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Freelance illustrator, Kako, lives and works in São Paulo. His work has featured in the Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Illustrators Special for campaigns including Toyota, Playboy magazine and Editora Abril. He tells us about how he would have loved to collaborate with Alexander McQueen.


Kako, Illustrator

Image: Kako, illustrator.



At the moment I am working on...

Finishing illustrations for a fairy tale book, as well as a couple of ads. I’ll begin sketches for a horror book next month, which I’m quite excited about. Apart from that, I keep working on my pill projects every morning before getting to work; this month I’m back to a colour research project called '2wo5ifty6ix'.


The best piece of creative work around at the moment is...

There is this video called ‘Silver & Light’ that I came across a couple of months ago. It’s bold. It takes guts to be that big and that raw nowadays.


I am inspired by...

Friends. A word from them can make you get up again and go an extra mile.


The piece of digital work I wish I had thought of is...

I’m not sure if it fits the question but I would say internet crowdfunding. I really wish we had this around earlier. The potential of it is unparalleled to anything I’ve seen before due to its magnitude and dynamics.


Everyone wants to be part of something nowadays and crowdfunding websites are massively bringing common goals and dreams together, turning them into reality without the need of a system that until recently worked like a funnel. And the rewards of these independent collective enterprises are special because you feel you earned it; you didn’t just go to the store and buy something, you’ve helped make it possible.


The next big thing in advertising is going to be...

I wouldn’t know, it could be anything, anywhere. There are no distances anymore and that can be very exciting. I feel we are leaving behind an old vertical and structured establishment and are experiencing a new, horizontal, more interactive and organic system of advertising.


Connections are more dynamic and we will have to constantly reorganise ourselves to find our place amongst makers and consumers because these guys will increasingly want to talk to each other face to face. Maybe it will change. Maybe there won’t be anyone above the other, but a hand in hand circle business.


In a film about my life, I’d like to be played by...

Tilda Swinton

In my industry, I admire...

Creatives who listen. Professionals who guide the beginners. Hardworking people.


My dream collaboration...

WAS to work with Nagi Noda or Alexander McQueen, but unfortunately they are not with us anymore. Both had such unique visions of their trade in their own ways. Last year I went to McQueen’s exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and it was something that moved me so much - it was an indescribable feeling. As I went out, I found my wife who had already left the exhibition and I was just as speechless as her. His work had such a power over us. We had to take a moment before we could continue to the rest of the museum.


Today I would choose Wes Anderson. As the others, he has the same unique vision; it’s like opening a beautiful big book that moves, visually stunning and intricate. He’s an amazing storyteller.


In up and coming talent, I look for...

Young creatives who are patient, focused and who trust their own voices. I fear the ones who are just looking for shortcuts to fame.


A piece of criticism I received was...

Some Brazilian editors find me too interfering. In my defence I say that before working on magazine articles, I try to carry out the best research I can about the subject we’re working on and I’m not afraid to say that sometimes mine is better than the writer’s. So on more than one occasion, I’ve pointed out errors and asked them to change it even before I start the illustration. Sometimes it makes them mad and I really can’t see how this can be something wrong.


I don’t believe it’s a flaw. I’m part of a team and we have to deliver to the readers the best article we can and I’m not going to let something pass me by if I’m able to change it. And I find it quite cheap when someone implies that I’m “just the illustrator” and that I don’t have to meddle with anything but the art. I’m just glad the art directors are always on my side.


But this democratic way of work is something that happens only on the editorial market. The advertising and publishing industries are quite different from one another. For the first I work like a machine, for the latter I rule a mean dictatorship :).


The last piece of music I listened to was...

I wouldn’t be able to name it, actually. I usually spend the day listening to Fluid Radio on stream. Sometimes I keep notes of artists I should go after, but most of the time I’m just immersed on it, listening to those eerie sounds while working. But if I need to mention one, earlier today I was making coffee listening to ‘Our Hell’ by Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton, which incidentally has a beautiful video.


Video: "Silver & Light" by Ian Ruhter/Alchemist tours America and tells the story of cities through images of its people.



See more of Kako's work in our online archive here.


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Keywords: Kako, Brazil, illustration, illustrators, Alexander McQueen, Wes Anderson, magazines


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