The Creative Loves of… Corrupiola


After a two week break so that I could post some great typography interviews relating to the release of my latest book Creative Loves is back and today features Leila and Aleph of Corrupiola… Both are designers and crafters who love cats and printing and have run  Corrupiola 'handmade experiences' together from São José, Brazil. They work with papers, inks, fabrics, vintage maps and comics to produce all sorts of beautiful hand made stationary, particularly little notebooks called Corrupios, which in Portuguese means 'child's play'…

Can you tell me about your work space? We have two main places, our apartment and a rented studio and they are 7 km far from each other. Our studio is still in decorating process and we have a big mess in there. We believe that it is temporary because we are looking for a new place near our apartment so we could go walking or biking. On the other hand there is an option to build our studio/home in the countryside far from cars and surrounded by nature. Nowadays we also work in our apartment but it’s not so easy to live and work in the same place because we are working all the time. Of course we have some good advantages too: we can open the fridge anytime, take a nap when we need, have cats on our laps, work at night and sometimes have a break to watch movies and after that continue to work. We like to combine vibrant colors with white furniture and make our own furniture too. Walls are decorated with our friend’s printings.

Have you always been creatively driven? L: We were both designers before we met (1999). I worked as an art director in a publishing house and a freelancer graphic designer. I graduated in Fine Arts School and my father is a writer who worked with advertising so can I remember his table full of pens and pencils, so many magazines to research and that was the world that I dreamed for me. At the same time my mother did several handmade works as knitting and embroidery beautiful jobs and she taught me all. I always wanted to have my company and have my product and when we began with Corrupiola, we both believed that our dream could become true and our way of life. A: As a child I was always busy. My father is the most professional woodworker whom I have ever met and I spent many hours in his workshop trying to use his tools to make my own creations. Then I studied to Power engineering, Systems analysis and after that English Literature at University. Now, in my ongoing doctoral in Literature I am studying the cut-up technique applied by writer William Burroughs on his work. I was always driven by this mix of interests and the influence of my father skills. I believe that our hands are the most amazing tools on earth, capable of doing everything we want.

What inspires you, where do you go for ideas? L: I can tell you when I’m not inspired, when I have a headache or get sick! Other than that I have ideas all the time even when I am dreaming but I got most of my inspiration doing online researches, traveling, seeing and talking with nice people and buying a lot of magazines. A: Leila and the cats inspire me, and of course: books; nature; the lake; silence; my friends. But, most of all, our print studio are the most amazing place to get inspired in this moment.

What is a typical workday for you? L: When I wake up at 7:30am, feed our two black cats, have breakfast with fruits, bread and coffee, make little house works and then answer emails, write post at Corrupiola, surf in internet for a while and when I see, the Clock is almost time to make our lunch and then return to work and do not have time to stop. But three or more times a week this routine is broken to go to our printing studio and there we forgot time an online life because we don’t have internet or computers there and we know the hours when we listen to the radio. A: After eating and drinking fruits, bread and coffee its time to look at the board and check the day’s tasks. Wouldn’t be perfect if I just follow my own notes and obligations? Of course, but creation can be very tricky sometimes! But we always have many things to do, paper to cut and notebooks to sew. And we spend much time on-line, interacting with our friends and customers through social media and e-mail and surfing the internet checking news and references related to our work. And when I am tired of looking to the screen it is time to ride the bike to our printing studio where there is always work to do.

Please tell us about your current Creative Loves...

Magazines - UppercaseWe Make Money Not Art & TPM
Paper Artist - Elsita
Silkscreen - Ink & Spindle  
Painter & Engraver - Piera Luisolo

How do you approach each brief / project? L: I don’t have a specific method to create and project but I usually take a lot of time thinking about the idea before putting it into practice. And of course, we use Corrupios to sketch them! But Aleph and I talked a lot about the concept of each material and how the finished product would be. When we use typography we sketch ideas and sometimes ideas go to computer. In the silkscreen process ideas are always placed on the computer first. A: The process begins almost every time on my own notebook, like an idea or sketch, using my Stabilo or Staedtler. After that I create a mockup or prototype to analyze the viability of production. I talk with Leila all along the process, so we can refine some options. After deciding the final product we start the production.

What projects are you working on at the moment? We are planning new notebooks with different formats and materials, and also doing stationary cards. We feel the need to diversify our products and offer more than notebooks. We also worked on a new and large silk-screened notebook with Thereza Rowe's illustrations ( We are very exciting to finish them.

What has been the most interesting or exciting project you’ve worked onFor us the last work is always the most interesting but we can tell that we almost cried when we saw our first letterpress notebook finished. We spend almost two years to do our first print, cleaning and fixing our machines and collecting old fonts and print blocks. And after all, seeing the ink pressed on paper was very rewarding.

In terms of your work what couldn’t you live without? L: Undoubtedly paper and Internet. A: Letterpress.

What do you love most about what you do? L: Manage my time; work with whom I love and do what I love and know that people liked our work as well. A: So many aspects! The smell of ink, the sound of our letterpress machines working, but the most important: our customers’ satisfaction and feedback.

What do you want to do in the future? L: Build our home/studio in the field, go on with Corrupiola and make it stronger. Travel abroad, know other cultures and participate in craft fairs and also meet people and share experiences. A: We will acquire new equipments so we can execute new plans and projects that we have in mind: cards, covers, posters and all sort of printed stationary. And of course, I would like to organize our studio; really :-) there are so many fonts to organize that we will need another life to do all the work. But this is never a boring thing; on the contrary, it’s like a therapy.

Where are you happiest? L: When I’m working, cooking, being with my family, cats and books. A: At home, with my loved ones, reading and learning new things.

Thanks Leila and Aleph!


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