Raphael Mendes

Raphael Mendes

(He/Him) • Vitória / ES, Brazil

Biography Interview

Raphael Mendes, a Brazilian illustrator passionate about transforming the joy of life into vibrant art. He likes to see the magic in everyday detail and discovered his passion for illustration even before becoming a professional, allowing himself to be drawn into the desire to bring happy and funky characters to life.

With a peculiar look at the world, he conveys in his works the essence of happiness and diversity. Mendes' approach stands out when illustrating pure joy, revealing stories through his simple yet emotionally charged style to explore a universe of vibrant colors and characters that brim with vivacity.

Selected clients

Dr. Oetker, Grupo Santher, SportBusiness Sicoob, Don Burger

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Advertising, Editorial, Packaging, Publishing, Commercial

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Career Milestones

Be represented internationally

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Raphael Mendes

Your pronouns

How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?
I’m a proud Latin American, representing my Brazilian people. I support social activism and marginalized communities.

Where is home?
Home is Raphaela, Lucas and Olívia, my wife and children.

Describe your style of illustration in one sentence
Funky characters, big hands and bold colors.

What lights your soul on fire?
Being able to be me, unleash my full potential and creativity.

What themes do you enjoy exploring?
I’m all up for everything, but sports, movies, music and food is top tier.

What techniques do you use?
From a piece of paper, sketchbook or my iPad, anything goes when creativity hits. But my workflow is sketching on Procreate and wrapping up there or on Illustrator.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
I think I can translate my desire to live and the happiness I have for life into my illustrations.

Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
Happy people!

What do you want to be known for?
Creating something with an impact and meaning on the lives of others.

Which projects excite you most?
The ones that challenge me the most, push me to be better.

What is your dream gig?
I love illustrations, anything is a new opportunity. But as a sports fan, collaborating with big sports brands has a warm space in my heart.

Where, when and how do you best create?
Home, on my *not so tidy* desk.

How has your style evolved since you started?
I am my biggest critic and over the years, I learned to embrace my weaknesses and enhance the qualities of my work and this is where I am now.

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in industry?
How to stay fresh without losing the essence of my work.

How as being an illustrator changed your life?
From the child who scribbled on walls, to the teenager that drew on school books to the adult father of two who draws for a living. I don’t see myself doing anything else. My life is way more colorful now.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
Definitely me iPad Air

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
My first illustration for packaging. Being able to see it all over the country is something that I’ve always dreamed of and still feels so unreal.

What influences or inspires your art?
Human interactions, I love people doing people things. People is the keyword.

What would you tell your younger self?
Do not be afraid to try

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Art can be so much more, art is subjective and can reach more people. Art is universal.

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