According to Alicia Souza, she is a nonsensical musing illustrator, but for the rest of us, she is the she-Santa who comes bearing happy goodies with adorable illustrations, in a whimsical world where every day is Christmas! Alicia Souza is a freelance illustrator and the entrepreneur of, well… Alicia Souza! Yes, she’s a person and she’s a brand, a brand that everyone loves!
Alicia is very popular on social media for her pup-dates! All her readers (and now you!) know that she is a happy mother of two adorable fur-balls- Charles Brown (Charlie)- her dog, and Henry Oats – her guinea pig, and she loves CHIPS! She captures the essence of everyday life in witty and sweet posts that a lot of her readers wait for every morning, probably because how relatable it is. Let’s find out more about this happy person who creates happy products featuring happy characters to make other people happy!
The Foundation Of A Budding Illustrator
Alicia did her entire schooling in Abu Dhabi and then completed her Bachelors in Communication Design in Melbourne. In both cases, the education didn’t help her directly in her upcoming career, but she says she learned more about life, people and surviving rather than what she went to study.
She says her education was pretty much inline with what she does now, but not to a great extent,
“I studied communication design and though it’s in the same line, I didn’t feel like it clicked till I did my first illustration job. Then I promised myself I would illustrate if I was in the design field. What I studied helped because illustration works its way into design mostly.”
Alicia Souza – Person To Brand
How did “Alicia Souza” turn from a person into a brand? She says- “I think this happened gradually and wasn’t really a step. It almost wasn’t planned in a way, because all my works seemed to fit into a theme and mood, which helps tremendously in branding. Then when I got into products, it just came together! I realise it’s about being consistent, with branding and with your voice.“
Alicia Souza Pvt. Ltd. has a cosy little workspace in Indira Nagar, Bangalore, which is managed by her business partner- Saurabh Sharma and their small team of fun people who put a lot of love and care in the work that they do. The company manufactures the cutest gifting and artist merchandise under her label, which is available on their online store. Her work has also been licensed by other companies.
Alicia says, “Work is exciting, scary, full of learnings, worrisome and keeps me on my toes. The challenges are mostly trying to sit between being bootstrapped and making the right decisions. Also processes are a pain point at this time. The team is absolutely wonderful and work really hard, so I feel blessed, and are definitely one of the reasons I keep going. The other being my audience, who are the reason I started in the first place!”
Alicia also works as a freelance illustrator and takes up many projects. She has worked with well-known companies like Google, Amazon, Penguin, Yahoo, Cadbury/Mondelez, Cornetto, Air Asia, The Hindu, and of course the nostalgic Champak and Tinkle!
A Regular Day In The Life Of Alicia
She exclaims that her work and personal life are very much intertwined! And we are not surprised. It’s hard to know where to draw a line between your work and your personal life, when you love what you do. When we asked her how a regular day in her life looks like, this is what she had to say –
“I get up at 5.30 every morning to walk Charlie, my dog and get to work at around 6.30 am. Then it’s a mix of mailing, research, talking to clients, accounts and of course drawing. It’s actually surprising how much I have to do besides drawing! I have lunch at my desk at about 12 pm, when I also do laundry and a wee bit of tidying up. That’s like my very productive break. Haha! Then I’m working till about 4 pm, when it’s time to walk Charlie again. I stop client work then and post that is a mix of making dinner, chores, exercise (if I’m good), drawing personal projects, writing letters and/or other random bits. I tend to go to the studio once a week to catch up with my partner and the team.”
Time management and being disciplined seems to be the key!
Take Away – Habits That Help!
Alicia says, “Habits, I wouldn’t be myself without them! I revolve my life around habits.” When we asked her to tell us more about some of her useful habits that she has cultivated over time, this is what we she had to share-
“Well, getting up early definitely works for me because I have the morning without any disturbances and get the very heavy stuff out of the way. Also habits like not working after a certain time and keeping weekdays for personal life is super important. I realised that having a life other than sitting at my desk makes me more productive when I then get to work. Also small habits like being punctual, having a planner, and getting at least 7 hours of sleep.”
Alicia maintains a lovely blog, where you can read more about her. She also runs a thread called ‘Ask Alicia’ where she answers queries of people looking up to her for advice on various topics.
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