Beatriz Bagulho is an illustrator, animator and host of the "Illustrating Fantastic Creatures Workshops" in Lisbon, Portugal.
We did a subcultalk with her to learn more about her as an artist, the way she thinks and feels, what inspires her and what makes her keep doing what she loves most in life. Read the full interview with her here.
What’s the art you’re doing?
At the moment, I’m working on multiple creative projects, like most weeks - in animation, design and illustration. I try to find a balance between client work and personal projects, so that I get to make a living as a freelancer and also have the freedom to work on my own ideas and long-term goals.
Though, I’m involved in beautiful, meaningful collaborative client work, the artistic project I’m most passionate about at the moment is my 2024 illustrated calendar, for which I’m currently creating the artwork. It’s very fun to think how each month can be revealed by a magical, seasonal illustration that differentiates it from the other months, but also maintaining a coherent aesthetic for the whole calendar. I will be crowdfunding this project near the end of the year, so look out for more information soon!
What’s your favorite feeling?
There are two feelings that definitely are at the top of my personal "feelings rank":
First, the excitement of starting a new adventure, like a new project, book, journey or event. Second, the quiet tranquility of having a few hours to myself, when everything on my checklist is completed, my home is tidy, and I can just sit back and enjoy a beverage with my cat and fiancé. Two very different feelings that make me the most happy!
What’s your favorite word?
Lately, I’ve been very fond of the word "Dedication". I feel that if people tried to be more dedicated towards each other, their values and goals, the world would be a better place. Being dedicated to something means you value it enough to endure the hardships that come with any life choice, and that willingness to make an effort is always rewarded. I think that you gather up what you’ve cultivated in the past, just like gardening, it takes patience and dedication, so I try to cultivate everyday the things I want to collect in the future.
What’s the best wake-up time for you?
Around 8am - enough so I can get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. I like to arrive at my studio around 10.30am and have a focused work day, have lunch with family or friends, a small coffee break in the evening, but without distractions in the dedicated "focus time". If there is an approaching deadline or I’ve been a bit slow - there are always days one feels less productive - I might extend my working hours, but it’s something I’ve been trying to avoid because there are always repercussions on my back or mental health. Sometimes, less is more, and in a creative job it makes more sense that we really recharge our bodies and minds to work smart.
What are you most afraid of?
Aren’t we all afraid of death? I read how actually all fears refer to that primal fear of ceasing to exist. In my case, it translates into fear of darkness, killers and weird monster-like entities my semi-dreaming brain conjures up at night. Maybe that’s why I love surrealism, tackling into the subconscious and letting it run wild for a bit in my drawings, so that it doesn’t haunt me so much.
What’s the feeling you like the least?
I hate feeling powerless, which unfortunately happens quite often in modern society. I try to lead a sustainable life, making choices that correspond to my ethical views, but its very frustrating to see how those actions have such a small impact in the world. Little by little, though, we can make our voices heard, hoping that the big corporate powers don’t end up dictating the future of humanity.
What makes you feel most alive?
When I see someone relating to my art - either on a film session, social media or other events. That’s what keeps me creating. It’s not just the need to express my own thoughts, trying to make sense of the world, but also the hope that someone will learn and change from experiencing what I created.
What inspires you most?
One might think inspiration is something untamable, a lucky ephemeral feeling we feel once in a while out of nowhere. In reality, there are a couple mechanism that help me get inspired and focused. In the flow state, as it’s often called: Taking walks, reading, going to exhibitions, watching a film or performance, being with loved ones, simply trying to take a break from whichever project we’re currently working. These few hours of relaxation and fruition might make wonders in getting back refreshed and inspired.
What do you do when you feel sad?
I always love pairing a good animation film with something sweet like chocolate, ice cream, cookies… Takes me back to those childhood moments when everything was easier, and helps me get over the days I feel sad. Add a few cuddles, my cat’s company and a good friendly conversation and I’m immediately better.
Your favourite guilty pleasure?
Leave me in an art supply store and I can’t really resist my shopping impulses. Whenever I start a new project, want to try a technical challenge or develop an idea, I always find an excuse to explore new art supplies and buy pencils, markers, paper or inks that I don’t REALLY need… in a way it makes me kind of guilty because my older materials just get overshadowed by the new sparkly pencils I’m in love with! But I guess there might be worse guilty pleasures, at least my teenage sister, who’s studying art, appreciates getting my unused older art supplies.
Thanks a lot for your time and honesty for this subcultalk, dear Beatriz!
To meet and create with the artist in person, book her "Illustrating Fantastic Creatures Workshop" in Lisbon, Portugal.
To see more of her work, check her website and her Insta.
Until next time!