It has been too long

Hello my dears,

At last, I am back. It has been a long time indeed.

I am in Switzerland at the moment, and for those of you who have never been here in the summer, I entirely recommend it. It’s light, green and so beautiful.

I have been drawing LOTS and working on tons of different projects: children’s clothes for a client in LA, portraits for a client in NY, business cards, logos and stationery for a client in Brazil, a children’s book, a book of short stories and a brand new blog project. I am breathless and in need of a good nap, but excited and inspired.

I have updated my website and added a number of new pieces and projects there. Check them out on – I hope you like it!

I am always posting pictures, sketches and work in progress on Instagram. For updates, follow me @joanafaria.

Lots of love from Switzerland.

Things I love the most about New York: Brooklyn

I don’t mean the whole of Brooklyn though. This post is specifically about Williamsburg, which I loved so very much.

In Williamsburg there is amazing street art everywhere you look:

 I’m a HUGE fan of street art so this, for me, is pure heaven!

If you’re lucky, you will run across one of these mobile art galleries parked in the middle of Bedford Avenue:

Williamsburg has amazing shops for all things vintage (Beacon’s Closet springs to mind), funky and creative. It’s kind of like Portobelo Road in London, but different, if you know what I mean. (Maybe that only makes sense to me, but there you have it.)

In Williamsburg, you can find anything from the fun and quirky:

To the amazing:

Williamsburg also has some great bars, cafes and restaurants.

I didn’t manage to visit every single one of them, that would be impossible, but I particularly loved Juliette’s, Marlow & Sons and The Union Pool. – This last one is great for live gigs! I definitely recommend it.

 Old friends catching up at the Union Pool. :)

And the view, of course. How could I forget? Williamsburg has some of the best views of Manhattan.

If I ever moved to New York for good (one can hope, of course), I would definitely be torn between Williamsburg in Brooklyn or the West Village in Manhattan. Both areas are delightful, charming and oh, so cute.

And that’s it for Williamsburg, folks.

I still have tons of material on Brooklyn (DUMBO, the Brooklyn bridge, etc), but that will come later.

I may be back in Europe already, but my heart is still in New York. I miss it so much! New York surpassed every single expectation I had. The few months I lived over there were absolutely incredible and not nearly enough to satisfy my cravings and curiosity. It’s not like London, it’s not like Paris it’s not like Sydney and it’s not like São Paulo. It’s completely different and familiar at the same time. New York is not an imitation of anything. It’s completely unique. Everyone should go at some point. Definitely!

Lots of love.

Children’s book illustration: The Penderwicks

A summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits and a very interesting boy.

And finally, this is what the final piece looks like:

This was such a sweet little project. I loved the book (yes, I had to read it in order to draw this cover) and I tried to make good use of my newly acquired watercolor skills. The story itself is quite timeless. There isn’t an indication of when it’s taking place, so I took some liberties and decided to play around with acid colors and do something kind of retro-looking. It was a lot of fun.

Lots of love.

Things I love the most about New York: Chelsea

I am back in Europe now, and thinking back about my days in New York and all the things that I enjoyed the most over there. With that in mind, I decided to start this list with Chelsea.

During my three-month stay in the city, Chelsea was one of the places that I kept going back to. All the time, actually. I think I got a little addicted to it.

I found Chelsea simply amazing. It gives you access to creative work that otherwise you wouldn’t even know existed.

It’s never boring. The galleries change their collections every Thursday so every week there’s something completely new to see. From paintings and collage…

To photography…

To sculpture.

I have a constant hunger for inspiration and seeing creative work feeds it. New York is ideal in that way. It has so much going on that you simply feel an obligation to make the most of it. There is no such a thing as staying at home on a Saturday afternoon. It is not even an option. There is always somewhere to go and something to see.

Chelsea is an eternal, ongoing circle of creativity. Nothing lasts more than a week, true, so it has something shallow and superficial about it, but at the same time, it forces you almost to have a sense of duty to go and see art. Chelsea gives you a deadline and you don’t want to miss out.

 Me, the happy Chelsea addict. :0)

Lots of love.

Children’s book illustration: The ice skating seagull

♥ Back to the studio, a.k.a. The Kitchen, a little research is crucial before I start drawing. For my Children’s Illustration course, I was asked to illustrate a section of a poem about animals. I chose the section that talks about birds and decided to draw an ice skating seagull. Yay, fun!

I don’t have a photographic memory and can’t draw animals from my head alone (unless I am completely making them up) so it always helps to look at some references. In this case, I was looking at photographs of seagulls.

And then, I start: first I pencil in a rough sketch;

And then I add the colors.

I finish it off with a couple of details.

And that’s it! Here is the final piece.

This was a sweet assignment. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Stay tuned for my next two projects: New York Portraits and a book cover for The Penderwicks.

Lots of love from the East Village.