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With Valentine’s Day coming up Nina Ricci decided to collaborate with the multitalented illustrator Ana Strumpf for their new #MyBestValentine campaign. We had the opportunity to get to know this power woman during an interview. 


She moved in 2010 from São Paulo to New York to follow the love of her life. After four years she came back to her hometown with her husband and kids to live in an apartment we can only dream about. Besides that she has many talents. On her list of daily activities: illustrations, interior and product design, trend forecasting, creative consulting, art direction and not to mention being a wife and a mother. We asked her about her creative process, her collaboration with Nina Ricci for their new #MyBestValentine campaign and many more. 
Ana you are an illustrator, interior and product designer, creative consultant, art director, a wife and a mother of 3 year old twins. It’s obvious that you are multitalented, but is there something that you can’t do? Where do you find the time to do all of this and be a mother of two?
This multitasking side of me is a privilege but at the same time it makes me really anxious. And being a mom is also another profession. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing anything right. But at the same time I feel blessed to be able to use my creative outlook in a great number of areas. But I can't do lot's of things, cooking is a good example; I'm terrible at it. To manage my work and being a mom (and have a bit of time for myself) I try to stick in to a routine. Since I'm involved in many different projects at the same time, if I'm not organized, I go crazy.
How did you become the successful Ana Strumpf you are now? Can you tell us something about the road you have travelled to come here? 
I'm not sure how to answer this question, but I never planned anything... I started to work very young, I used to intern in fashion magazines in Sao Paulo and at my parent’s interior design fabric store in my vacations. And I always loved art, fashion and interior design. I studied fashion, grew up near interior design and I've been drawing since I was a kid. Back in 2003 I used to own a fashion and design store for six years. It was a very cool time in my life. But it was when I was living in NY that I started to illustrate on magazine covers. It was a very organic process, and again, I never planned it, or never could I imagine that it would become a success. And because of the covers, brands and magazines started to ask me for commissioned jobs. So, I've been doing this since then, together with my interior and product design projects, and Vogue Brazil.
For your job you have to be creative 24/7. Where do you find your inspiration? What do you do when you have a designer’s block?
I find inspiration everywhere, in books, magazines, museums, fashion shows, trips, people in the streets… Max and Noah are very inspiring; kids are so pure and creative! But it’s hard to be creative, it's not an easy process, I often get block before I start a project! In my opinion the only way to be creative is to practice a lot.
One of your own projects is Re.Cover. Can you tell us something more about it? How did it start?
I was in New York when this happened. I lived there from 2010 to 2014. I used to do meetings via Skype and meanwhile I would draw doodles on magazines. I started liking the result and posted pictures on Instagram that people also appreciated. It was a way to give new meaning to these magazines that would be thrown away otherwise. Then some blogs started posting and it became viral. Some friends who own a gallery in São Paulo invited me to exhibit the covers and as a result they got more attention.
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have a signature pencil?
I use lots of colours, but at the same time I love black and white. I love mixing patterns and shapes. And I try not to take my illustrations too seriously. I'm pop, fun, romantic, but super classic at the same time. I use posca and deco colour markers, but since I got my iPad Pro I've been having lots of fun with it as well.
How do you create your illustrations? What steps do you take? Can you take us through your creative process? 
I can’t track where my creative process comes from. There’s no rules. Sometimes inspiration comes out of nowhere, other times I struggle for days to find a good idea. Really, there’s not an order to how I do things. My multitasking side is always on. No matter what time of the day it is, I could be doing anything that will suddenly send sparks. I have an aesthete look on everything.
Which illustration are you the most proud of? Can you tell us the story behind it?
The Re.Cover project is definitely a dear project, because it’s where it all started. I love Vogue Brazil flower editorial and Elle Mexico Beauty editorial. I designed wallpaper for a Brazilian brand called Branco that I love; it's a black and white forest with my illustrations in color over it. My favourite projects are the ones that I can mix my illustrations with design.
You already worked for high-end companies such as Style.com, Vogue and Nylon, what’s next? Do you have brands that are on your to-design-for list?
I would love to be able to collaborate for Stella McCartney kids brand, and Uniqlo.
You designed illustrations for the new #MyBestValentine campaign from Nina Ricci for Valentine’s Day. Besides that you are also taking over their Instagram. Can you tell us more about the campaign and your part in it?
This is a big project that I've been involved since last September. The campaign is so cute; it has been lovely to be a part of it. The visuals were already shot, so my job was to give a fun and pop mood to it. I think that it is a new visual for Nina Ricci Parfums, they trusted me a lot, I could not be happier with the result. The project was so nice that we did also packaging design and a lot of new content for digital.
For Nina Ricci’s campaign your emojis will be shared around the world. Is that something you dreamed about when you were young?
I've done lots of international projects. When I started, I could never imagine a collaboration with such an iconic brand like Nina Ricci. And I could not have done it without Fernando Ambrosio, from La Baraque, a creative agency that I’m part of. He introduced my work to Nina Ricci and they loved it.
In the campaign, Nina chose her best friend Luna instead of her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. Who would you choose to celebrate this special day: your best friend or your husband?
I usually spend with my husband, doing nothing! And I love it.
Are you more of Luna or Nina? What fragrance do you identify with the most?
I guess I'm a mix of Luna and Nina. I'm so involved with both that I can't choose one.
What does a perfume need for you to fall in love with it?
I love perfumes, and I usually go with flower scents.

Words
Nicole Sijbers
Portrait
Alessandro Guimaraes

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