Brazilian Illustrator: Marcela Sabiá -spreading message of self-love thru art

by Mariana Laviaguerre
The Brazilian Illustrator, Marcela Sabiá, has been spreading message of self-love thru art. Her motivation to engage the cause started after the end of a long relationship. She began to feel a necessity of empowerment and to redeem her self-esteem.
Read below the full interview.
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When did you discover your passion for art?
I’ve always been passionate about art since an early age. I would spend hours drawing, creating characters and Arts was one of my favorite classes at school. I thought it was amazing to study art history and devoted much to schoolwork. I also recall buying magazines, clipping all the illustrations I could find and keeping them on a folder. All of this has always been very spontaneous, and I’ve never thought about working with art until I finished the college feeling depressed about my professional life. I guess that was when I found out how passionate I was and I found my way as an illustrator.
What motivated you to use your talent as an illustrator for the sake of causes such as self-love, mental health, and body positivism?
When I started illustrating professionally, I began to miss a purpose behind my work. I wanted to spread a message and involve myself in a cause but did not know precisely what-until the end of a long relationship that shook me deeply. After that, I began to feel a necessity of empowerment and to redeem my self-esteem, which resulted in the illustrations of self-love. What was a therapy to help me ended up becoming the cause I was looking for and all the focus of what I do today, with a lot of love.
What are your greatest inspirations in art?
I am a fan of many illustrators, but currently, the ones who are inspiring me the most are Bruna Morgan, Frances Cannon, Tyler Feder, Carol Rossetti and Ambivalently Yours.
Who do you consider to be your female inspirations?
I am inspired when I see extremely well-known pop artists using their voices to empower other women and talk about issues like mental health-when everyone expects them to be superficial and only sexual symbols. I greatly admire Demi Lovato for being as transparent as her trajectory (use of drugs, bipolarity, self-mutilation, food disorders, bullying) and help so many people. I’m also a fan of Rihanna, Lady Gaga and (Brazilian singer) Anitta.
Do you receive feedback from male fans? What do they say about your work?
Just a few, but yes. I have already received testimonials from men who thanked me for addressing some subject, others asking me to talk about specific masculine issues and the most common: offenses and criticism saying that I encourage women to be “ugly and fat .” There are still few men with a receptive feminist mindset, I think mainly because there is the idea that feminists hate all men and that’s not true. My fight is for equality and freedom for both sexes. Why is waxing something imposed on women when it should be a choice, just as it is for men? And why is it acceptable for a woman to be sentimental, but if you question the masculinity of man if he is emotional? It’s something that needs to be deconstructed.
If you could give a piece of advice to girls who have difficulty accepting their bodies, what would you say?
I’d tell them to remember that there are no rules when it comes to beauty. There is no pattern that we are accustomed to craving. Beauty is a state of mind, of profound love for what we are and the fact that we are unique in this world. It’s a process that begins when we can find a little piece of our body that we love and focus on it every day until we find many others. Don’t compare yourselves to others don’t mistreat yourselves. Start looking for love and people will do the same.
Do you think that art can be a tool to help people who suffer from problems as depression?
I’m sure about this! People get stronger when they realize they’re not alone and they’re not the only ones going through that experience. The prejudice with the illness makes it much worse-we think we are crazy and unbalanced but the mind gets sick just like the body does.  I think it’s important to share the reality of illness, through art or otherwise, to inform and include people.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
At the moment, I’m working on the “#realprincesses” project in which I illustrate Disney princesses with human features like acne, stains, and a plus size body. I also intend to write a book for some time, but I still have not been able to dedicate myself to the project as I would like. It’s still going to happen:)
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Would you like to leave a message for our readers?
Don’t be afraid to focus on yourselves, to find yourselves, to try new things. Believe more in yourselves by all means. You are worthy and worthy of love, never doubt that.
IG: @marcelailustra

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