My name is Fernanda but everyone I know calls me Fefê since I can remember. I live in a small seaside town in the south of Brazil but really want to move to the countryside on day. I interact more with pets than people.
Comics are the most efficient media for me to express myself, which is funny since I was never, and I’m not still, a big comic reader. I strongly believe I’m a mediocre writer and an average illustrator that makes me a decent comic artist.
My biggest motivation to create is to leave a legacy, something to proof my existence. I think a lot about death, not the act per say, but the meaning behind it, the absence. My absence, everybody else’s, and maybe the absence of the universe one day, and how this could meant our lack of meaning. Very philosophical stuff like that. That’s why I’ve been trying to find motivation on the action itself not on the result, the goal. Do something for the pleasure of doing that, it sounds simple, any child do it, but it’s very difficult for an adult. Now about inspiration, I find it in books, movies and music. Watching people can also inspire me a lot to create stories.
For commissions I wait about a week, maybe a day depending of the complexity of the project, until the deadline so I can start to work under pressure and despair. Those are the moments I usually question my career choice, my talent, my reason to live. Now for my personal projects I establish a new deadline every 3 months.
To me creativity is directly connected to limited resources. I believe creativity is the ability to find solutions between obstacles. It’s on curves and corners not on a straight line. It’s in questioning. If a question needs to be answered, it can be a mathematic problem or a blank page, part of the solution is on the tools you have. So if you have the specific tools to solve it, you don’t need to think too much. When you have infinite access to multiple tools, you freeze, it’s the famous artist’s block. But when you have just a few tools, usually not related at all to the problem, then you are forced to use your creativity. So to keep myself creative I limit some elements I work with, sometimes is a limited medium, sometimes I limit my colors, some other times my money is limited, this one has been working very well for years now.
My favorite work is my next one. And when I finish that, will be the next. I’m never satisfied with my finished work. I would change a bunch of things on Cat Chick, I would fix everything on Estranhos, but my next project is perfect, for now.
When I understood that I wouldn’t be able to work as a musician. I studied music on college and had this dream of being a soundtrack composer. But one day I saw that it wasn’t for me, so I had to find something I could do better than the majority of people and invest on that. I drew better than the people I knew so I decided to become an illustrator. Soon after I discover comics weren’t only for kids and everything feel into place. I still think music is the most magnificent way of artistic expression and I would drop everything if it started to like me as I love it. But the thing is, comics get me.
I’m on a phase where I couldn’t name any artist I love. The internet made me incredibly superficial about my interests. I’m one of those people who have infinite interests, from astronomy to bakery, and having all of this information on my hands, I end up spending most of my time watching Talking Kitty on Youtube. But generally speaking I like authors who use humor and minimal resources. That pretentiously creates something unpretentious. I like to see a virtuoso technique behind a simple and straight forward art. An example of that is my biggest idol, João Gilberto, the father of bossa nova. My goal one day is to be able to express my art through minimal lines and almost no words, if any.
Yes, it still exists not only on women’s free expression, but also against our right to come and go and even our right to make decisions about our own body. And yes this reflects on my work, on my life. We are so deep in this misogynous culture that is very difficult to understand how! Maybe that could explain my tendency to isolation, my disproportional insecurity and auto critic, my anxiety and disappointment. That’s why producing is so much important, it is the registry of a voice, even if ignored by the media, the market, the critics or society, but not by time.
My pets playing, my mom’s gnocchi, my caramel éclair, watching tv shows with my sister, passing the ugly phase of a watercolor painting, cycling on winter days.
Do as I say, don’t do as I do, be a virtuose. It’s important to have focus, and try not to distract yourself. You need to work hard because practice makes perfect. And after that you need to work harder because there’s a lot of competition. And then you work even harder because you’re a woman and the market will ignore you if it can, so you don’t let it. And if you have any other interest more rentable, you should invest on that too because living exclusively from comics is very improbable.
I’m gathering all my strength to finish Cat Chick II, and begin my new graphic novel, which I’ve been planning for quite some time now. I want to publish them this year so wish me good luck!