Category: freelancing

Anita no Trabalho

Sketching in beautiful and picturesque #Prague

Decisions, decisions. Where shall we go next? #Prague

Hoje é dia de editar mais um episódio da #anitanotrabalho, o #podcast sobre empreendedorismo no feminino. Todos os episódios disponíveis em

#knitting a new #shawl with #linen I brought from Barcelona. Much to my surprise, I'm loving working with it. I expected it to be hard and difficult to work with - it's not. Can't wait to get back to it, because #neverenoughshawls

#embroidery takes me to that place of calm and wonder. Playing with colors, shapes and textures in this way feels exactly like that: play. So glad this is also work. Join the #airembroideryclub or learn how to embroider: Http://

Ler em inglês
Este é o título do podcast que criei, juntamente com a Eliana Soares, e que já vai no seu quinto episódio. Mas é também um pouco o meu estado nestas últimas semanas, entre o curso de formação de formadores que estive a fazer (e que adorei) e os vários feriados, que apesar de maravilhosos nos sobrecarregam os dias de trabalho.

Nesses tais dias de descanso fiz coisas maravilhosas, como ir a Praga, onde revi um primo que não via há… hmmm… demasiados anos; e encontrar nos voos de ida e volta um casal que conheci em Macau, tinha eu nove, dez anos. Tantos anos a viver praticamente ao lado uns dos outros e vamos encontrar-nos noutro país!

Em Praga andámos e andámos e andámos por todo o lado, o meu conta-passos regalou-se com tantas estrelinhas que me pôde atribuir, e eu regalei os olhos pela arquitectura da cidade. A promessa de mau tempo não foi cumprida, e acabámos por ter uns dias bons, quentes e de sol. Praga é como eu imagino que seriam muitas cidades alemãs antes da guerra, elegante e charmosa com o seu rio cheio de consoantes e poucas vogais, o Vltava.

Nos dias em que não passeio (que são quase todos, vá!), tenho-me dividido entre trabalho para clientes, trabalho para potenciais clientes, Clube de Bordado, tricot e muita Anita no Trabalho. Estou a adorar este projecto, esta sensação de não fazer a menor ideia se estou a fazer bem, mas fazer à mesma. Estou a gostar de ter este espaço de reflexão sobre o empreendedorismo no feminino, dos seus desafios e alegrias, e estou a gostar de perceber, pelo feedback que vamos recebendo, que esta é uma temática que precisa de ser discutida. (Por falar nisso, ontem publicámos o episódio número 5, o primeiro com uma convidada.)

E por falar em bordado, e em workshops, e agora que terminei o meu curso de formação de formadores, estou a planificar uma oferta mais estruturada e completa de cursos e workshops de bordado e tricot para o próximo Outono. (Enquanto o Outono não chega, o curso online e gratuito de bordado está disponível aqui.)

Votos de um bom fim-de-semana a todos!


“Anita no Trabalho” is the title of the podcast I co-created and co-host with Eliana Soares. It translates as “Anita at work”, and alludes to several different childhood memories of our generation, while at the same time hinting at the balance between work and personal life. This podcast is now in its fifth episode and has been filling my life both with quite the workload and a lot of pleasure – because through it I’ve been connecting with wonderful people (starting with my co-host and going on with guests and listeners who get in touch).

“Anita no Trabalho” has also been my mood lately: I attended an intensive course to train trainers (I don’t know if there’s an equivalent for this course in other countries, but basically we are taught how to teach) and this course took a large chunk of my time. June is also a month with several bank holidays, and this time around they fell conveniently on a Friday (Portugal National Day on June 10th) and on the following Monday (Lisbon’s Municipal Holiday, Saint Anthony). These breaks are absolutely wonderful, but they also mean that the remaining work days are busier than they should.

During those rest days, we flew to Prague, where I met a cousin I hadn’t seen for… hmmm… ahem… too long. And on our flight there, and on the flight back!, I saw a couple I first met when I was a kid, almost thirty years ago. Amazing how you can live almost next door to someone and never cross paths – and meet your neighbor in the least expected place!

Prague is a very walkable city (at least in the Summer, I can only imagine how unwalkable it must be in sub-zero temperatures). My fitbit held its own party on my wrist with all the record-breaking step count I logged during those days. We were promised bad weather and had wonderful weather instead, which meant that we could walk and enjoy the beautiful architecture everywhere. Prague is how I imagine many German cities were before the war: charming, majestic and elegant, with its consonant-rich river, the Vltava.

