Lhaiza Morena Castro is a Brazilian artist who set out on a mission to represent black characters in children’s books, helping young black readers love themselves, their hair and their skin. With her bold and energetic cartoon style, she is achieving that goal and then some. A rising star in Brazilian children’s illustration, Lhaiza now has an enviable client list including brands that are household names across the country.
Clients love both Lhaiza’s style and her responsiveness – she’s a deadline-conscious artist with plenty of experience in the creative industries. Her graphic style has developed out of her keen interest in cartoons and animation. Inspired by the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks, she studied Computer Graphics at the School of Art, Games and Animation in São Paulo, adding qualifications in setting and character design from Escola Revolution.
Some of her influences include the Brazilian artists Maurício de Sousa and Fábio Coala, as well as the New York writer-illustrator Vashti Harrison.
Colour is a huge element in Lhaiza’s approach, and she uses her palette to carefully control the emotional tone of each illustration. Every artwork begins with in-depth research and reference-finding, and is created entirely digitally, from sketch to final image.
Bold, graphic and colourful, Lhaiza’s imagery catches the eye, drawing the viewer in with its sense of positivity, and strong visual storytelling.
Lhaiza is fluent in Portuguese, with intermediate English.