Paola Saliby on illustration as a way to connect people

The Brazilian illustrator talks about the value of art in shaping our understanding of the world; plus the dangers of always saying yes to work

Paola Saliby rediscovered drawing and illustration when she went to fashion school. There she learned about colour theory, anatomy, and how to draw fabrics, among many other things. “During that time in university my interest in this artform grew,” she tells CR. “But I was studying to become a fashion designer and wasn’t aware that illustration could be a full-time career, so I only began pursuing illustration a couple of years after I graduated.” 

The transition from fashion to illustration has been one of Saliby’s biggest challenges as back then she had no idea how to start working as an illustrator or how to make it profitable. “This was ten years ago and at that time there were no illustration grad courses in Brazil, there was little information and resources available for those who were starting out,” she says. “I was lucky to find nice people to ask for help and then social media became a great space for sharing work and achieving a higher audience.” 

All images: Paola Saliby