based in São Paulo . SP
26 years . illustrator

I'm from São Paulo, a typical taurus and illustrator for almost 2 years. Actually, I graduated in Advertising and spent a good part of my life without drawing (which I always loved to do since I was a child) because I believed that I needed to choose a "serious" profession. I thought drawing was just a hobby and I never considered working with it. I became more and more unhappy, depressed and anxious about my professional life and didn't like the area. After graduating, I did a vocational test and I thought the solution was to take a Librarianship course (yes! Haha). I hated it and that was the height of my professional dissatisfaction - I felt bad all the time. I was going to the hospital sure that I was having a heart attack and found it harder and harder to leave the house until I was diagnosed with Panic Syndrome. I stopped everything to re-evaluate my life and by doing therapy, I ended up reconnecting with my artistic side. With time I was evolving and I started to dedicate myself only to my illustrations. Today my work is dedicated to the feminine universe: I speak a lot about self-esteem, body acceptance and mental health. I post in English because most of my followers are currently from other countries, which is an incredible recognition for me.

Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
// Which media do you use to express yourself?

My biggest tool is my dash. I love watercolor too, but whether it's drawing with the pen on paper or doing a digital illustration, I feel like I always leave a little bit of myself at every risk.

// What is your biggest motivation to create? What inspires you?

What motivates me the most is to inspire and help others. I get lots of messages from girls saying that my art make them feel more self-confident and that's a huge motivation for me! I am very inspired and interested in the human being in general. Hearing an outburst, a story or having a conversation with someone, all this inspires me to create.

Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
// What is your creative process like?

My creative process is very simple after I decide the subject of an illustration. The most difficult part is deciding what I want to express, since I always try to get a message across. I try to exchange ideas with my followers and do research until the inspiration comes. When I already have the idea, I look for references (Pinterest always!) and start drawing. After doing the sketch, I go to the computer and do the digital illustration.

// What do you do in your daily routine to help maintain creativity?

I think my curiosity is what helps me the most to stay creative. I am very interested in realities different from mine and I am always watching thousands of documentaries or browsing in internet on the most diverse subjects. I think that taking time to rest also helps a lot! When it comes to creativity, a daily pause could be very positive.

Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
// What are you favorite works or projects that you have done? What was the motive?

All the illustrations I've done on self-esteem mean a lot to me, for sure. But the drawing I made about anxiety is special, because it's also about me and everything I've been through. To illustrate about it was a moment of overcoming and liberation. It represents that today I live well with my anxiety and this is a victory.

// Did you have any time or decisive moment? How did this influence your trajectory?

I have two! The first was when I ended a long relationship. Before this, I wanted very much to talk about a cause with my art and did not know how, nor about what exactly. After that I had new experiences and I knew myself much more, which resulted in empowering illustrations. The second was when the american singer Kehlani posted a drawing of mine and I gained a visibility that I did not expect. It was a very happy surprise!

Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
// Who are your influences, inspirations, or preferred artists? How do they reflect in your own work?

The illustrator who inspired me the most as soon as I started drawing was Amanda Mol. Because of her I saw that it was possible to be successful doing what you love and I was enchanted by her art. I was sure I wanted to go that way, too. I love the illustrations of Laura Callaghan, Leah Reena Goren, Ambivalently Yours and dear Christie Begnell. Also I find all the women who dedicate themselves to being "Bopo Warriors" very inspiring. The former are reflected in my techniques and the others in my ideas for illustrations.

// Do you think there still exists a bias in relation to women's free expression? Do you feel this in your work?

Yes for sure! I get negative and even offensive comments about some of my work, mainly because I'm a feminist and I talk about controversial things. It is still hard for some to accept that there are women expressing themselves without fear and expectation of approval.

Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria
// What makes you happy?

My family, my work, my friends, my dog, eating, Netflix, the messages of affection I receive and being able to make some positive difference in the world, no matter how small it is.

// What tips could you give to other women to help them bring their creations into reality?

I think it's very important to follow your intuition, to not be afraid of being authentic and trying new things. Everything flowed much better in my life when I followed my heart and began to create according to what touched me and made sense to me.

// Do you have a new project in the works?

I have a few things in mind, but after a few requests right now I've been thinking a lot about creating a Youtube channel to talk about some of the ideas I share in my work. The idea is to have another tool where I can talk more and encourage people about self-esteem, self-love and mental health. It's likely to happen soon, let's see!

Marcela Sabiá por Projeto Curadoria

Photos: Vanessa Nunes