In all the other days, I’ve been dividing my time between client work, work for potential clients, the Embroidery Club, knitting and lots and lots of podcast work. I’m throughly enjoying this project, the feeling that we have no idea of what we’re doing, but doing it anyway. I love the fact that we are creating a space to think about what it means to be a female entrepreneur in our country these days. And it’s wonderful to connect with our listeners, and realize that this was something that was necessary and is striking a chord. (By the way, episode 5 just dropped, and it’s the first with a guest!)

Speaking of embroidery, and workshops, and my training as a trainer, I’m currently designing new, more structured and comprehensive embroidery and knitting courses and workshops for next Fall.(And until the leaves turn, you can still learn how to embroider with the free, fun and fantastic embroidery e-course.)

Have a great weekend!

Last Saturday (and an interview!)

workshops de tricot air

Last Saturday we had a knitting workshop here in the studio. There were biscuits and tea, yarn and needles, lots of knitting and purling. We had one beginner knitting a swatch of ribbing; one intermediate knitter learning to fix mistakes; one advanced knitter reviewing increases and decreases on the right and reverse sides; and one advanced knitter learning to pick up and knit stitches.

The morning flew by in a minute, or so it seems, while we had yarn and needles in hand. I only notice how time flies by how hungry I get!

To be the first to know about new workshops, sign up for the email news and gain access to special subscriber freebies!

On other news, I’m super excited to share that Projeto Lida interviewed me sometime ago and they published our conversation today. It’s in portuguese, but there are many pictures of both my home and studio. Hope you enjoy!

Have a great week!

air no projeto lida

No Sábado passado tivemos workshop de tricot aqui no atelier. Houve biscoitos e chá, lãs e agulhas, muita meia e liga. Uma principiante tricotou e rematou uma amostra de elástico; uma tricoteira intermédia aprendeu a reconhecer e a corrigir erros no seu trabalho; uma tricoteira avançada reviu aumentos e diminuições no direito e no avesso; e outra tricoteira avançada aprendeu a levantar malhas.

A manhã passou num instante, pareceu-me a mim, que só notei a passagem do tempo quando a barriga começou a dar horas!

Para saber primeiro sobre workshops de tricot, assine a newsletter aqui e aceda aos presentes exclusivos para subscritores!

E ainda sobre tricot, mas não completamente, os meus queridos Ricardo e Rita, do Projeto Lida, publicaram hoje uma conversa que tivemos há algum tempo atrás. Estou muito contente! Que acham da entrevista?

Desejo-vos uma óptima semana!


Tiles collaborate to create patterns.
Tiles collaborate to create patterns.

I’m still new to this thing called “collaboration”. Well, not exactly new, because I certainly know what it means. But I am certainly inexperienced when it comes to creating opportunities to grow my business by collaborating with interesting and interested people.

I already told you that I am taking an online business course that has been turning upside down my way of thinking about work, the creation of value and money. A couple of weeks ago, our homework was to think about our team. It included people I could hire as help, as consultants. It included apps that could automate many of my tasks and make my life easier. But included what I found to be the most unchartered territory of all, for me at least: people I could partner up for specific projects in a mutually beneficial relationship.

This may sound obvious to you, my dear reader. To me, however, it was pure gold. Not that I could see it right away, because these things take time to sink in for me.

A few days later, however, this important lesson came to mind when a client requested a job that is partly outside of my abilities. My client rocks, because he could certainly see the potential before I did. A few days later, I saw it too: a little cartoon light bulb became bright just above my head, when I finally identified the perfect expert to partner up for this project.

Before I knew it, I “enrolled” my first teammate, and together we will be able to create more value for the client than if we were to be working alone. A bit like the pattern above, where the overall visual impression is more than the mere sum of its parts.

How about you? How has collaboration helped you pursue your goals? Click here to add your voice to the discussion.

(Also, check out the new Embroidery Club, starting September 2013. Either a beginner or a seasoned stitcher, you will love seeing your creations coming to life!)


Sou bastante inexperiente nesta coisa chamada “colaboração”. Não que desconheça o conceito, pelo contrário; mas até há bem pouco tempo desconhecia-o no que a trabalho diz respeito.

Já vos contei que estou a fazer um curso de negócios, chamado 10 Thousand Feet. Há algumas semanas, o trabalho de casa era sobre a equipa. Falava da ajuda que podíamos contratar, de forma mais permanente ou apenas pontual; falava até das apps que existem agora para automatizar muitas das tarefas mais mecânicas que fazem parte dos nossos dias. Mas o mais importante, pelo menos para mim, foi a secção sobre a colaboração com parceiros interessantes e interessados.

