Creativity from the Coast: In conversation with Alfred Fernandes and Thomas Fernandes

Creativity from the Coast: In conversation with Alfred Fernandes and Thomas Fernandes
Hailing from the lively village of Ribandar, Goa are visual artists and brothers Alfred Fernandes and Thomas Fernandes, a.k.a “Fernandes Twin Brothers”, who weave magic with their brushes and pens, bringing to life the colorful essence of their hometown. In this feature we journey through their career filled with passion, creativity, and boundless imagination!
Home to the hustle and bustle of the coasts, Ribandar brims with musicians, performing artists and now visual artists. Thomas says,” We’ve loved art from the beginning. I remember our mom (though she doesn't have an art background) used to teach us how to draw tiny simple rats in a notebook”.
We used to always sit on the floor and draw when we were kids and it was not only restricted to the notebooks but also on the house walls.
Although the pair didn’t come from an art background, their school, family and villagers encouraged them to pursue visual arts. Milestones like having Alfreds’ sketch of the Taj Mahal pinned to the notice board inspired them further.
Moreover, watching animated shows like Dragon Ball Z and Ben10, alongside shows like M.A.D kept them going during difficult times.
We used to sketch full books of its [animated cartoons] characters in our drawing books when we were kids. We were more curious to know how it was made. Now, we realize that we were developing a love towards visual storytelling and animation during that time.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in Illustration at Goa College of Art, they worked at Maya Digital Studios. Being fresh to the industry, they were completely unaware of the demands of the animation pipeline.
They say, “After joining the studio, we had the opportunity to explore and learn about various processes, such as how character designs, locations, layouts, and backgrounds are created."
Thomas worked on creating characters, while Alfred was responsible for designing the background, aligning with their individual interests. This influence also extended to their personal work; Thomas focused on character exploration, while Alfred delved into exploring spaces.
We learned a lot at Maya Studio - not only about art, but also how to approach ideas, understand the vision of directors, leads and superiors, and, most importantly, how to work in a team.
Maya Digital Studios opened their worlds to the endless possibilities of animation and helped them connect with artists from across India.
2023 Adventure Calendar For Children. Timeria is a world that exists both in Time and outside of it. It is a world created by the memories and emotions of all people from the Past, Present, and Future.
As trends keep changing, Thomas believes that there will always be room for maximalist expressions coexisting with a more minimalistic style.
He says, “Each one has a different mindset, experience and personality. We artists have to make sure that we understand the vision of the director or client first.”
To ensure they meet client requirements and deliver to the best of their abilities, the duo always begins by requesting references. Throughout the process, they offer the client multiple options to choose from.
It must be a collaborative effort, if you feel that something is not working, you can provide a different idea, and sometimes the client might instantly accept it.
Integrating feedback within the set deadlines whilst maintaining the quality of work is an integral part of the pair’s journeys. With long-term clients, Thomas believes it’s important to understand their vision for each new endeavor - which at times can test one's patience but is always worth it!"
Thomas’ personal illustrations are a peek into his life, whether it be the exuberant fisherwoman, a cozy café, or a memory with his late grandmother. Sometimes, just a trip to the fish market or a cozy restaurant would inspire Thomas. Other times, he draws to remember moments with his grandmother.
Alfred draws inspiration for his illustrations from the enchanting worlds depicted in Studio Ghibli films, which blend mystical elements with local Japanese folklore and adorable characters. He also finds inspiration in other animated movies such as Pixar’s Coco, Disney's Frozen, Spiderverse, Hotel Transylvania, and the intricate world-building of Avatar.
We love sketching and drawing a lot, we love to always include sketches in our work. May it be the traditional one or digital. There is no particular technique it's just about drawing a rough sketch, refining it and then filling color.
To young creatives the brothers advise, “If you want to be a good freelancer, you must be active on social media so that you can make connections with new people and through that you can get clients.”
Never stop doing your art, be consistent and observe other artists.
We thank Alfred and Thomas for sharing their journeys with us and wish them the very best for the future! We eagerly await the day that they actualize their dream of bringing a Goan-inspired animated project and artbook to life.
The Fernandes’ Top 5 Artists:
Mario Miranda
Dattaraj Kamat
Fabian Gonsalves
Kim jung ji
Their hot take on GenAI:
AI should not be directly used as a final product. Personally, being an artist we are not in favor of it.
You can reach out to Thomas Fernandes on the channels below:
Thomas Fernandes
You can reach out to Alfred Fernandes on the channels below:
Alfred Fernandes