Years ago, Luis Coelho had taken a long creative break. Looking to get back into the process of creating, Coelho revisited material he had been exposed to as a child. This exploration led him back to a love of pens and the things one can construct through the mass collection of simple pen lines. Harboring this rediscovered love, Coelho asked his two nieces to decide what animals they wanted to see appear out of these lines on fresh pieces of paper, telling them that the animals would guard their dreams and lead them out of nightmares whenever they needed. In that moment, Coelho found his style in his desire to “breed sweetness," focusing on creating renderings of animals for children and the inner child in all of us, leading to a popularity with people of all ages.
Luis Coelho speculates that because of the dream guarding mission statement his work was birthed from, that all his animals take on an out of dreams-like quality and I’d have to agree. Take ‘Floofle’ for example. Under the banner of his Purr.In.Ink it’s natural that many of Coelho’s illustrations are of cats and ‘Floofle’ is the quintessential Coelho cat. Countless little ink lines coalesce into a black and white bundle of fur with stringy frayed whiskers playing from its face. Coelho expertly shades through the intensity of his line work to build the subtle impressions of the cat’s front legs. Floofle seems to exist in and appear from a dream-like shadow that permeates even the best of dreams. It’s adorable like all his felines but don’t discount his other critters like ‘Papami.' Papami is a sugar glider where the line work is simultaneously denser while done with a lighter touch. The shape is more defined to show the gliders body stretching into wavy points as it takes excitable flight. Its ears are like miniature bunny ears while a lightly lined patch by the glider’s eye shows like a rosy cheeked fairy tale creature. It makes me want to leap in the air and hug every animal I see. Luis Coelho’s creations never fail to delight and tickle the cute animal needs in all of us. After seeing his work, I know it’ll live on in my imagination and I can’t wait for the day that Floofle comes to bat away the darkness in my dreams.