Too many cooks spoil the broth? Not when it comes to Ilustrata studio where three talented designers are a perfect complement to each other. Living and creating in Brazil, they are strongly inspired by the japanese culture, video games and cats. We talked about working together and staying friends, their mutual love for vegan food and how covid times influenced their daily routine.
You’re an illustration studio, so who stands behind Ilustrata?
We are a team of three, Bruno Rodrigues (me), David Faraum, and Victor Kahn.
How did it all begin?
The idea behind the ilustrata beginning initially came to us in the college in 2013. At that time, our group was composed of four people, all design students; as we were all good friends and with a good work synergy, we started to dream of a future where we would have our own studio. And as we were studying graphic design, ilustrata was actually born as a design studio. With time, even our work area and our team composition changed a lot, nowadays just David and I are remnants of this original crew.
What are the roles of each of you at the studio?
We are all illustrators, but we need to develop a few side tasks in our daily work as a company. I take care of the e-mails, meeting with clients, and in a few projects art direction too. David is the money guy. He takes care of all the finances and the Instagram replies, and other few tasks. Victor is the Twitter man, talking with people there and helping us to keep our profile alive. And besides all these side tasks, we are all the days drawing and creating.
All of your Illustrations are recognizable, but how do your styles differ from each other?
It is not common here to have more than one person working in the same image, and it’s pretty great because we can keep our portfolio richer in terms of variety. Even with many things in common in our work, there are some significant differences between our images. Starting with the theme, Victor loves cats and spooky stuff, and it’s pretty strong on his work. Now David is a video game fan, always bringing it to his designs, and I love food and kaijus. And due to those particularities, our individual styles will show some differences, like the more cute aspect of Victor’s work or my more aggressive images of kaijus.
What does your studio look like?
We share a place with a friend of ours. She has an architecture studio, and we rented a house together and adapted it to a workspace. Since the pandemic is going on, we are not going there, but it is a fantastic place, and I am excited to get back.
You work together, but are you also friends that spend your free time together?
Yeah. We were used to going out or ordering food weekly at the beginning of the studio. But with time, it’s rarer, especially because Victor moved to another city and is working remotely. But every time we have a chance to get together, we do it, especially in our already traditional vegan parties where each one brings different vegan dishes.
It’s clear that your strong inspiration is Japan. Are there any other things, places, or cultures that influence your designs so much?
Video games, for sure, anime, food in general, vintage comics, and our personal experiences are factors in our creative decisions.
How would you define your biggest success so far?
It is by far our design Great Ramen off Kanagawa. I’ve talked with other artist friends of ours, trying to understand why it’s by far our biggest hit. There are so many factors that I believe I’ll never be able to know precisely, but in my opinion, we did the right design at the right time and place. Of course, this illustration has its magic, but all the outside factors helped too.
You’re an experienced studio now. What would be your advice for people who want to work like you?
All the things will be harder initially, so don’t stop quickly, give yourself some time to try this work area. Things will not start to work in your first design or second… probably, you will spend a few months or more than a year before seeing your work paying back the effort you put there. Keep patience and enjoy the journey. It is more important than anything.
How is it working as an artist in these covid-times?
At the beginning of lockdown, it wasn’t easy to keep focused and motivated, but nowadays, we are quite well used to our remote work routine. We are lucky enough to live in good houses and with our beloveds, making that isolation easier to handle. This situation also brings our attention to our work routine, nowadays we are working less, and I can say we are more productive and better.