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When I came across artist Ana Raimundo’s work at her etsy shop, Fric de Mentol, I was struck by the number and types of materials she uses in her art. She does embroidery illustrations – how cool is that?

Born and raised in Portugal, Ana infuses her art with local flavor, taking her inspiration from the people she meets and places she visits.

Thanks for spending some time with us, Ana!

The Drifter, The Gypsy Girl

Have you been formally trained as an artist?
Yes, I have a fine arts degree – painting branch from Escola Universit√°ria das Artes de Coimbra, and I also received another degree in new technologies of communication at Universidade de Aveiro.

Have you always loved making things? What do you love most about it?
I’m the kind of person who says that it is good not having everything you want like a spoiled child. If so, you may be able to develop your creativity and to make things. I guess I wasn’t that spoiled because I make things with my hands.

The whole process is like magic and chemistry–there’s a whole adventure from the idea until the final piece.

It’s totally cool to see and to use things made from your hands, you can constantly brag to yourself ‘I made this’ — it’s good for your ego.

Expectancy, Everyone is Special

How did you embark upon a career as an artist?
After I graduated I started working in a small factory for hand painted tiles but moving was in the plans so I had to quit my job. We were moving because of my partner’s job and so came the necessity of me having a movable job.

As we need to move each year (it’s like that, a teaching career in Portugal) I thought why not try to live from the things that came out of my head/hands, and then decided to be a freelance artist, making a living of it.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I call it a ‘smart combination’ since I try to give some useful meaning to a decorative object or as I like to say ‘knitting words, playing expressions.’

You work with a variety of media, from embroidery to watercolors. Do you have a favorite medium?
I like all the mediums, they are all usable, so I don’t have a favorite one, I’m constantly making and mixing different things.

round dream Le Solitaire, The Love Tree large journal, round dream 3, The girl who knitted love sachet pillow

How do you choose the subject of your work?
The main base are portraits and nature included in a series. There’s an enormous traditional native feeling, thoughts, ways of living, patterns, colors and expressions that I want to preserve and to represent as an artist. Also, the childhood memories and games, the ethereal themes and the use of the senses, all connected with the above sentences.

Name three things that inspire you…
The woods

What are your hobbies and interests outside of your work?
I devour music and movies as much as I can. I also like illustrated children books so I love to get into a bookstore and head straight to the children’s section. I also love cooking, it’s something that also needs creativity or you’ll be eating the same, everyday.

Floating Boy, Miscaro Girl, The Headache

Ok, you’re stranded on a desert island. Which five things can’t you live without?
eheheh! Very interesting one! I could answer it in different ways–I guess an Internet router is out of the question assuming it is far away from civilization.

So, with a bone on my head, my five things:
-a set of needles
-a plants guide
-my dogs
-a pair of warm socks
-MacGuyver’s knife

Anything else you’d like to add:
I have small feet.

Check out Ana’s work at her etsy shop.