Para muitos de vocês isto pode parecer absolutamente óbvio, mas em mim a ideia levou algum tempo a ser interiorizada.

Uns dias mais tarde, esta lição voltou a estar muito presente quando um cliente fantástico me consultou para lhe fazer um trabalho que cai parcialmente fora das minhas habilidades. Num primeiro momento pensei em dizer que não, que não era a minha área… até que se fez luz no meu espírito e me lembrei da pessoa perfeita para desafiar para o projecto. Como vêem, o meu cliente percebeu o potencial muito antes de mim. E estou segura que, tal como acontece no padrão acima, ao fazer esta parceria, poderemos oferecer um trabalho melhor que a mera soma das partes.

Passo agora a palavra aos leitores: de que forma colaboraram com outras pessoas para melhorar o vosso trabalho e atingir os objectivos? De que forma ficaram as partes a ganhar? Comentem aqui.

Is profit a dirty word?

"airing from Lisbon", issue 35, is here

A month and half ago, I started attending and online business course called Ten Thousand Feet. It has been an intense and fun ride, and it has kept me awake, more than once!, with ideas. So far, it has made me change the way I see my business and my relationship with money.

This course is aimed at mostly women like me, who are micro-entrepreneurs, have good ideas, work very hard to make them happen, and still feel unjustly compensated for their efforts. To give you one example from my own business history, I have three years of writing, illustrating and e-publishing my zine “airing from Lisbon”, formerly known as “We’re in Panama!”, completely free of charge. As much as I love making it, it takes at least one week of my work month, without a financial compensation. I want to be clear: I love to work pro-bono for a cause, and admire those who choose to donate their work to charities, but the point in cause is that work – in this case, my work – should be appropriately compensated.

I’m my worst enemy on this, and I want to change that.

This may sound weird to many, but cultural interference is important: I was brought up to not stand out from the crowd. There are historical and anthropological reasons for it, such as my parents’ generation having lived during a very long dictatorship. Standing out was not good at that time.

My excellent grades in school were not something to talk about: standing out in that context meant that I was “competitive”, had “leader’s attitudes” (as if that were a bad thing) and could provoke envy in others.

Last May, twenty years after being in school, I signed up for this course attracted by its concept: to work smarter, more efficiently, and to double my income in the next year. In financially appropriate terms, to increase my return on investment.

I suddenly saw myself (virtually) surrounded by people who believe that working to create value for the public and earning money are not mutually exclusive concepts. Profit is not a dirty word was the sentence a fellow colleague shared today, about one entrepreneur who worked well, saw his business grow, earned a good income and used a part of it to anonymously give back to his community.

This was the inspiration I needed to aim higher, to not be afraid to price my work well and mostly not care about the possible envy it may or may not provoke.

Politics, religion and money are taboo, was what I learnt when I was a teenager, and I know this topic isn’t easy. Still, I would like to know: what are your thoughts?

Share your thoughts below!


Há cerca de um mês e meio comecei a fazer um curso de negócios online. Dado por uma mulher, aliás, duas, este curso tem-me feito perder o sono pela incrível mudança de paradigma que tem provocado em mim, na minha maneira de encarar o meu trabalho, o meu negócio e a minha relação com o dinheiro.

O curso destina-se a pessoas como eu, micro-empreendedores, sobretudo mulheres, que têm boas ideias, fartam-se de trabalhar mas não vêem os seus esforços recompensados financeiramente. Para vos dar um exemplo, para trás tenho três anos de publicação mensal da minha zine ilustrada “airing from Lisbon”, antes “We’re in Panama!” (que adoro fazer e partilhar, por sinal), mas que não me traz nem um cêntimo de retorno financeiro. Imaginem que trabalhavam uma semana inteira por mês sem receber nada em troca? A menos que seja trabalho voluntário (opção perfeitamente digna), não tem graça nenhuma.

Talvez seja influência cultural, não sei, mas a minha educação sempre foi para não sobressair do conjunto. Na escola tinha excelentes notas, o que nem sempre jogava a meu favor. Sobressair significava muita coisa “má”: ser competitiva, ter atitudes de líder (como se isso fosse mau), despertar invejas.

Inscrevi-me neste curso pelo currículo e pela sua premissa: trabalhar menos, de forma mais eficiente, de forma a ganhar mais dinheiro. Em palavras “executivamente” bonitas, a ter um melhor retorno pelo meu investimento.

