Mariana Dimas, she always knew.
Working as a photographer and an illustrator in an advertising agency – HUND –, in Braga, Mariana did not always live here, nor did she start her professional career in the arts.
Although her artistic work was early noted at school, good grades in biology and chemistry convinced herself that science would be the smartest bet. Drawings and photography would always be there, for fun or as an hobby. So she thought.
As time passed by calculations and academic readings were being intensified while the hours devoted to drawing reduced to zero. During the seven years she lived in Lisbon, studying and working in the pharmaceutical industry, only the photography practice was surviving. It was when Mariana emigrated to Maputo, where she worked for four years as a hospital pharmacist, that the passion for drawing and painting aroused again.
“I became fascinated by the strength of the Mozambican cultural scene, by the contact with the community of local artists and African art – so expressive, so raw and disconcerting. I started to paint intuitively and for pure pleasure.”
Returning to Portugal in 2016, Mariana could no longer ignore her passion for arts.
“It’s impossible to avoid the inevitable. Uncertainty and insecurity can block us for a while – sometimes for too long – but when we know exactly what we love, when we feel it in the deepest of our heart, the only way we can be happy is by taking the risk.”
Mariana started taking photography, image creation and editing software classes. Besides working at HUND – illustrating and also designing various graphic pieces, from digital content to physical formats – Mariana is currently attending her Master in Illustration and Animation at IPCA, and developing her personal projects in the little time she has left.
“I’m contemplative and attentive, I like to watch people in their lives, on the street, in cafes. I’m so passionate about gestures and body language. I’m very interested in the way people interact with each other, and how they behave on their own. Lately my work leans especially on women. I draw them with nostalgic expressions, with black eyes, and strong eyebrows. I feel these portraits are influenced by my experience in Africa, the people I met there and went by on the streets. I like to think of my characters as posing for a photograph, for the world.
I nurture creativity through my travels, my playlist, cinema and literature, but it is in the most trivial objects and everyday episodes that I find the greatest inspiration. Ideas can come from a conversation between friends, noticing the beautiful facade of a house while walking, or when I’m simply taking care of my plants at home.
I collect books about artists I admire, and I’m an avid follower of digital platforms, magazines, galleries, museums, exhibitions, festivals, markets and everything that allows me to get to know other artists’ work.
My biggest reference? Matisse. I love the use of the color palette and the shapes. To me, all of his work is poetic and mesmerizing.”
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“The collaboration with CLUOH represented an irresistible opportunity to see my illustration work applied to the fashion universe. I’m always excited to explore new textures and materials. Also, I identify myself with the brand, and specially, I admire and believe in the people behind the project – who have shown invariable openness, dedication and good will throughout the process.”
“What causes the OH effect on me? People’s creativity.”