INTERVIEW WITH FATINHA RAMOS
Fatinha Ramos is an award-winning Antwerp-based illustrator and visual artist originally from Portugal. After working in art direction and design for twelve years, she took the giant leap of following her dream, working full-time as an illustrator. Since then her work has appeared all over the world and received awards from the Society of Illustrators NY, Creative Quarterly, 3x3 , Commarts magazine, Global Illustration Award, World Illustrations Awards, among others...
Open-minded and full of creative somersaults, she tears down all the classic conventions, taking us on a journey through her imaginary world of singular textures and rich colors. Fatinha has worked her magic on children’s books, covers, posters, news articles, advertising, fashion, animations, theater, and diverse personal projects.
One of her latest children’s books pubished by MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art of New York) “Sonia Delaunay. A Life of Color” got a New York Times Book Review and a Global Illustration Award.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
I am Fatinha Ramos, an illustrator and Visual Artist from Portugal based in Antwerp.
My first exhibition was when I was eight years old at the orthopaedic departement from the Children’s Hospital in Coimbra, Portugal.
I don’t remember wen I started drawing, I just remember I did it on a natural way, like breathing... Because I passed most of my youth in hospitals, drawing and creating really saved my life.
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
I have a lots of imagination, and I try to tear down all the classic conventions avoiding the dangerous pitfalls of clichés. Instead, I want to take the viewers on a journey through my poetic imaginary world of singular textures and rich color pallet. My strong conceptual illustrations and surreal compositions create an emotive, fascinating and unique universe.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
As creative person, I do believe all creatives look to the World on a different way, we look to all the details around, we observe.
Everything around me can be a inspiration, even a shadow on the street, or even while I sleep. But I get a lot of creative input from other forms of art; like music, dance, architecture, theatre, poetry... But this is about 20% of my inspiration. Most of my inspiration 80% come when I am actually working - then all the ideas flow on a magical way.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
I want to touch people, I want that they recognise themselves, or that they get a certain awareness about a certain subject. I want to take the viewers on a journey through my poetic imaginary world.
When do you know that an artwork is finished?
My work is never finished, and it will never be. It’s all about the process, and not about the final result.
But when I do illustration on demand, I do have deadlines, thats the way I know I have to let it go...
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
Is difficult to compare, because there were so many different career moments that gave such great excitement.
At the moment I can think about two of them.
First one is the children’s book “Sonia Delaunay. A Life of Color” published by MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art New York. I enjoyed a lot making illustrations about a woman artist immigrant, just like me. Love her work too.
The second moment was definitely giant artwork I did to cover the Town Hall building (Unesco World Heritage building of 450 years old) of the city of Antwerp. It will undergo renovations till 2020, and I made huge illustrations to cover it in a meanwhile.
How long does it take to produce one work?
It depends of the kind of work. Sometimes it takes me months, sometimes a week. One artwork idea can come sometimes in the same day.
What exciting projects are you working on right now?
I am working on children’s books. In between I try to make time to work on my personal project which is still secret at the moment.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
One of my artworks will be hanging at the Society Of Illustrators New York for a group exhibition of selected works for Illustrators 61 Annual Competition.