Today we speak with Marlene Canto, a Portuguese graphic designer who loves illustration who manages to create worlds full of creativity and color to launch messages of strong meaning.
Hello Marlene Who are you? How would you define yourself?
Hi, I'm Marlene, a Portuguese girl who loves to laugh. I am passionate about illustration but I work mainly as a graphic designer.
Where were you born? Are you still living there?
I was born in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve and I grew up in a small town called Quarteira. Over the years I lived in Lisbon, Schwäbisch Gmünd (Germany) and Porto and two or three years ago I returned to my hometown. Next year I want to move abroad again. I am always looking for a good adventure.
When did you decide to become an artist?
Art is part of me, I did not choose it. I remember when I was five years old and said that I wanted to be an architect. My mother used to tell me that from a very young age she drew everywhere: doors, walls, furniture, books, etc., maybe she was already beginning to experiment with materials and textures… just kidding. Then came the music and eventually as I got older this inexplicable interest piqued more curiosity and filled my life even more.
How would you define your style in a sentence?
I would define it as intuitive and daring, evoking social themes and abstract characters associated with feelings or moods, which translate into bold lines and colorful organic shapes.
Your weaknesses? Your strengths?
Weakness: very impatient. My greatest strengths are the ability to be very self-aware and to express myself through my art.
What would you say makes you different?
Be true to myself.
What do you find most fascinating about creativity?
I find it fascinating to create something out of nothing and allow yourself to think and explore without rules or limitations. It can help anyone express their true self and at the same time solve different types of problems. The most exciting part is the "wow factor", because you never know what the end result will be like.
Which of your works do you have a special affection?
"It's okay to feel lost" (It's okay to feel lost). I think we have all felt this way at some point. Unfortunately no one teaches us how to react or deal with it, even if it is part of our growth process. Changes will always occur in life, they are transitions to a new beginning.
Who inspires or influences you when creating?
I get a lot of inspiration from everything around me. People, nature, social affairs and music.
Do you have a new project or idea in hand?
Yes. In such an atypical year we are facing, I have decided to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and recently created a project in which I explore feelings, moods, social issues and experiences through forms and bold and fearless colors. Is named maganagoesbold and you can find it on Instagram.
2025 Where do you see yourself?
Doing what I like, continuing to learn, improving, inspiring, achieving goals and setting new ones.
Finish the sentence: When the going gets tough ...
Face it, don't give up and learn along the way until the storm passes.
A favorite place.
I love mountains, but any place that has good food and good people has a special place in my heart.
What would you do if you could change the world?
End all diseases and create a more stable society.
Penultimate question… Favorite song?
Mission impossible ... I'm the queen of people who like different genres of music from different decades, but Stevie Wonder's “Superstition” is definitely in my top 10. It always gives me good vibes and makes me want to dance with a smile on my face. .
A book that no one should miss?
Essay on Blindness by José Saramago.