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