Isabella Ferraz (or as you know her, Bella”) is a full-time designer based in Brazil with a knack for stylish brochures.

Raised in a creative household filled with with DIY projects and clever crafts, she’s proudly carried on the family tradition. Often, you’ll find her practicing lettering, doodling design concepts and browsing Pinterest (follow her here) to her favorite tunes with a coconut water and her dog, Otto, in tow.

While a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design and agency experience helped build her professional career, 99designs gave Bella the flexibility to work on what she loves. In fact, she won the first brochure contest she entered—and she hasn’t stopped since!

We chatted with Bella about her creative process, strengthening her skills on 99designs and her passion for stationary.

bella graphic designer
Bella and her dog, Otto

Name: Isabella Ferraz
99designs handleBella”
Location: Brazil
Specialty: Brochures and magazines

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Isabella Ferraz, I’m 29 years old and a full-time graphic designer from Brazil.

How did your childhood help shape your passion for design?

My mom always strongly supported my creativity. Since I was a kid she was always engaging us in DIY projects such as greetings cards, painting Easter eggs, embroidering our towels, and painting boxes to organize my room (among other things).

That helped me to grow up a creative person and made me want to pursue a career working with it. She’s one of my inspirations and I hope someday I can be as good at crafts as she is.

Tell us a little about your design education. Did you go to school for design or are you self-taught?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and I am a self-taught student. The design industry is constantly evolving, so there’s always something new to learn. Furthermore, I learn new things with every project, every designer I work with and personal project I start.

The fact that 99designs enables us designers to take part in contests that we have not yet mastered gives us the opportunity to improve our skills over time. Even though I am currently focused on brochures, I love working with web design and I hope to enter a few contests in this area in the near future.

Do you have a favorite type of project to work on?

I’m open to all industries, but I have a certain favoritism with projects that involve lifestyle, travel and food (or both!). This is one of the things I love most about 99designs, the ability to choose the jobs that I think will fit my style while working directly with great clients and surrounded by such a talented community.

Do you have a favorite part of the creative process?

I love the research process. Even for contests, I always spend a little bit of time researching the industry and talking to the client to try to understand what they need with the material I’m working on.

I’m a terrible illustrator, but I like to doodle on paper to brainstorm. By doing that, when I get to open Illustrator I usually already have a good idea of what I’m going to do. That’s why I love Pinterest so much!

What inspires you?

Music, a sunny day with my dog laying on the floor and a cup of coconut water.

I can’t work without music and I can see how my music tastes have evolved with my design style, so it’s all connected to me. Besides that I’m always browsing through Pinterest, Instagram and Designspiration looking for fresh inspiration for my projects.

You’ve been a member of 99designs for a year. Why did you join and what have you enjoyed most so far?

I was feeling disappointed with the graphic design market in Brazil and considering switching careers when I decided to give 99designs a try.

I won the first brochure contest I entered. I tried some logo contests before, but I realized that logo design is not my thing (even though I worked in it before, I have never really liked it).

99designs enabled me to work doing what I love (brochures) with a creative freedom that I have never had before while working for agencies.

Do you have any fun hobbies or projects you’re currently working on?

I don’t have a project, but I wish to improve my lettering skills. The fact that I can’t draw frustrates me, so when I discovered I could draw letters instead, this became my newest obsession.

I bought pens, nibs, papers (did I mention I’m a stationary maniac?) and followed tons of wonderful artists on Instagram to get inspired and try to improve my skills. I’m not an expert yet, but it’s something I love working with.

As for fun hobbies, I play Overwatch on PS4. Usually, you can find me healing people as Mercy on there 😀

And just for fun, what is your…
  • Favorite food: Cheese
  • Favorite music album: “Is this it” – The Strokes
  • Favorite drink: Water
  • Favorite place to unwind: My living room
Anything else you’d like to add?

I just love the opportunities I had and currently have here on 99designs and I hope I can continue to learn and grow as a designer working around here!

See more of Bella’s work here.