Name: Camila Rosa
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Occupation: Illustrator and Visual Artist
Artist Camila Rosa uses her talent to create visually stunning illustrations that are meant to inspire women and connect them across social boundaries. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bust, GQ, and on Spotify as well as in myriad other publications and advertisements. That’s not to say that this Brazilian born trailblazer has always had it all figured out.
“I went to industrial design school in my hometown, and after working for a big company designing trophies, I decided to quit and that changed my life,” Camila says. “I moved to Sao Paulo and started to work with graphic design and illustration, which was my distant dream back in 2012. It was very hard to move to a new city, a new job along with a lot of other changes at just 21 years old, but it was worth it after all.”
By then she’d been involved with Coletivo CHÁ, an artists collective she joined one month after two of her friends founded it.
“We started with the desire to publicize our ideas, and we chose to put it on the streets. Being part of a group of five women supporting each other was the best way to believe in ourselves and in our work. I decided to be an Illustrator because of the collective,” Camila confesses.
Between her professional endeavors as a freelancer and her desire to inspire other women, Camila has found herself on the forefront of a socially conscious design revolution. From feminist calendars to Pride Month illustrations for Refinery29 to provocative works such as her “No Human Is Illegal”, Camila’s work goes beyond the simplistic eye candy of commercial art. But, believe it or not, abundant sparks of artistic ingenuity don’t come naturally.
“I always have a hard time trying to be creative,” Camila says. “I think we have to exercise our minds every day, and for me, it’s never an easy job. I believe that creativity is not about what you are, it’s about what you experience. It’s a moment.”
And these days, most of her workday consists of the solitary practice of being a freelance artist toiling at home.
“Being a full-time freelance illustrator, it’s a big challenge because you have to do all the work, including the business part, planning my schedule, chatting with clients, and everything else. I’m a one-woman studio and sometimes it’s not easy to do all the work,” she says.
When she’s not illustrating, Camila is going to punk and hardcore shows, traveling, visiting museums and exhibitions, and hanging out with her pals.
Other than gleaning inspiration from everyday experiences, Camila hopes to strike the balance between commercial success and creative expression by honing her artistic skills beyond design. That said, she recognizes the importance of keeping her illustrations out there as a professional, beyond the fact that it is her career.
“I believe it’s important to keep doing commercial work just so I can still show my work to the world,” she says.
With her art speaking volumes, is there any message to young girls out there that Camila would like to add?
“Believe in yourself and never give up. It’s important we understand that we can do stuff, and to do that, we need to educate ourselves!”
Bold words from a brilliant artist! For her electrifying and thought-provoking artistic works, and for her perseverance when it comes to female unity, we think Camila Rosa is a very Cool Girl!
See more of Camila’s work on her website camilarosa.net. Like her on Facebook or follow on Instagram.
We made a $200 donation to The Maria Da Penha Institute to help support women against violence and abuse. We encourage you to make a donation too! The Institute is in Brazil so you may need to use a translator and a currency converter to donate.