INSPIRING JOURNEY: Thomas and Alfred Fernandes share the same passion for illustration.
INSPIRING JOURNEY: Thomas and Alfred Fernandes share the same passion for illustration.Gomantak Times

These gifted twins have turned their passion into profession

Drawing since a very young age, Thomas and Alfred Fernandes are sketching their dreams for a bright future in illustration

It began during their childhood days, when phones couldn't be surfed through and sourcing inspiration meant tasting a bit of life.

Their ancestral house alongside the road in Ribandar gave them a perfect view to watch the world go by. As people hurried, going about their quotidian, those who parked themselves in front of the house for a brief moment, became permanent occupants in tiny notebooks that belonged to the twin brothers who resided in that house.

INSPIRING JOURNEY: Thomas and Alfred Fernandes share the same passion for illustration.
Try out the awesome Pork Chops and Cafreal at J. Teixeira's, in Ribandar

This was way back, when Thomas and Alfred Fernandes were third or fourth graders, their sketches had admirers who were certain the twins would grow up to become great artists. And as fate had it, they did enter the world of art, although illustrating was something they hadn’t heard of until they joined Goa College of Art in 2014.

“We found an illustration magazine called Imagine Fx in our college library and by the looks of the cover itself, we decided we wanted to create something like that,” the brothers reveal and then smile as they say, “the journey since, has been great; fun, yet challenging.” 

ARTISTIC FLAIR: The language of art spoken through this colourful illustration.
ARTISTIC FLAIR: The language of art spoken through this colourful illustration. Illustration by: Alfred Fernandes
ART FROM THE HEART: A touch of class, painted with grace.
ART FROM THE HEART: A touch of class, painted with grace.Illustration by: Alfred Fernandes

Coming from a middleclass background and losing their dad at a young age, taking up arts as a career wasn't easy. But with the encouragement by friends, family and well-wishers, they diligently pursued their passion.

"Sometimes a little appreciation can go a long way," says Thomas, recollecting a time when one of his college illustration assignments was lauded by his teachers and colleagues. "That gave me the boost and confidence that I could become a good illustrator,” he reflects.

Although the two brothers enjoy going traditional – putting pen, pencil, ink, markers to paper – due to professional demands, their medium has become more digital in recent years.

“We mostly love to do dreamy fantasy-themed illustrations, Goan architecture, small day-to-day life stories and Indian themes,” they reveal.

THE ESSENCE OF HOME: The brothers incorporate Goan elements in their creations.
THE ESSENCE OF HOME: The brothers incorporate Goan elements in their creations. Illustration by: Alfred Fernandes

Alfred adds some Goan elements, like the old architecture, windows, balconies, red tiled roof and the vibrant houses of Fontainhas when he illustrates.

“It’s therapy for me," he says, adding, “Illustration helps me to go in different dimensions, especially when I create fantasy sketches. At times I’m so engrossed with work, it’s my brother Thomas who helps me get back to reality."

LIFE OF AN ARTIST: Thomas uses words like creative, susegad and happy to describe life of a Goan illustrator.
LIFE OF AN ARTIST: Thomas uses words like creative, susegad and happy to describe life of a Goan illustrator.Illustration by: Thomas Fernandes

Thomas on the other hand likes to express his feelings through art. For instance in his favourite piece 'Grandma feeding the crows' he tried to translate the same emotions of love he had for his grandma.

“It's important to keep the kid alive in us,” says Thomas, who sometimes likes to draw from the viewpoint of a child. With sunny scenes and quiet nights, he attempts to reflect joy and serenity in his works.

“I always want people to feel calm and happy when they see my work. There’s so much chaos already in this world, so I try and create a world that’s far from realism,” adds Thomas, who along with his brother admires the Goan legend Mario Miranda.

LOVE TRIBUTE: Grandma feeding crows is one of Thomas's favourite creations.
LOVE TRIBUTE: Grandma feeding crows is one of Thomas's favourite creations. Illustration by: Thomas Fernandes

They are also inspired by works of artists including Dattaraj Kamat (Goa), Vasudeo Kamath (Mumbai), Fabian Gonsalves (Goa), Rohit Chari (Goa), Malcolm Rebelo (Goa) and through social media have found many inspiring illustrators like Master Kim Jung ji (South Korea), Loish and more.

Phones today not just help source inspiration, but have come to the aid of artists trying to find exposure. Undertaking commissioned work has also helped them reach a wider audience and get clients.

INSPIRING JOURNEY: Thomas and Alfred Fernandes share the same passion for illustration.
Pardon me, Goa is our home!

"In Goa, there's still lack of knowledge about this field. People are slowing becoming aware about it through events like Serendipity and other art festivals. So, operating from Goa one needs to expand the client base outside the state or even outside India," says Alfred emphasizing that not having an active social media account can be quite a risk.

He advises young aspiring illustrators saying, "First learn the rules and then break them to form your illustrative style. Don't get carried away with the exposure of social media artists, each one has their own time."

GOAN STYLE: An illustration of a well-known Goan restaurant.
GOAN STYLE: An illustration of a well-known Goan restaurant. Illustration by: Thomas Fernandes

The two have a lot of plans for the future, which include creating awareness about illustration in Goa, making a Goan animated short film or series and even have some illustrated books to their name.

Hinting that they might work on a creative collaborative project in time to come, Thomas shares he was never shocked that Alfred shared the same interest in illustration like him. “After all we are twins,” he smiles. “But I’ve always felt that God has gifted the two of us with this skill of art for a particular purpose.”

INSPIRING JOURNEY: Thomas and Alfred Fernandes share the same passion for illustration.
M.A.D. about Rob, the popular kids' icon

Growing up the only thing that's more fun than getting your hands dirty – sometimes soiled while playing or stained while painting – is having some company, a partner in crime, so as to say, and the two brothers have had each other since the very start.

GET IN TOUCH

ALFRED FERNANDES

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/fernandesalfred/

ARTSTATION: https://www.artstation.com/alfredfernandes

THOMAS FERNANDES

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/fernandesthomas884/

ARTSTATION: https://www.artstation.com/tfe

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