E de repente vi-me rodeada (virtualmente) de pessoas que pensam que criar valor, trabalhar para o bem comum e ganhar dinheiro não são conceitos antagónicos. Profit is not a dirty word foi a frase que li hoje, contada a propósito de um empreendedor que trabalhava bem, ganhava muito e que repartia os seus lucros com a comunidade de forma anónima.

Às vezes, é desta inspiração que necessito para almejar mais alto, para não ter medo de sentir que o meu trabalho deve ser valorizado e bem pago e que não devo temer as invejas que isso possa despertar.

Sobre política, religião e dinheiro não se fala, foi o que aprendi ainda adolescente, e sei que por isso o tema não é fácil. Mas quero saber: que opinam?

Dêem-me a vossa opinião abaixo!

Uppercase #17: Stationery around the world

Uppercase #17: Stationery around the world

Uppercase #17: Stationery around the world

A few months ago, I had the honor of collaborating with Uppercase Magazine. Janine, the fantastic founder and editor, organized a feature around stationery around the world, and kindly asked me to contribute to the Latin American section. (Thank you, Janine!)

I loved researching, talking to artists and writing the article, which you will be able to read in issue number 17. It is now available online and on selected distributors.

But, better yet, subscribe to Uppercase! I am happy to share with you that you can get a discount off the subscription price by entering “contributor17” as a discount code. Enjoy!

I want to thank the following artists for their help:

Corrupiola (Leila e Aleph)
Alpharrábio (Ana Roberta)

La Casuni (Valeria)
Toshisworld (Nieves Pumarejo)

I leave you with a couple more spreads from other parts of the world:

Uppercase #17: Stationery around the world

Uppercase #17: Stationery around the world

Etsy shop now open + behind the scenes







Yesterday I opened my new etsy shop. Last week, I marked some of my pieces in my Behance portfolio as “for sale”. And am currently working to open my Spoonflower shop, so I can sell my designs there.

This has been quite the logistical operation here, as you can imagine. A few months ago I came to the realization that I was working a lot by publishing a monthly issue of my zine. I wanted – and still want – to share it for free; but I do need to monetize my efforts in some other way.

I remembered reading other bloggers’ posts debating the same questions and understood that these are growing pains many of us share. We do want to keep creating content that is fresh, new and distributed for free; but we want to see our work rewarded financially. How do we do that?

I have to say that I don’t have clear answers yet, so I turned to a designer, crafter, blogger that I very much admire, Patricia Zapata of A Little Hut. We exchanged some e-mails and with her guidance I found myself reworking – and test embroidering – some of my illustrations into embroidery patterns. As a start, I released two car patterns, but I want to increase this collection very soon.

After a lot of research, I found that most of the embroidery patterns available for purchase have a “cute” angle that I didn’t want to adopt. I wanted something closer to the spontaneity of a sketch, something like an embroidered translation of the visual language you can see in my zine.

I hope you like visiting my etsy shop and purchase a pattern or two. I thank you all for the support and help in spreading the word. Are there any illustrations you would like to see transformed into embroidery patterns?

The style discussion

Almost done... But not quite.

This month, my main tasks have been to paint, embroider and sew baby blankets, and my e-zine, “We´re in Panama!”. I´ve had other projects, too, but these were the ones most present during the past few weeks. The variety of mediums I have been working with has made me think about the style discussion, omnipresent in the illustration world.

(If you´re not aware of it, the discussion goes about the advantages and disadvantages of an illustrator having one specific style. This discussion is highly ambiguous, because “style” fails to be defined and it is very often confused with “medium”.)

In the light of said confusion, I think that one personal style may show through different mediums and techniques. It shows by gestures, by choice of colours, by kinds of lines and textures used, by combinations of patterns. Style is not limited to one medium, as it can show through different materials, due to the differentiating characteristics that show that one piece was made by a certain person.

This has no easy answer or definition, I know. But I think that all the different pieces I make have something in common, something mine that shows: choice of colour, gestures, the way objects are represented,…

What is your take on this discussion? Should an illustrator work with one medium only? Does style show through, no matter the materials used?

2011 goals, a wrap up

Setting goals seems to be an activity for the beginning of the year, as much as accounting for the old goals seems to be pertinent in December. I felt that urge to share my goals, too, but decided to save it for a bit later, to let things calm down.

Now, after having my birthday last week (February 8th! And yes, I love celebrating my birthday!), it feels like the right time to write this post.

So, first for the 2011 goals, which you can read about here.

