Description of the Feelings in Design Form

August 15, 2017  21:57  |  Let’s talk

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Photos by ‘Mariana A Miserável’

In her works, each of us can find ourselves, our own personal worlds that are filled with different kind of emotions, feelings. Portuguese illustrator Mariana A Miserável puts in her works feelings that are hard to describe to some of us. As she explains, the work process sometimes can take a long time until it is finished and sometimes it‘s done really fast. She is working as a freelance illustrator, as the director of the illustration at JUP, takes part in many exhibitions (collective and solo), small publications. We asked her how she finds time for all her spheres and where does she find the inspiration for all the projects.

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Why did you decide to become an illustrator/graphic designer?

I’ve always had a lot of things to say and I was never good with words. The decision to become an illustrator wasn’t taken suddenly or lightly, it was just a natural process. But if I had to specify a moment, I would look back at the 3rd year of the Graphic Design course, I was at University where I decided I wasn’t cut out to be a designer and began incorporating illustration on all of my work.

Mariana, in your biography you describe shortly that when you were a little, you entered a life of ‘misery, cesspit and Rock’n’Roll’, are these 3 topics that you represent in your work and why them?

The misery is always presented in my work, both in its themes and materialization. The cesspit is part of my life and the rock’n’roll happens because I have fun with all of this.

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

What are the main themes that you seek to represent in your works?

People, life, heart-breaking stories, soap operas. In the end, misery is my motto and my inspiration.

Can you tell our readers about a day in your studio or how all the process looks like when you develop a new project? What kind of techniques, tools do you use?

I like to brainstorm and make a lot of sketches before I come up with the final drawing, so I spend most of my time subconsciously researching and inspiring myself at the most different places. Sometimes it can take a lot of time to reach the end of the process, other times it’s faster, but it’s never improvised.

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

You have developed and participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Which one was your most memorable one that brought a lot of experience?

Probably my ‘Lonely Hearts’ exhibition with Júlio Dolbeth. It was very important because we thought about it for a long time and I did lots of research for the theme that involved, speed dating, Tinder, etc. Also, it was a very personal project for me, to which I related to the subject, so that is why it is the most memorable show.

Mariana A Miserável

It seems, that you live in the world where there is no time limit. You are the director of Illustration at JUP, you take part in many collective and solo exhibitions, small publications and you design posters as well as calendars, magazines and books. How do you manage all your time as an artist, and which of these areas are the most interesting to work in?

In my opinion, there are a lot of spheres that we can mix, an illustrator can do a lot of stuff. It’s the result of the economic context and the times that we live in, and I think that it is really cool to experiment with many mediums and materials. There are no rules and that is liberating. As a freelancer, I have the luxury to decide what I’m going to do next, and I like to take advantage of that.

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

What challenges do you face in your work and while creating a project, artwork?

Sometimes you are just uninspired, sad, or tired, but you have to work anyway. Other times, you can’t do what you want, and you have to choose to do other things that pay your bills so you can do what you really want later on. I had to learn how to face those challenges by myself, but normally it’s easy because I’m really lucky and love my work.

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

How your work has changed over the years and what influenced it during the time?

One day a senior fellow illustrator asked me “what do you do in real life?” Later I realized that in the context of where I live, working exclusively as an illustrator is a bit of a light, as most of the illustrators have other jobs that pay them the bills. At the beginning, I had my father’s financial support and it took some time to reach my goal of being self-sufficient while doing what I love. Today I can say that I’m a full-time freelance illustrator and also work in illustration’s tangent areas, more artistic or more commercial.

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine

Mariana A Miserável - SwO magazine


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