Interview with Tomba Lobos

The creator of the Kalimoto sticker pack
Sticker.Place: Where are you from and where do you live today?
Tomba Lobos: I’m from Fafe, a small town in Portugal, and I currently live in Porto, the second largest city in the country.
SP: Tell us about your stickers’ characters.
TL: I’’ve been developing characters for more than a decade, and for this project, I wanted to create a family of small beings related to amoebas or other unicellular organisms.
SP: Which of your illustrations is your favorite.
TL: I can’t tell! As a professional illustrator, I do dozens of new illustrations every week, so I don’t get too emotionally attached to them. But this project was different. I kind of fell in love with these characters, because working with their wide range of feelings and expression generated some empathy between me and them. I really like the “Scared” figure because that’s how I generally feel towards the political and financial status of Portugal and Europe.
SP: Tell us about your first illustration.
TL: I started as a gallery illustrator, meaning my first illustrations were more artistic than commercial. I did a lot of weird art at the beginning. After I graduated college, my main goal was to present my stuff at exhibitions. I didn’t work on digital media for a long time; I was busy with ballpoint pens and watercolors.
SP: Tell us about your background and experience.
TL: I graduated Porto’s Fine Arts Academy with a degree in graphic design. I had a few jobs working as a graphic designer, doing illustrations, icon, and pictogram design, but I’m really happy to be all by myself as a freelance illustrator.
SP: What are your plans for the future?
TL: My dream is to become a great freelance illustrator so I can travel the world without actually leaving my job. In other words, I would be glad to provide comfort and happiness to my family. It seems like a hard thing to make happen here in Portugal, due to the economic crisis.
SP: What is your favorite app or game?
TL: I don’t know. It’s embarrassing, but I can’t afford a post-2012 cellphone. I still have my 17-year-old Nokia.