São Francisco de Paula, RS, Brazil — Tobias Fonseca is a Brazilian artist who works at his own studio in São Francisco de Paula, RS, Brazil. He enjoys illustrating t-shirts; good thing too, because it’s what he does for a living.
Tobias’ work can be seen on many t-shirt sites including Threadless, Design By Humans, Camiseteria, Woot, TeeFury, This Shirt Changes Lives, La Fraise to name a few.
Tobias, or “Tobe” was willing to share some personal information with us when we asked him to do an interview.
When did you start creating art?
I think most artists have started creating since as a child, for me at least was that, I always been creative, I created my own toys and stuff. I started to draw near 13 years old, doing some fanzines. I loved mangá at this point.
Was there a point when you began to take art more seriously?
I got a job in advertising and there I had to create some illustrations but it wasn’t permanent. I saw that I could live from my art when I had my first print design at La Fraise. I was receiving really good money at this time, so I left my job and started working with illustrations as a freelancer at home.
How would you best describe your style?
I don’t think I have a style, but I like to base my work off of things that I enjoy. I mean, simples things that make me smile, funny jokes, or clever situations. I think I have more of a conceptual line than a style. Many of my ideas come from nature, animals, and the feelings about them.
At what age did you develop this style?
I tried lots of things, and I am still trying. Now I prefer to create something that’s amusing to me rather than thinking “what others will like”. I don’t know if I’ll be able to pay my bills with this kind of thought but I’m enjoying it for now. I enjoy paying attention to what surrounds me; trees, birds, butterflies, leaves, and nature in general.
Who or what are your artistic influences?
Mostly actual t-shirts designers. There’s so many names. Mathiole, Nathan Pyle, Ramyb, Rogério Puhl, and Aled Lewis. I love Magritte’s and Van Gogh’s work but I’m not sure if they actually influence my work.
When did you start designing t-shirts?
I started on a Brazilian site called Camiseteria. It took a year of sending work before they were able to print my work.
Do you look at this type of art as business or just a hobby?
I think it’s a mix of work and hobby. I Hardly ever create designs by demand. I prefer creating something for myself at first, and then trying to sell it.
What motivates you in life?
Being happy. Is that enough? Looks simple, but It’s hard believe me. I’ve been trying to find it, but sometimes it’s hard to define what “happiness” really is. I try to do what is best for me and keep going!
Do you have a preference for screen printing or DTG (Direct-To-Garment) printing?
I couldn’t choose. I got really good results from both kinds of prints, and the quality really varies between one or other. But ok, I’d say DTG, just because it’s faster. LOL
Mac vs. PC?
I never really used an Mac computer so I can’t choose. I have a great PC that works really great – never saw a blue screen like everybody says, so it works for me!
Favorite clothing brand?
Hard to say. I’d go with Beagle, it’s a Brazilian brand, they create great jackets and stuff. As far as tees are concerned, I couldn’t say just one. I just had my Design By Humans time when all my t-shirts were from them! Today I’m wearing lots of Threadless t-shirts and some hoodies from Camiseteria (It’s winter here).
Do you engage in physical activity (work out, yoga, martial arts)?
I try to go to the gym…Sometimes LOL
Do you cook?
Not a even fried egg, I’m a better eater.
Are you a vegetarian or vegan?
I’m not a vegan because there is meat everywhere here, but I enjoy those kind of dishes (to be honest I’m having a Veggie Pizza right now from a place called Tea House, near my home!)
What languages do you speak?
Portuguese and English. Ok, my English is not that good but I can ask for food and answer some interviews – Thanks to my teacher for reviewing it!
Do you play any instruments?
Not really, but I like to sing – in the shower.
Who are your favorite music artists?
Gavin DeGraw, Natasha Bedingfield, old times of Nelly Furtado and now listening to a Brazilian singer called Mallu Magalhães.
Do you have any favorite TV shows?
I’m loving Game of Thrones, Nurse Jackie, Breaking Bad and lots of others when I have time.
What is your preferred method of transportation (motorcycles, bicycle, car, walk?)
I prefer to walk because I live in a really small town and everywhere that I have to go is nothing more than 4-5 blocks from my home. Really nice place.
If you watch or listen to the news, from what source(s)?
Just internet, I really can’t stand television.
What movies do you enjoy most?
I just saw Prometheus, really great effects! But I have to admit I enjoy dramas mostly.
Do you have any favorite books, book series, or authors?
Harry Potter forever! These days I’m reading Game of Thrones, waiting for Dance With Dragons that will be launched here in Brazil soon.
Do you prefer smart-phones or not-so-smart phones?
I thought iPhone was too expensive and useless…Now I can’t live without mine.
What is something that you hate or absolutely enrages you?
People that try to force their beliefs onto others. Let people be who and what they want to be!