Illustrations and vignettes for the book Avantesmas - 13 Histórias Clássicas de Fantasmas, a collection of Brazilian journalist and writer Claudio Blanc's favorite classic ghost stories:
. Spirits, by Ivan Turgenev . The Leather Funnel, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle . Lazarus, by Leonid Andreyev . The Black Monk, by Anton Chekhov . The Body Snatchers, by Robert Louis Stevenson . The Tapestried Chamber, by Sir Walter Scott . The River of Sorrows, by Pu Songling . The Mass of Shadows, by Anatole France . Schalken, the Painter, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu . Ligeia, by Edgar Allan Poe . In the Vault, by H. P. Lovecraft . The Curse of the Fires and of the Shadows, by William Butler Yeats . The Red Room, by H. G. Wells (illustrated, but unpublished) . The Apparition, by Guy de Maupassant
Lo! ’t is a gala night Within the lonesome latter years! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight In veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre, to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres.
Mimes, in the form of God on high, Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly— Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Wo!
That motley drama—oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot, And much of Madness, and more of Sin, And Horror the soul of the plot.
But see, amid the mimic rout, A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued.
Out—out are the lights—out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.
A Donzela Sem Mãos
Client: Escrita Fina Edições | APR 2013
Illustrations for the book A Donzela sem Mãos e outros Contos de Fadas (The Girl Without Hands and Other Fairy Tales). Conceived by Helena Gomes, this is a book that will make you think twice before reading it to your kids. Helena Gomes strips away all Disneyesque innocence we are used to and rewrites these five fairy tales in the most gruesome, but nonetheless fascinating way: The Queen Who Came from the Sea, The Girl Without Hands, The Wild Swans, The Enchanted Pig and The Love for Three Oranges.
It took me a lot of time to finish this book, way more than one could expect. Tough times. Donzela was conceived amongst many doubts about my work and profession, surviving the ups and downs of this crazy market and submerged in long periods of stress and exhaustion. Each line was a little victory and each victory was shared and cherished with the ones close to me. Many others cheered me up whenever I showed some WIP at my Instagram feed (Thank you all!). And in this whole process I could always count with my dearest friend and publisher Laura van Boeckel, who supported me since the first of my many "I won't make it thru this" calls.
The book was a huge experiment in order to find something fresh, one of my attempts to break away from my style and breathe new air. Inspired by letterpress printing and limiting myself to the use of only four colors with no variations, this book led me to a more careful kind of planning, thinking ahead all the compositions, layers and contrasts, and looking for new colors by creating line patterns, using a fixed grid and mixing them on top of other colors, a big colored puzzle. I've gathered everything I know about art nouveau and the 19th century fairy tale illustrations, and let some of my main inspirations come out without restrictions, combining Alphonse Mucha with Ivan Bilibin and sprinkling some Mike Mignola on the mix to give an edge to it all.
As for concepts, I wanted to place all heroines and princesses far from what we are used to regarding fairy tales. I wanted new homes for them, placing the girls from Eastern Europe to the far Mongolia, because I really believe fairy tales belong to the whole world and that these stories could have happened anywhere.
Donzela's illustrations have already been traveling around the world since their birth, being published in annuals such as New Illustrators File vol. 11 (Japan), AIAP Latin American Ilustración 2 (USA) and Visual Arabia 2013 (United Arab Emirates), and also being exhibited at Ilustra Brasil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing and Hanoi) and at the Impredecible Gráfica Brasileña (Bogota).
In 2014 the book was awarded the FNLIJ 2014 Highly Commended Seal.
Every year the FNLIJ - Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil - receives the first editions from all Brazilian publishing companies of their published children and young adults’ books. After careful analysis, the titles with the best quality are selected to form the “FNLIJ Basic Books Collection,” helping not only schools, libraries and Secretaries of Education to create their own initial collections but also parents and teachers to choose books for their children and students. From this basic collection, ten books from each of the several categories are selected and receive the Highly Commended Seal, automatically being nominated for the FNLIJ Awards. The seal in one of the highest recognitions to be earned in the Brazilian children and young adults’ literature.
Created in 1968, the FNLIJ – Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil – is a private and non-profit organization and the Brazilian section of IBBY – International Board on Books for Young People, and the FNLIJ Award, organized since 1974, is the highest distinction given to the best books for children and young people published in Brazil, incorporating today 18 categories.
Fussballhelden GOLD 2010
Client: Herzglut Verlag | AD: Jerzovskaja | AUG 2009
For each World Cup publisher Herzglut Verlag publishes an amazing book, filled with portraits of soccer players and personalities and illustrated by artists from all over the world. Headed by Jerzovskaja, the third book of the series was released:Fussballhelden GOLD 2010, featuring 150 football heroes from each and every World Cup, drawn by 45 of the world's top illustrators!
