Purr in Ink, Luis Coehlo Illustrations

Thanks Luis aka @purr.in.ink for taking part in our favourite black and white illustrators’ interview series! Let’s start the questions!

How long have you been drawing?

Since a few lifetimes ago, meaning I don’t actually remember when it started.

What’s your process?

I just think, draw and believe that eventually, something nice will appear both in my thoughts and on paper. Sometimes I have a picture in my mind before I start drawing but it never ends up like that. I try to embrace those things that we generally call mistakes. Rather than avoiding or eliminating them, I search for solutions so that I can turn them into something nice. Mistakes can be creative geniuses helping us reach another level on our crafts. They surely make a way for us to find our own voices. The mistakes we do are what leads us to find our own ever-evolving unique creative spirit. Therefore I rarely give up on a drawing and I always use my best and most expensive paper and tools right away.

Digital vs traditional?

I’m generally happier with my traditional tools but I think digital is also awesome. 
How long does it take to create a drawing?In the last two years, my fastest drawing took me around 5 hours and my slowest one around 70. Drawing is like active meditation and therefore I usually lose the notion of time. 

Is it a hobby or your career?

I’ve luckily turned my hobby into a career very recently and I’m deeply grateful to everyone who has made this possible by following my work and feeding my path with such great energy. I, of course, also thank the cats. ^_^

Why do you draw?

Since I remember being myself there has always been this thought in my head saying that I should draw more and that it is what I’m here to do. It’s like a duty. I feel like it is the best thing that I can do with my life and what I’m best at. It does good to me and I’m also very happy that my drawings do some kind of good to others. 

What inspires you?

The possibility of making someone smile.

What is the proudest moment that you have achieved?

I really have a hard time trying to select moments by intensity. I have surely felt proud of myself at least just as many times as I felt humble. I try to do whatever it takes to be ok with who I am at every moment. So I can only give you a continuum: Not giving up on my dreams is something I allow myself to be proud of.

What is the biggest obstacle that you have faced?

Since this should be mostly about my art, I would say that trying to live as an artist can be very challenging. I’ve spent all my life looking for a way to break from my natural tendency to fall into jobs that would slowly drain all my energy. But so it is for most of us. Being able to do what we love for a living should be simple, but most of the times it is really complicated. It’s not only that society does not easily accommodate our dreams, but also the need to realize how we constantly make it even more difficult with our own actions. Most obstacles will only remain obstacles as long as we live in a way that makes us less than what we can be. 

You have one day to live, how do you spend it?

I’d most likely panic. But if I could, what I would really like to do is to find a way to stay calm and spend that day tuning in with death. I feel like death might just be the most important experience in life. It is the moment when we finally have to face it all. Although I’m inclined to believe that there is some sort of afterlife, I am not religious. But that’s not really important. I’m just talking about what it might feel to finally be presented with the end. Speaking of intensity, this one will most probably be at the top of the most intense moments of anyone’s life. It would be awesome to get to that day feeling like there is nothing else for me to live. 

Luis Coelho and his workstation.

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