Meet Kruella, the Lisbon-Based Artist Making Geometric Waves in Portugal's Illustration Scene

An illustration by Kruella d'Enfer | © Kruella d'Enfer
An illustration by Kruella d'Enfer | © Kruella d'Enfer
Photo of Nina Santos
27 April 2018

Angela Ferreira, AKA Kruella d’Enfer, is a Portuguese artist whose imaginative designs are brightening Portugal one mosaic and colorful print at a time. Inspired by Lisbon and her day-to-day interactions, Kruella’s artwork can be described as fantastically otherworldly, whimsical, and brilliantly vibrant, and you may have already seen her artwork on the façade of a weathered building or two. We got to chat with Kruella and here’s what we learned about one of Lisbon’s trendiest artists.

Where are you from and where have you lived?

I’m from Tondela, a small village in the north of Portugal. I spent a semester in London and another in Thailand. Right now, I’m living in Lisbon.

The artist | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

How did you become an artist?

I was studying Ambient Design in Caldas da Rainha, a city one hour from Lisbon. I felt it wasn’t for me after a while and started drawing, without knowing that I could actually become an artist and make a living from it.

The artist in her studio | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

Where did you study?

As I mentioned before, I studied in Caldas da Rainha but didn’t finish my degree, so everything related to my career is self-taught. It’s funny because right now I’m a teacher for an Illustration course in Lisbon.

Botanica Digital Illustration | © KRUELLA

What about Lisbon inspires your work and do you gain inspiration from any other places?

Lisbon is a great city and it’s the place I call home. I feel inspired by the people I know here, including other artists. It’s a small circuit, so most of them are my friends and we often collaborate on projects and have a nice work relationship. Lisbon is beautiful; it’s so calm compared to other cities. The weather is amazing. I love my house which is also my studio.

A print designed by Kruella | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

I love to travel and it makes me even more curious about some topics I usually draw, like popular traditions, myths, the patterns or even the colors of the city. I visited Morocco for the first time recently and fell in love with the colors and details you find everywhere. So, traveling definitely adds value to my work.

Cut-outs made for a magazine cover | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip
Book cover paper installation artwork | © KRUELLA

What materials do you use to create your work?

I go from digital work using Photoshop, acrylics, installations, and watercolors to fabrics, ceramics, and spray cans. Everything depends on what kind of project I’m working on and what suits best in each case.

A suitcase with her own design | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

What is the future of visual art and illustration, in your opinion?

It’s pretty optimistic and promising. There are a lot of opportunities booming, like brands collaborating with artists, street art festivals, exhibitions, artists creating their own brands and investing in their own projects. The world is very visual nowadays, which, in my opinion, is a good thing, because it’s what makes the world more alive, playful, colorful and a better place to live.

A map of Lisbon designed by Kruella | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip
Existence Without Form solo show | © KRUELLA

When is your next exhibition and what is its theme?

I have no idea where it is going to be yet, but I’m applying for artistic residencies outside of Portugal and focusing on that right now. I want to make more works on paper and use watercolors; that’s what I want to explore this year.

The artist’s studio | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

How would you define your style?

It’s fantasy mixed with reality, surreal mixed with real, and it’s colorful all the time.

The artist at work | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip
The artist’s studio | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip
Illustration by Kruella | © KRUELLA

Where can we see your work in Lisbon?

Right now, originals and prints, only at my studio. I’m happy to receive whoever wants to visit to see some works. But there are already a few walls around town you can go and visit, like the one I did in Marvila.

Kruella painting a container at Village Underground | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip
Kruella painting a container at Village Underground | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

What’s the next project you are working on?

I’m working on a big commercial project for a Portuguese brand. Also, I’m focusing on making more personal projects, more original artwork and also some new prints and merchandise.

Kruella painting a container at Village Underground | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

How would you describe your technique in three words?

Bold, naive, dreamy.

Illustration for Mango Store | © KRUELLA

Which artists inspire you the most?

I’ve really been into Merijn Hos‘ work for a long time now. I follow what he does and it’s pretty much the vibe and worlds I’m also into. Also, Marina Muun and Andrea Wan. I’m more inspired by recent and young artists nowadays than I was before. I like how they approach new techniques and how they work with some projects I would also like to work with in the future.

Kruella’s street art in Marvila neighborhood | Marina Watson Peláez / © Culture Trip

What piece of work are you most proud of?

I’m super proud of the solo show I did last year in May, called Existence Without Form. It was a difficult process to make everything I wanted to do, but I did it and couldn’t be more proud.

See more of Kruella’s work on her website.

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