Each artist was invited to portray 3 or 4 players, but my task was a bit different: I was asked to illustrate the only team to appear complete on the book, the 1970 Brazilian Team: Zagallo, Félix, Brito, Piazza, Carlos Alberto, Clodoaldo, Jairzinho, Gérson, Tostão, Pelé, Rivelino e Everaldo. For the final credits we also had to create a self-portrait using the same style.
What about the canaries?, people keep asking me. Well, Canarinho, literally Little Canary, is our team's nickname.
Short story published by Image Comics in Harvey and Eisner awards winner Comic Book Tattoo.
Like all other stories on this huge anthology, Marianne was inspired by a song of American pianist, singer and amazing songwriter Tori Amos. And just like the song it's about the loss of someone dear. I didn't know that when Rantz Hoseley invited me to be part of the book. At the time I knew very few about Tori's work, having heard just a couple of her records played incessantly by PEOV at our studio. Marianne was chosen at first by its melody, but then I read more about it and everything started falling into place.
I knew what I wanted to say but I didn't know how until Rantz showed me the size of the book. Enormous when closed, monumental when opened. So I decided to take my experiment with non-paneled stories to another level, I would make use of that vast spread page area to tell a story that could change the pace of reading, making it more reflective and introspective. Since it is too personal I avoid explaining the story, but everyone can reach their own conclusions because all elements are out there open and exposed to new connections and metaphors. Curiously by the time I was finishing the story, I went to the porch to rest and without noticing I placed my arm on a bee who instantly stung me. Feel alive - was the first thing that came to mind. The poor philosopher died right after it and I decided to keep its tiny body to remind me of this thought and all that this story means to me.
Marianne was later published in illustration books and annuals like Communication Arts,Archive 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide 09-10and Illustrators 51th, also being exhibited in 2009 at the Museum of American Illustration, in New York. And I got the chance to meet Tori at Comic-Con!
Client: Edições SM | AD: Leonardo Carvalho | SEP 2012
Illustration of The Town Musicians of Bremen tale published by Edições SM on the book Coletânea de Recontos - Irmãos Grimm and exhibited on the 8º Prêmio Barco a Vapor de Literatura Infantil e Juvenil 2012, during the bicentennial festivities of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's book Children’s Stories and Household Tales.
Asked by the editor about the meaning of the unusual illustration he just received, I said that at first I really didn't want to be so literal regarding my interpretation of the story and that I followed exactly what the asked when I was invited to be part of this wonderful book: to use sensibility and my own style to create something different from what other artists have done before.
I had this outstanding and unforgettable literature teacher in high school, the quintessential teacher, Professor Amil. Every time he was shouting to us kids "Thou shalt be worm!" and I never got it at first until he taught us about the concepts of Vanitas and Memento Mori in the books and tales he asked us to read. I never forgot that and I figured out this would be perfect for the story.
The notion of death is more "alive" in the elderly and I believe that there is a time that many just give up due to many reasons. But the opposite happens in the tale... Why give up? Why don't we follow our hearts?... The fact that the main characters see themselves at the end of their lives and still go out looking for the meaning of it in the time that is left justify their impulses and decisions during the story from beginning to end, even if they never reached Bremen nor became musicians themselves.
In many still life paintings that have this theme its very common to see a skull and several other objects like clocks and rotten fruits that represent the time passing and the brevity of life. In some paintings you also find musical instruments that symbolize the ephemeral, and since this objects could be related to our story I added a violin.
The reason to use a teenager playing the violin is to oppose the idea of death, creating a conflict of ages, the good health of the young represented by his body and the wisdom of the elder represented by the heads, a conflict that resumes one of the morals of this tale in which the main characters knew that they couldn't fight with the thieves so they used their experience and craftiness to get what they wanted.
Client: Saraiva | AD: Carlos Renato | OCT 2013
Illustrations and cover for the book Nocaute (Knock Out), a selection of boxing tales written by American novelist Jack London.
London was himself an amateur boxer and a boxing sportswriter for the San Francisco Examiner and according to Russ Kingman in his book A Pictorial Biography of Jack London, 'his interest didn't stop with his own boxing. He was an avid spectator at every professional boxing match he could get to, preferring to be there as a reporter so he could be assured of a ringside seat. And it wasn't for the brutality of the fights either. He enjoyed the science of boxing, where man was pitted against man, but he hated bullfights, where man's superior intellect destined the slaughter of the poor bull, and he hated hunting with a rifle, which negated any possible sport that could be involved.
My approach to this job was simple and direct, creating illustrations that resembled early 20th century movies, the straight shots, centralized characters, with heavy use of black and white contrast. To enhance this turn of the century imagery I decided to use boxing posters as a way to show titles and years and to introduce the main character of each story. The research was vast and fruitful and I was lucky to have the help of my friend Alexandre Maximini, a true old style boxer and great connoisseur of the lost art of the old pugilism.