mean yet cute cards because I love mixing illustration and humour together.

So now it's been 20 days, twenty illustrations using only tradicional mediums. And yes! It has been quite a challenge. And yes, these illustrations are taking me more time to create than I'd like to admit! And yes, I've been loving every minute of it!

I've even had some people asking to buy some of the illustrations so I'm thinking I'll probably sell them when the month is over! It's very exciting because it's the first time I actually have originals of my work.

inktober day 1


Hello and welcome to my blog!

Is writing the first post the hardest part? It sure seems like it...

Truth is I've had my fair share of blogs that I've given up on sooner of later. no maybe I ran out of things to say on a first post.

Here I'll share parts of my new freelance life you won't see anywhere else while also sharing what I'm learning along the way.

I guess this is it for now. I hope you'll stick around and like what you see.Talk to you on my next post if not sooner.

My top 5 alphabets from #36daysoftype

My 26 days of food type project has been going on for 17 days, which means there is only 9 more to go.
And let me let you, between pies, icecreams, nutella and guacamole, I've been eating a lot in the last days. Couldn't let it all fo to waste, right?

Anyway, the 36daysoftype still has a lot of days ahead so I'd like to share with you the top 5 alphabets I've been following. Maybe you don't know them already and end up liking them too.
As I've told you before, there is a big amount of great ideas so it was quite hard to decide my top 5.
Check them out by clicking the images.

36daysoftype are you with me?

36 days of type is a project in which you're supposed to design a letter or number of the alphabet everyday for 36 days straight. It was created by Nina Sans, Rafa Goicoecha and Victor Bregante and they invite all Designers, Illustrators and Graphic Artists to express their particular view on letters and numbers of our alphabet.
Every year (it's the third year now) designers, illustrators and lovers of lettering in general create great and inspiring pieces of design and share them mainly via instagram with the #36daysoftype hashtag. I participated in the first edition (remember this? Or this?) but skipped the second as I was taking an illustration course in London during that time.
However, I decided to get back on that train this year and I'm trying to get as many people on board with me as I can as it can be an extra motivation.
I'm only going to do the letters so it's going to be 26 days of type for me.
It starts in a week.
What do you say? Are you with me?
If you want to know more abou the project head over to their site.

Flat lay photography - my new header

I don't know if you've noticed but I've been making some changes to the layout of the blog. One of the things that was bothering me the most was the header image. It's the first thing you see when you enter a blog, kind of the first impression the reader gets and mine wasn't making me happy at all!
With that in mind, I had this idea of making a new lettering piece (every excuse is a good one). The process of creating it is something I'll probably talk about in a different post as it's something I don't usually do as everything was made manually and I usually jump to the computer stage as soon as I can...
Nonetheless today I wanted to talk about the process of creating the image per se.

I knew I wanted to take a photo in my desk with a composition of elements that were simultaneously inspiring and useful. Well...not all elements are actually useful but they tell a bit more about me when you first enter the blog (that's why there's a children's book there which wouldn't usually be on my desk while I'm working on lettering but is such an important part of me that there was no way it wasn't going to me featured there. Choosing only one was obviously the problem...

The objects that were going to appear in the image were decided but having google and pinterest as my best friends I decided it wouldn't hurt to see what others have been doing around the same subject. To my surprise, I discovered a world of articles about flat objects photography but they featured mainly beauty stuff

After laying the objects ins an organized chaos, I started to take pictures. I suggest you take an experimental photo to get your composition right. Seeing your composition through the screen is completely different and helps you see if everything is well balanced.
An important tip is when you take some photos you think you're happy with, see them in the computer. 

For example, this is the first photo I took and I thought it was ok but when I saw in the computer I realised there was a stop of white space. With everything still in place I was able to fix it. And I'm not even joking this was what editing looked like. Not comfortable but efective.

I knew I was going to use natural light so I waited for the weekend to work on this as I come home after dark during week days.
My office as a great natural light during the afternoon but it starts to get direct sunlight around 4pm and since I dind't want huge light contrats I started photographing right after lunch.

Then It was just a matter of editing the image to soften the shadows and make the letting pop a bit more.
I quite like the final result and it being the first think you see.
What do you think?

meet Tosta

Se me seguem no instagram, já conhecem a Tosta. Ela chegou cá a casa este mês e tem sido tão central na minha vida que estou a ter dificuldade em pensar num tema para o padrão do calendário do mês que vem que não sejam diferentes cocós. Vou tentar esforçar-me. Enquanto isso, aqui ficam algumas fotos dela.

If you follow me on instagram you already know about Tosta. She entered my life this month and has been so central to my life that I'm finding it difficult to think about a theme for next month's pattern (a theme other than poop I mean). I'll try harder but in the meantime here are some photos of her.

I can fly - book review

Hello there,

this second book review comes because I loved this book so much that I wanted to tell the world about how awesome it is.

I Can Fly was written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Mary Blair and is part of the Little Golden Book Classics collection.

This book from 1951 and renewed in 1979 is a small rhyme about a little girl with a lot of imagination that plays with a different animal in each spread.

My favourite thing about this book as to be the illustrations. I didn't know Mary Blair's works before but found them so magical that a book with a selection of her from this collection is already on its way.

The book ends (I've seen that in other edition this comes in the begining but I actually prefer it in the end) with a lovely bordered sheet of music called "I can fly" in which the lyrics are the text of the book.

What better book to read in an afternoon in the sun?

If you want to buy it you can for only €4.23 for example in Book Depository.

See you soon.

Hyperactivitypography from A to Z - book review

As I told you before, lettering is something I really want to invest in this year. With that in mind I decided I needed new books on the subject, and any reason is a good one to buy books, right?

A few days ago, as I was searching through Amazon and Book Depository, I somehow laid my eyes on this beauty and I experienced love at first sight. I ordered it the same day and counted the days till it arrived (13 days).

I decided to present it to you because it deserves all the recognition it can get.

I can say that Hyperactivitypography from A to Z is an exercise book that at a first look may seem targeted for children buy is in fact a great tool for typography beginners as it takes a serious and clever yet fun look at this very complex subject.

My love began with the cover, pretty colour put together beautifully and the cutest characters interacting with the title.

In terms of dimension, the book is a little smaller than I was expecting (16cm x 21cm / 196 pages), I thought it was a big table book and was very pleased to discover it fit my bag perfectly, which makes perfect sense since it's an exercise book.

The book is filled with typography themed jokes that are funny and clever. I was browsing through it and found myself smiling, which trust me, has never happened before while reading about typography.

Before you start reading there are two pages with instructions on how to use the book, the supplies you need (pen, ruler, scissors...) and there's also a typometer - a ruler to measure fonts - and a ruler to measure line spacing. To me, these are more like a curious addition than a helpful tool, as I will not cut them out.

The book is divided into 28 chapters - 26 themes where each name starts with one letter of the alphabet, another one with the answers to the exercises and a final one to practice what you learn.

The next images are from different chapters. 

One of the details that I love is the colour palette used. The book is printed with only 5 colours (cream, pink, blue, green and orange) and each chapter uses only three of them, and the scheme changes in each chapter.

To me, the most difficult exercises are the ones where you need to writes the names of the fonts used in the text which tells me I need to work on that.

Have you seen Mr. Garamond up there? Definitely one of my favorite details on the book are the illustrations of the typographers!

One last thing you might be asking is "how can you write on such a lovely piece?" and the answer is I'm not, how could I? It was never my intention.

So, that's it! Are you buying it already?