Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tartaruga Feliz
4:21 pm

Tartaruga Feliz

Hello there! Who are you and tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! My name is Deborah (aka Tartaruga Feliz - which means Happy Turtle in Portuguese). I'm a self-taught Brazilian illustrator and I live in Paris for 2 years with my husband and 3 cats.

What inspires you and your work?
There are always a number of things that can inspire me and consequently my work on a daily basis, but I can say that I'm very influenced by kids culture and video game. I play a lot of video games and I'm actually one of the founders of a small video game studio called Farsides.

As an illustrator and animator how do the two disciplines go together?
Very well! When I draw something I like I immediately start thinking how this character or situation can gain life. As I watch a lot of cartoons, the ideas I normally have are made to be animated.

How do you promote yourself?
On websites that I like, such as Hire an Illustrator, SIB (which is the society of Brazilian Illustrators), I'm also part of the French Society of Illustrators, called Maison des Illustrateurs, selling prints of my artwork at inprnt ( I also have a blog (, where I publish all the artists that inspires me to create my work, and its very good because I share a lot with people that are interested in illustrations and animations, and with the people that inspires me too.

But I believe the most powerful promotion is the people that you work with. Most of my clients came after me because they liked something I did for someone else.

Any news you would like to share with us (e.g. projects, commissions, collaborations, exhibitions.)
I'm working on a project that I'm completely in love right now, its a game for kids on the internet called Card Stories ( Its still in beta, we're working on a different version to improve accessibility, but it will be released soon and I'm feeling happy as never before. If anyone is interested by this project, please contact me ( and I'll be really happy to show more and even make a playtest!

And lastly any words of advice for the creative peeps out there?
I found this piece of advice from Ira Glass that I'm taking with me for some time and I think it can help a lot of people:

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It's only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met. It's gonna take a while. It's normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through."

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