Interview / Fabiola Greco

“To me, a good challenge is trying to translate in colors and shapes what is going on in the client’s mind.”

-Fabiola Greco

Fabiola Greco is a graphic designer and illustrator. She begins each of her creations with a pen and pencil, scribbling on paper when an idea comes to her– even if it’s just on a napkin at the bar. Her work is all about fashion, branding and pattern design. She says, “What amazes me most is the duality between complete freedom when creating, and turning that mess into a quasi-mathematical result of repeated patterns in sequence.”  

You have a strong sense of color. How did this come about? Do you try many different things, or just follow your instinct?

As a graphic designer, I’m always trying to improve my eye. Even in my relaxed moments away from graphic design or when traveling, I always try to go places where I can be in touch with culture: museums, art galleries, book shops. All this information goes to my head and, by instinct, appears in my sense of color and my aesthetics. Plus, all of the information I have received through seeing and studying graphic design over the years also appears in my work.

Flora & Pavalo Patterns

Flora & Pavalo Patterns

Your love of fashion was your beginning. Where is fashion in your work now?

My first job was at an important design studio in Rio de Janeiro. This studio was focused on the fashion market. It helped me to improve my sense of aesthetics, and I realized that some of the strongest fashion brands are the ones that have the most personality and well-executed visual identities. Since that time, I’ve been trying to focus on the “personality” on my work, even if my client has a more corporate profile. So YES, fashion for me is all about this sense of “personality”, and it appears in everything I create: branding, editorials, and obviously my patterns.

Are you interested in pursuing fashion design or making fabric specifically for clothing?

Not really, since I’m not a fashion designer. I graduated in graphic design and I love to work with surfaces. Of course there’s a thin line separating these areas– fashion and graphic design– but I don’t design clothes. However, I’d love to work with fashion designers and develop a pattern collection in collaboration.

You have worked on many different commissions. Do you have a favorite work that you have completed? Why?

I most enjoy when the work is done at the end of the process, and both my client and I are satisfied.

Did you ever feel like giving up? Why? What or who encourage you to continue?

Yes, particularly in Brazil. The graphic design market is a hard place to be here. Graphic design is growing, but it’s a slow growth, and there are a only few good positions compared to the number of professionals who are available in this area. Thus, in my country, being a designer doesn’t pay well. To be sincere, I’ve already thought of giving up a couple of times. What still makes me want to work in graphic design is the fact that I love it and I believe that design can make a change. I really don’t know who I would be if I was not a graphic designer.

Your work is very varied. You design fabric, logos, catalog materials…What is a good challenge for you?

To me, a good challenge is trying to translate in colors and shapes what is going on in the client’s mind. Since the time I received my first brief, I have been challenged to propose to each client an excellent graphic solution that is full of personality. It may be a pattern, catalog or visual identity.

Organico & Geometrico Patterns

Organico & Geometrico Patterns

Did you ever refuse work because it was not inspiring or because you did not agree with a client?

No, I have never refused any. In my opinion, there is no uninspiring work. There are only counterproductive ways of working.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m dividing my time in some projects. I collaborate with “A Lagarta”, an amazing online fashion magazine, and I’m one of Musse’s artists. Musse is an online store that creates and sells patterns worldwide. And I’ve just started “Oh-lá”, a personal project that mixes photos from the streets of Rio de Janeiro with my drawings. I still have my freelance job as an independent graphic designer. There’s a lot of work going on!

Foxes & Passaros Patterns

Foxes & Passaros Patterns

What would be a dream project for you?

This is a funny question. My friend and I were talking about this “dream project” last week. A dream job would be creating my own brand and developing patterns to surface design and applying them in various products: wallpapers, notebooks, bags, backpacks, clothes or even a carpet! It would be a collection of objects that I could sell together or separately. My secret plan is to invade the whole world with color and bring some joy to people’s life! :)

Anything else you want to add ?

