This summer we published Force of Nature—a Collection of Art & Stories Celebrating Fearless Women. Brazilian freelance illustrator Camila Rosa was one of the featured contributing artists. She recently took the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about her art and more.
Who is she?
She’s a 29-year old illustrator living in her hometown of Joinville, Brazil with plans to move to São Paulo soon. She began exploring illustration around 2010, when she joined a female street art collective called Coletivo Chá. In 2016, she moved to New York and had the opportunity to work as a full-time illustrator. “I did illustrations for Bust Magazine. It was my first magazine, and it was amazing! It was like a dream. I also did some work for Refinery29. After that, my life became crazy. A lot of companies started to talk to me about my art. I stayed in New York for a year and half. Then I returned to Brazil where I am now working as a full-time illustrator. In Brazil it’s very hard to live on an artist’s salary. So, this is really nice opportunity.”
How did you get into making the type of art that you do?
After high school, I went to college for design. I then started working as a product designer at a company in my hometown designing trophies. I was the only one in the department of design. I started getting tired of it. So, I started with the street art collective (Coletivo Chá). It was my first experience with real art. People were asking us to do workshops in other towns, asking us to create portraits for International Women’s Day. After that I decided I wanted to focus on illustration. In my hometown, art is nothing. It’s a very industrial city and we don’t have any opportunities to work with art. So, I moved to São Paulo. I started to work at a small illustration and design studio. After I left that job, I started doing freelance work and I started selling my work online. When I lived in New York I had time to create. My husband went to work, I went to school to learn English and started to illustrate again.
Your work is known for featuring strong, brave and diverse women. Can you speak to that?
It’s very important to show diversity on posters and magazines and it’s hard to find. In Brazil, diversity in models started to appear three years ago. Before that we didn’t have Black women or men in magazines. I think that companies are thinking about that more now. They think about how this is important. They know they need to put this on their brand. I don’t know if it’s just about money, but it’s cool. We need to put this out there so that young kids can see these people who look like them. When you are young it’s good to see similar people in magazines and outdoors. I hope that this becomes a common thing.
Where do you find inspiration?
Actually, everything inspires me. It’s a cliché, but it’s real. Walking down the street is an inspiration. Listening to music is an inspiration. I get a lot of inspiration from the punk scene, from Brazil, from groups like Women’s Resistance. Feminism, LGBTQ, veganism… After I started reading about these topics, it changed my life.
How do you spend time outdoors?
On the weekends, I like to go to nature. Maybe climb a mountain. In my hometown, there are a lot of places to climb. Nature has inspired me so much. I also like to walk a lot. In New York I walked everywhere. Walking is important for me because it helps me stay calm. When I walk I forget everything.