Interview with Inha Branco
Tell us about how you got to where you are now
I was born in Macau. I came back to live in Lisbon when I was still young. In 2008/2009, I went to live in the USA for a year, and it was exactly where I got the chance to learn a lot and where I began to explore drawing more seriously. When I came back to Lisbon, I went to study at the Faculdade de Belas Artes (Fine Arts School) and the worked at an Art Auction House. At the moment, I am studying to get my Master’s Degree in Teaching to be an Art History and Drawing teacher for High School kids.
How and when did you start exploring yourself creatively through drawing?
I was 6 years old the first time I drew in a more serious way. I remember it perfectly: I was in my living room in Macau and my mother, who was always very attentive, understood that I might be good at drawing. She sat me at the head of our dining room table with a Chinese jar in front of me, gave me a paper and said “Now draw what you see”. That was the first step. I remember it as if it were today… When we came back to Portugal, in school, visual arts, drawing were always my best classes.
Then I got to high school, where I had a teacher that inspired me greatly – and still does, to this day. She was the one who opened me up to drawing and to the world of Art, the one who made everything related. When I went to the United States, the idea of studying Communication Design in University became very solid for me. It was also there that I started drawing cartoons, mainly politic.
What was your starting point and inspiration behind the work you developed for Monarte? What did your creative process look like?
The flower theme was obvious to me, since I love it and rarely I have the opportunity of painting them. After that, I started working on watercolor brushstrokes and compositions to see what I would like. Usually, when I am illustrating a story, I always fall into a pattern of using pastel colors. I thought that a sweater called for some bright colors, so I was inspired by a scene from Alice in Wonderland. It’s called “Golden Afternoon” and it’s a scene in the movie where Alice is lost in the middle of a bunch of flowers with lots of vibrant colors. I re-watched that scene – and, as I painted, I listened to the whole soundtrack again.
The "Golden Afternoon" Monarte Piece
A scene from the Disney movie “Alice in Wonderland” sets the tone for these beautifully colorful flowers. It’s called “The Golden Afternoon” and it is made to make you feel like spring every time you wear it, even if the weather doesn’t match your mood.