1. Sew a finish a quilt.

Quilt, almost finished

Quilt: hand sewing the binding to the back.
No, not really. Not in 2011, but it was my crafty project for 2012. I decided to go for a “+” pattern, which didn´t make my life easier, being a beginner and all. Still, I´m very happy about the result and now have the skills to make a – let´s put it this way – less misaligned quilt top next time. I´m just about to finish hand-sewing the binding to the back and I am in love with it, quirks and imperfections and all.

2. Sew a garment for me.

I did it myself!

Yes, I did. I copied it from a top I own and love and tried to replicate it with some success. I learnt a lot in the process and feel that I have a lot to improve. Sewing my own clothes is not my first choice of sewing activities, since I consider myself a rookie, but I see it happening again in the future.

3. Have my own art show.

My first solo art show!

Yes! This was a fun, one day event at Junglewood gallery in Casco Viejo, Panamá. It happened in the context of Artblock, and I had a lot of fun – and even sold a painting! (Hi, Jimmy from Texas!)

4. Learn a new language.
Unfortunately, no. I love learning languages and after the ones I already know (portuguese, spanish, english, french and german) I wanted to change paradigm and learn hebrew. I thought that having a strong jewish community in Panama City would make it easier, but alas, it didn´t. Unfortunately there are no open classes. Strengthening my german knowledge was my plan b, but unfortunately there is no Goethe Institut in Panama and there are no classes available for my level.

5. Learn to surf.
Yes! Oh, this was so much fun. We took classes at El Palmar Beach, 95km east of Panama City. I slept like a baby after classes! Yay, endorphin!

6. Make a new friend.
Yes! More than one, which is probably one of the advantages (and, paradoxically, pitfalls) of living in a different city than the one we come from.

7. Publish my own illustrated children´s book.
Unfortunately, not yet. Maybe this year?

8. Invest more time illustrating than graphic designing.

When skyping with my nieces, I am usually requested to illustrate what they are telling my about. Say, for instance, one is learning to play the xylophone, then I must draw a xylophone. The same with rabbits, swimming pools, swimming suits,… So, even when I´m not working, I´m illustrating – which is good!

Yes. With all the zines plus the projects and commissions I had in 2011, more time was spent illustrating than graphic designing. What is more, when graphic design commissions came along, illustration crept in (pertinently and successfully).

9. Exercise regularly.
Yes. In different degrees throughout the year, but regular exercise nevertheless.

10. Improve my meditation skills.
This was a huge challenge for me and I can say that yes, I improved my meditation skills. I went from hating into enjoying the time spent trying to meditate. So, success.

11. Design my own fabric.
This is a not yet. I want it to happen!

12. Refresh my math skills.
No, unfortunately not. I didn´t seem to make the time for it, though I miss the agility studying and practicing mathematics gave my brain. Maybe this year?

In Uppercase!

In Uppercase!

In Uppercase!

Yesterday, while going through my freshly arrived copy of Uppercase Magazine, I had a (happy-)shock: my work is featured there!

I´m so happy!

If you haven´t yet, go buy yourself (or someone you love) a subscription to Uppercase. Every issue is filled with inspiration from many countries in the world. I specially like the fact that it focus mainly on small scale entrepreneurs in creative fields, people who decided to follow their own path.

That makes me even happier to be featured there, specially knowing that working on your own as a freelance artist is sometimes very hard.

Thank you, Uppercase!

Shop update and other thoughts


Spent most of my day updating the abbrigate* online shop with four new hand-knitted cowls.

I´m currently working on three major projects, plus some others that, at this point, are satellital. I like switching between them, so as not to get tired of one specific task… but sometimes juggling gets hard and it feels like my attention is a bit scattered.

How do you prefer to work? One project at a time? Several?

Out in the world

mailing out samples

mailing out samples

I have been mailing out samples of my work.

Are you interested? Let me know.

New website coming! | Novo site prestes a chegar!

This is a preview of my new website which will be publicly launched in the next few days. I´m now making some final tweaks and I hope it will help me not only showcase my work but also make new contacts with you, fellow readers.

I´ll anounce it as soon as it is ready and post a link here so please stay tuned!


Este é um cheirinho do que aí vem no meu novo website, que será devidamente lançado (qual livro) nos próximos dias. Em processo de limar as últimas arestas, o meu novo espaço vai reunir e mostrar o meu trabalho e também os relatos das minhas aventuras rocambolescas no mundo do trabalho de uma freelancer que trabalha a partir de casa.

É graças a vocês, queridos leitores, que tenho encontrado pessoas a trabalhar nas mesmas condições que eu e, finalmente, me sinto parte de uma comunidade – ainda que virtual.

Está para breve, muito breve!