Based in Belém of Pará in Northern Brazil, Tai Silva is an illustrator giving visibility and a voice to indigenous people and the Amazonian culture through her work. Inspired by her city and the ancestral beliefs and culture of her people, she has created a diverse modern visual language for Northern Brazil that instantly captures the imagination, taking us on a fascinating journey where not everything is as you’d first imagine.
Tai’s work spans an impressive range of categories. Alongside commercial illustrations for brands, she creates comics, graphic novels and children’s book illustrations for publishing clients, as well as portraits and character designs that put indigenous people front and centre. Her clients appreciate her organised method, the way she presents her ideas and the fact that they get the superb artwork they expect with no drama.
With a bachelor degree in Fashion Design from UNAMA in Pará, Tai then studied various illustration courses including three years at Sala Ilustrada in São Paulo, developing her skills with traditional and digital media. As well as her heritage, she’s inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, Mucha and Toulouse-Lautrec, and contemporary artists like Phil Noto, Beatriz Ramo and Ryan Andrews.
While her background is in watercolour, coloured pencil and marker, today Tai uses digital tools with real world textures to create her imagery. “Colour is very important to me as it's one of the main elements I use to express my identity as an indigenous Amazonian woman,” she says.
Highlighting fantasy, fashion and activist themes, Tai works in three styles – a realistic one for portraiture; a stylised, sketchy style with saturated colours for atmospheric pieces; and a cartoon style for her comics and character designs.
Portuguese and English