Talented women participated in the contest dedicated to what they do best – sequential art.
By Daniela Karasawa
Translated by Loretta Murphy
Many Brazilian women submitted projects, which were processed through the affectionate and impartial sieve of Projeto Inverna, headed by the graphic artist Paula Mastroberti, who spoke to Wave in January.
The winner of this edition was Carol Martins, a 25 year old illustrator living in Belo Horizonte, MG, with the strip called Masks. Following is an exclusive interview with the young woman who not only has a passion for drawing, but also for writing.
Wave is a magazine targeted to Brazilians residing in Canada. Have you visited other cities in Brazil and the world?
Carol Martins: I have traveled quite a bit, but never out of the country. I love to travel and learn about the history of places and people. It is a good way to become inspired and to renew your energy. I go quite often to Rio de Janeiro and with each visit, my love for the city only grows. I love the atmosphere, the excitement of the locals, the architecture of the center and especially the beaches.
How did your interest in literature and the graphic arts come about?
Carol Martins:It was in childhood, with tales and stories of this universe. Nothing went unnoticed. I enjoyed hearing the stories my parents read and looking at the illustrations in the books. At age 15, I started reading the classics and I fell in love. During my childhood and adolescence, my interest in literature was greater than in the graphic arts.
What was the role of your family in your artistic choices?
Carol Martins: I come from a family that cherishes studying and the ability to communicate. When I was a child and could not write, I asked my mother to write down my stories. Storytelling was a need that has been increasing over the years. With graphic production, it was the opposite – it was seen as a secondary hobby.
Talk about your educational background and about your career as an illustrator.
Carol Martins: I studied Fashion Design for two years and then I ended up studying law, because of family influences, but never felt comfortable in the legal practice. Recently I decided to do something I really like and started in the illustration market. I have nothing definite, but if I can tell stories, comics are the path.
How has your academic background influenced your world view on graphic arts?
Carol Martins: The greatest benefit of my academic career was coming into contact with different areas of thought and putting everything together to form an unusual view on things.
What are your main influences in literature and graphic arts?
Carol Martins: In literature that’s easy: Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo, Shakespeare, among others. In graphic arts: Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and, among recent ones, Cyril Pedrosa, Rafael Coutinho and Ai Yazawa.
For the Masks strip, what were your influences and references?
Carol Martins: The inspiration came from the comics by Daniel Clowes, who works very well with this traditional format. What motivated me was the urge to try something new.
How did you find out about the contest? Have you received other awards?
Carol Martins: I discovered Lady’s Comics and saw the contest announcement. It was the first time I ever participated and won.
What is your message to women who want to produce comics and texts like you?
Carol Martins: The comic market is mostly male, but I think this does not prevent women from producing stories that are interesting and profitable. It can be scary at first, but if you like to draw and want to produce, just go ahead!