In Conversation With Virginia Moura
last updated 26 September 2023
Interview by Rhys Stacey
Virginia’s illustration work is characterized by her clean lined style, her flawless composition and her ability to effortlessly capture the essence of any given scene. Whether it be ‘vibey’ character portraits or cheeky little corgis in celebration of the coronation, Virginia can always be trusted to nail a brief and bring a creative vision to life.
It’s been a pleasure watching Virginia work this year and it’s been even better getting to know her! We are very much enjoying the fact that we’re beginning to see suburban influences creep into her work as Virginia grows into her new life in the ‘burbs.
Virginia has spent over 10 years in the design industry and worked for many brands such as Google, Chase, Revlon, Samsung, and American Express.
Talk us through your creative process. How do you approach a brief?
I start by reading the brief and asking questions when necessary. I also do my own research to better understand who I’m illustrating for.
With a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve, I move on to the fun part: imagining the personalities and traits of the characters and sketching them out. I experiment with loose sketches until I have captured their essence, always taking a step back as needed and referring to the brief throughout the process.
Finally, I add any finishing touches until the artwork is in a good place and everyone is happy with the end result.
Your work is aesthetically unique to you, how do you approach translating your ideas to the page?
When capturing everyday moments of diverse New Yorkers, I focus on what catches my eye, whether it’s an interesting outfit, hairstyle, or accessory. When putting it on paper, I create multiple loose sketches and let the ideas flow. At this stage, I don’t worry about making everything perfect - I just have fun with it and see where it takes me.
Who/What have been your key influences as an illustrator?
I find inspiration in anything that’s fun and warm, especially during summer - my favourite season. In terms of style, I love “Ligne claire”, especially with colors that make me feel happy and cozy. I also enjoy finding humour in everyday life, much like cartoonist Adrian Tomine and the way he portrays life in New York City.
How did you begin illustration?
I’ve always loved drawing since I was little, and I started painting during my teenage years. After moving to New York City as a full-time designer, I found the people and everyday life so inspiring that I began capturing interesting scenes of daily life. This motivated me to focus more and more on illustration.
What’s your favourite part of the illustration process?
It’s when I start imagining the traits and personalities of characters and seeing them come to life through multiple rough sketches. It’s so exciting!
To an up-and-coming artist, what’s one piece of advice you would give?
Go for what you’re passionate about and don’t stop. Also, make sure to get some sun and exercise in your routine. It feels awesome and gives you a great energy and motivation boost.
What would be your dream brief?
If I had to choose a dream project, it’d be illustrating a magazine cover in the fields of lifestyle, humor, and popular culture since it aligns with the essence of my illustrations. As someone with a background in design, I’d also love to create artwork that allows me to experiment with graphic design and typography.