Clau Cicala, the creator of the Brasilidade Estampada stamp, (an online courses service of print design) was born in Sã Paulo, Brazil and studied print design in her postgraduate studies. Her 9 years living in Rio de Janeiro allowed her to develop a unique style of drawing. Her strong personality led her to successfully work with numerous Brazilian and global apparel brands. Also, with over 20 years of experience in the creative market, she shared her knowledge as a pattern/fashion designer and entrepreneur with more than 2000 students in Brazil and abroad.
Instagram / Youtube
ーCould you tell us about your career to date?
My professional life started when I was 14 years old. My uncle, my mother's brother, asked me to work with him in a local neighborhood magazine. I was responsible for the magazine's design as well as the layout of the ads. At that time I didn't know anything about graphic design, so it taught me a lot.
I worked there for four years until the opportunity to work for the multinational Sony came up. It was an incredible experience to be part of the company's design team. My role was still as a graphic designer, developing packaging, folders etc. After Sony, I have worked for different publishing companies doing beauty magazine designs.
This is when I fell in love with my first husband and moved to the wonderful city, Rio de Janeiro. It was there, I discovered unintentionally, the universe of surface pattern design and was able to develop myself artistically. I did a postgraduate course in Print Design and from there, I started my journey as a print designer! As soon as I finished studying, I decided to start my own creative studio that carries my name. I worked with several fashion and decoration clients.
As time went by, I realized that I could teach what I had learned and I started my journey of sharing all I knew with other designers. I traveled to several Brazilian states, and started to lead a movement called BRASILIDADE ESTAMPADA, that focuses on helping print designers to become entrepreneurs, showing the possibilities that pattern design can offer. My name was well known in Brazil and I had the opportunity to do several partnerships with Footwear, clothing, cars and beauty accessories brands.
ーWhat did motivate you to become both a digital entrepreneur and a designer?
What motivated me the most to become an entrepreneur and a print designer was how much I liked and was able to express myself through drawings on different surfaces. Also to show everyone that even in a country where designers have a very low self-esteem and don't feel valued, that I could live and support myself financially being a print designer.
Another relevant aspect was the fact that I created my universe within the Studio Clau Cicala where I developed my own creative processes and customer service. This enabled me to have my own assertive method of developing prints, where 90% of all the prints created by me or my collaborators were approved by the clients with minimal adjustments or just as they were. This allowed me to show in a clear and strategic way, what other designers needed to know to be able to improve and thrive artistically achieving successful results as print designers.
ーIn 2015, you launched the project of workshops BRASILIDADE ESTAMPADA which has trained more than 2000 students. Through your workshops you influence many young aspiring designers. What do you think is important nowadays to affirm yourself in the world of printing design?
Yes, that is right, I started the Brasilidade Estampada Workshops in-person. For five years I traveled all over Brazil, sharing my knowledge of prints with many designers. When I decided to transform my in-person workshops to an online course, I was able to reach a lot more people.
However, It makes more sense now to comment on the number of people I am able to reach through my social media platforms rather then the number of students I initially had. I really believe that for a print designer to stand out from the crowd and establish himself as a successful professional he needs to have a unique style that shows his personality. That shows his essence, his identity. Without knowing yourself, and looking inward, knowing your dreams and goals, it is very unlikely that anyone will be able to create something original and unique and have the courage of showing it to the world.
ーAccording to your experience, what is the meeting point between creativity and entrepreneurship?
I believe it's when we begin using our art and knowledge on behalf of others, and when our art not only touches others but also truly inspires them! What makes you a successful creative, in my opinion, is how much you share what you know and from doing that you are able to empower a greater number of designers.
ーYou worked with many famous fashion brands. What was the most formative/challenging/creative experience you had so far?
All partnerships were special. Every single one, made me learn a lot about developing prints for different surfaces. However, my partnerships with the brand Sandália Ipanema and Glambox are very dear to me. I think the biggest challenge I had was with Sandalia Ipanema. Adapting my hand drawn style to the surface of the sandals and the fact that I could only use a limited number of colors. To maintain my hand drawn style and achieve the necessary results, I created the drawings on paper and used only the black ink multiliner pens from copic. All colours were added later using photoshop, as this was the solution I found to simplify the colour adjustment process.
The designs for Glambox were less complicated because there were no color limitations, so I was able to unleash my creativity and create illustrations that carried my creative essence, without any restriction. The drawings were all made 100% with Copic!
ーWhat normally inspires your design?
What inspires me the most is nature: flowers, leaves, animals...
ーWe appreciate that you have been using Copic, what do you think about Copic markers compared to other painting tools?
Since I found out about the brand, I completely fell in love with it !!!! I bought my first kits on the Official Brand’s website in Brazil, and since then I have partnered with Dezaina (Art supply store). Using COPIC markers to create my illustrations gave me confidence and the results I like. I have tried other similar markers, but none have such an incredible range of colors, intense, clear pigment and amazing blending. The possibility of refilling is also something which I like very much! When it comes to drawing on paper, I believe Copics are the best tools. I wouldn't exchange these markers for anything! They are by far the best tools I have ever used.
ーDo you have a favorite color, or a color you found particularly easy to use?
It's hard to pick one, I like so many, but my favourites are Y15 / V09 / V06 and also RV29 / RV25 / RV69
ーWhat is the theme or challenge you would like to draw in the future?
My biggest challenge going forward is to take the Brasilidade Estampada Workshop around the world, and also to do partnership deals and license products with international brands. Thanks for the opportunity COPIC JAPAN !!!!