12 Nov 2020
Miserável was the name of a fanzine I had back then with a friend of mine from college. At the time we were both drawing a lot, and after college, I adopted the name to myself. At the time I didn’t think of it as a characteristic of my work, but as the time passed it ended up being connected with the tone of voice you can find in my pieces. It was never a marketing strategy or a thoughtful brand’s voice decision, I just appropriated the name as a joke, and only then things started to make sense all together. I don’t know what was created first, the name or the content itself that I have become known for.
I believe every child is creative in their essence. Some of them grow up and some don’t, and those who don’t usually find creative paths along their way, looking to express themselves in multiple ways. My family recognition appeared only as I started to appear in magazines and making exhibitions, as my firsts drawings weren’t much appreciated. They were ugly, quirky and that’s what I loved about them. Even today I don’t look for perfection. For someone who is looking from the outside that’s not an easy thing to understand. When something is really perfect, that’s easy to accept and actually enjoy it. There’s a place for everything in this world, but at first instance, I didn’t think of myself as such a creative-self.
Mariana A Miserável, Designer & Ilustrator
That’s a very funny question because people ask me that all the time, especially people from outside the creative world as if I’m an idea machine. Of course, I have those moments without ideas, but if I am looking at a certain project with a spontaneous mindset, things will eventually come up. I also think ideas can be stimulated, either by reading or talking to colleagues that are working on the same business area. I also develop most of my thinking in nearby cafes. When I say thinking what I really mean is drawing, registering things as they happen, making lists, being totally immersed in the present moment at a purely caffe scenery. I mainly use notebooks at this time, paper-pencil and my brain put to work! The importance of the notebooks are crucial here, they’re really stimulating my creativity in a completely uncomfortable and new scenario.
Tricks, yes! I am full of tricks. I usually jump from project to project regardless of the deadline, because I need to have ideas marinating for a bit. I am here doing this interview but I am also thinking about projects I left on hold just a few hours ago. I also have easiness in accepting that a certain day is not going well and I make the decision to go for a walk. As an independent worker, there are days I don’t sleep because of deadlines but there’s also the possibility of taking days off and those moments have a tremendous impact on my creativity. Walking, changing locations, as I work from home that’s important to keep changing the scenery. My creative processes change from project to project, but if there’s something that they all have in common is that they start with a drawing on a notebook. Thinking with the point of my pencil, that’s my favourite part of the entire process!
Yes! I was never a very digital person and I only bought my iPad last year! Before that, not even Wacom’s appealed to me. I am still a very manual technique kind of gal. I look at those items as helping tools for ending a project, not as something important in my process.
Mariana A Miserável, Designer & Ilustrator
At the moment my desk is very organised but mainly because of this interview. Usually is a little bit messier but it cannot be overwhelmingly messy because as I live in a very small place if everything was messed up all the time, I would find it very hard to think in here. I need my mess hidden in order to have new ideas, and these are things I learned along the way by living in a very tiny place. When I am painting bigger artworks I change the tables positioning and sometimes chaos suddenly emerges. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, everything is organised and cleaned again. This is my living space, and space for that is needed as well to reorganise my mind.
Not in the shower, surprisingly, as everyone says. I go to cafes, that’s my thing. Just your random cafe around the corner, the more invisible I can be, the best! I am not looking for posh touristy cafes, I always look for something where no-one would find me there.
Without art and culture, there’s no society. I once read a John Keating quote on Dead Poets Society movie that said something like that medicine, law, business and engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life, but poetry, beauty and love, these are what we stay alive for. This is exactly how I feel. I am not saving people’s lives on a daily, however, we can’t live without a purpose, without a cause. We need to create and that’s something inherently connected with us as humans beings. Nonetheless, these are all philosophical questions and I am much more a physical and hands-on type of person. I don’t tend to overthink my work. There’s a nice quote from Elias Regina which reflects this state of mind. I am not a football commentator, I am a football player, I need to be on the field!