I feel very honored to be invited by the International Foundation for Women Artists for this interview. Thank you for the opportunity to tell people about my creative process. It’s very stimulating for me to see the work I develop here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is appreciated in other parts of the world, because the Internet came and changed the way people connect to each other. That’s why I’m an enthusiastic user of this tool. If the web is well-used it tends to bring us more and more benefits, putting us in touch with other people, ideas, and new projects around the world.



For more artwork, visit Fabiola Greco’s website, and Women Artists Of The World.

Presented by International Foundation For Women Artists.

Interview / Maria Montiel

If you don’t have faith in you and your work, who would?

-Maria Montiel

Maria Montiel is a graphic designer specialized in textile design and illustration, originally from Venezuelan, currently living in Madrid, working as a freelance designer. Her work is very organic, much of inspiration comes from Latin America with its vivid colors and rich textures. Maria’s studio is full of treasures from her trips, sketches, plants, and lots and lots of inks, watercolors and markers. She has a personal project that it’s been active since a few years, where she experiments and tries new things, her personal brand: Cayena Blanca.


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Maria Virginia, I was born in Venezuela and currently I live and work from in Madrid, Spain. I am an illustrator with a degree in Graphic design and a specialization in pattern design. I work as a freelance textile designer for commissioned work and I also have a brand called Cayena Blanca, is a very personal space where I create products with my prints like: smartphone cases, notebooks, stationary in general and accessories. I have been interested in art since I was very young, every time we were on family vacations my parents always brought my sister and I to all the museums, they are both architects and they love teaching.


Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?

The inspiration for my personal work comes from inside, how I am feeling, my memories, my nostalgic of living away from home, my dad’s orchid garden, my trips. When I work for other clients I usually follow my client’s concept and story.


Do you have a favorite piece in your mind? 

I feel very close to my psycho orchids project, it’s a little different from what I usually do, but it has the same feeling of organic movement and bold use of colour that it’s my signature. For this project I was inspired by my dad’s love for orchids, these were everywhere when I was growing up and I love everything about them. They are so rare and unique. (click here to see a making film of psycho orchids)

psycho-orchids2 psycho-orchids

What do you think the artist is in society?

I think as an artist your role in society is to speak a new language through your work, being true to yourself and honest about the message you want to send to any one that approach your art.

What’s the best thing about being a woman artist?

In my case, I have been able to express everything I wanted to in a very honest way. I am not sure if it’s because I am a woman or because of my personality.


What is the most difficult part of being a female artist?

For me it is not about being a female artist, it is very difficult being an artist. And I also think this is very personal and has a lot to do with your personality and what you project as an individual, more than being a woman.

How do you manage in such a situation?

Working hard, I am a little workaholic, I do a lot of exercise to manage stress and stay focused and trying to have fun while working.


Did you ever feel like giving up?

Yes, of course I have, sometimes I still do. This is not a super balanced career, I mean there are very hard times and very happy times, you have to balance the experiences, that can be crazy sometimes. I think perseverance and hard work makes the difference, that does not mean that your are never going to feel depressed and worry about what’s next, or if you are going to be good enough, or if you ever going to be paid, this just mean that besides all that, you need to keep going and believing in yourself. If you don’t have faith in you and your work, who would?


How do you look at your previous pieces?

It depends a lot on the piece, some times I don´t like it at all and I want to change all about it and sometimes I surprise myself liking a piece from a long time ago even more.

How does your cultural background affect your work?

I think when you live away from home, you try to keep all those memories and feelings very close to your heart, because you really don’t want to lose those and forget where you came from, at least in my case. So for me my culture background plays a very important role when looking for inspiration.


What is your dream project?

Right now, I dream about working with graphics in architecture. I would love to create a unique art for a venue inspired by the cultural background and organic life of the surroundings. But I am always dreaming about my fantasy projects, so maybe next month it would be something different.

What do you want to do next?

I have other plans like creating a ready to wear collection featuring my prints. Let’s see what happens!


Take a look on Maria’s website for more artwork and products she maid! Also you can find her profile on Women Artists of the World website.


Presented by International Foundation for Women Artists