Mariana Santos aka Mariana a miserável (the miserable one) is a Portuguese illustrator who has a very particular style, a naive sensibility, an aesthetic that rubs up against the clean, corporate, mechanical, techniques that one would expect of a modern designer. She calls her style ‘not-knowing-how-to-draw’ and it that makes her work look like it was done with an unsure eye and a shaky hand. It’s as if she’s challenging us to say ‘That’s crap’, ‘You’re rubbish’, ‘You can’t draw’. But then again that’s the point.
Lets face it anyone who is proud to call themselves the miserable one, is honest enough to admit she doesn’t fall into the lets-all-be-positive-life-is-wonderful camp wouldn’t really be the type to care what you think about her work. Yes, there is much more to admire about Mariana Santos than her work. It’s her independent mind, resolve and determination to do things her own way that makes her work that little bit special.
Here’s what she had to say about her style:
Not knowing how to draw is exactly what the name implies, it’s looking at something and making it look completely distorted when drawing it on paper, just like if my eyes were shaky or I was drawing with my wrong hand. It’s a huge predisposition for disaster, lack of talent for everything and a lack of care with the materials. It’s inevitable, but I end up by taking advantage of all that.
That’s the spirit of an artist right there.