Featured Illustrators

Mariana A Miserável

March 2018

We had a lovely chat with Freelance Illustrator Mariana A Miserável, about the important things in life often forgotten. We get into how a big part of learning is failing, how to deal with that big reality check when you graduate university, plus all those little ups and downs that come and go.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied graphic design in ESAD, Caldas da Rainha and worked as a design intern in a small atelier in Barcelona for 6 months. After it I came to Porto to study a Master in Editorial Design while I begun to work as a freelance illustrator and it’s still my job today.

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?

The year I graduated was the year the crises “exploded” in my country so it was a little bit scary. My design degree was supposed to be five years and suddenly it turned out to be only three years. So I graduated feeling that I had a lot to learn at a time when there was no place for us young, recently graduated, unexperienced designers. When I was young I wanted to be a florist because I wanted to be surrounded by beautiful things and because I wanted to make people happy, directly or not, with the things I make. Thirty years later I understood that what I do, although it doesn’t have flowers, has the same benefits!

My career is not as I imagined, not at all! I thought that after university, I would send my portfolios, work for someone and get a salary at the end of the month. And at thirty, I would be an adult. But not all of this is straight forward, I chose a risky life. Being miserable is to be able to convince my parents that I don’t have a gift for medicine and that this is what I wanted to do in my life, no matter what it takes, even if sometimes it sounds weird.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I’m a freelance illustrator with all the freedom that it entails. I like to think that more and more all creative territories can be mixed. You don’t have to do or be just one thing, you can experiment new techniques and approaches that will certainly enrich your work.


You don’t have to do or be just one thing.


What have been some of your biggest disasters and how have you learnt from it?

Failing is a big part of learning and disaster is my fate, that’s why my name is miserable. In this eight years I had to learn how to manage my time, my expectations, how to say no to unpaid work, how to give value to my work, how protect me, how to motivate myself in days that nothing makes sense, how to be alone most of the time and how to overcome my anti-social personality in classes, workshops, interviews, lectures.

Whats the big goal in the next five years?

Continue to feel that I’m growing up curious and passionate about my work. Maybe worry less about the bills.

2017 for you in a sentence.

2017 was miserable but I survived.

Website: marianaamiseravel.com

Instagram: @marianaamiseravel

Facebook: /marianamiseravel


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