Meet Minerva Freire, a curious and inspirational creative designer, illustrator and animator who uses humour and imagination, digital and physical practices, to create work they believe in.

We spoke to Minerva about the challenge of finding and maintaining your own artistic voice, the best way to tackle a creative brief, and the excitement of reaching beyond your comfort zone.

minervaillustrator.com

Hola! What’s new in your world? What are you working on at the moment?

Hola! 🙂 I have been exhibiting last weekend at Cluster Pop Up (Shoreditch). It’s been an amazing experience. It’s always nice to share your work with other artists, to see other points of view and experiences.

Photo courtesy: www.jemrigbyphotography.com

Your exhibition before that was called ‘All You Need is Boobs’. Where did the idea come from? What story were you telling?

I think the world in general needs more boobs and fewer ‘dicks’. I just want to share love, positivity, open mindedness and equality between genders.

I began to draw more boobs when Instagram blocked some of my drawings for inappropriate content. Honestly, it was just 2 circles in Illustrator. It made me realise how strange this society is when you can see violent content in the news and social media but boobs are considered inappropriate.

I spoke with a few young guys who told me I have a lot of followers because my posts are full of boobs. This mentality makes me very sad, thank God the majority are not like that.

Your exhibition before that was called ‘All You Need is Boobs’. Where did the idea come from? What story were you telling?

I think the world in general needs more boobs and fewer ‘dicks’. I just want to share love, positivity, open mindedness and equality between genders.

I began to draw more boobs when Instagram blocked some of my drawings for inappropriate content. Honestly, it was just 2 circles in Illustrator. It made me realise how strange this society is when you can see violent content in the news and social media but boobs are considered inappropriate.

I spoke with a few young guys who told me I have a lot of followers because my posts are full of boobs. This mentality makes me very sad, thank God the majority are not like that.

What are your earliest memories of art? How did you discover and define your personal style?

I remember perfectly, drawing behind our sofa in the living room when I was 4 years old. I did a dragon and a princess. My mum never scolded me about that. Actually, I remember her laughing (I guess they were very funny).

Your corporate work is instantly recognisable. How do you ensure your style shines through each time? Do you have any advice for young artists who are worried the professional world will quash their personality?

If you check my old work, there’s been a lot of changes. It’s been a process, sometimes with struggle, frustration and full of anxiety and sometimes with less struggle, frustration and a bit of anxiety!

At the beginning it is quite hard to find your own voice. There’s a lot of artists that you love and subconsciously you do things similarly, or you are working thinking how many people would like your work, and that’s not you – that never works.

You have to be yourself, and that’s special enough! Some people will like it and some not. Get over that and keep working. 🙂

Your corporate work is instantly recognisable. How do you ensure your style shines through each time? Do you have any advice for young artists who are worried the professional world will quash their personality?

If you check my old work, there’s been a lot of changes. It’s been a process, sometimes with struggle, frustration and full of anxiety and sometimes with less struggle, frustration and a bit of anxiety!

At the beginning it is quite hard to find your own voice. There’s a lot of artists that you love and subconsciously you do things similarly, or you are working thinking how many people would like your work, and that’s not you – that never works.

You have to be yourself, and that’s special enough! Some people will like it and some not. Get over that and keep working. 🙂

When a company sets you a brief, what’s the first thing you do? How do you tackle the blank page?

First thing is to read the brief a hundred times. I do research about the company, product or client that sent me the brief. As much information I can get, the better I will know the real meaning behind the brief.

Then I will forget about it for a few days, but keep it all in the back of my mind. I get very good ideas when I’m sleeping, on holiday or doing something that has nothing to do with the task. I know the ideas eventually will flow.

Sometimes I have very tight deadlines, in these cases I just cry and drink coffee. 🙂

Where do you work best? If you could create the ideal work space, what would it look like?

I love to look at the sky in London. I notice it changing every 5 minutes, I love it… So anywhere I can see the sky!

My perfect work space would be a white studio with huge windows, facing a lake, a canal or sea (and the sky!)… I like to see water, dogs, cats… I just realised my ideal work space would be full of distractions so perhaps it wouldn’t be too productive!

Where do you work best? If you could create the ideal work space, what would it look like?

I love to look at the sky in London. I notice it changing every 5 minutes, I love it… So anywhere I can see the sky!

My perfect work space would be a white studio with huge windows, facing a lake, a canal or sea (and the sky!)… I like to see water, dogs, cats… I just realised my ideal work space would be full of distractions so perhaps it wouldn’t be too productive!

Do you delve into any other artistic disciplines? How do they inspire your illustration?

I have a notebook full of collages (I find it very relaxing to get scissors and a bunch of old magazines to destroy). Also, I’m doing my first quilt. I think it’s going to take ages but it’s going to be so beautiful!

It’s very inspiring to get out of your comfort zone, so every time I have an opportunity to do something that I haven’t done before I say yes. You never know until you try. You may find something amazing that you are good at and if not you always can have a laugh or learn something about yourself.

If you could go back in time and give your young creative-self advice, what would it be?

Don’t try to please everyone, it’s never gonna happen and it’s exhausting.

Do you have anything exciting lined up?

I’m doing a Risography course… I can’t wait! Once in a while it’s lovely to get stuck in to something creative that doesn’t involve a computer!

If you could go back in time and give your young creative-self advice, what would it be?

Don’t try to please everyone, it’s never gonna happen and it’s exhausting.

Do you have anything exciting lined up?

I’m doing a Risography course… I can’t wait! Once in a while it’s lovely to get stuck in to something creative that doesn’t involve a computer!

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