Maria Ferreira Kercher

  • Freelance Illustrator, Costume Specialist - Animation and Illustration

  • Animation - Lacuna Game Project

Outfit design and creation has been part of my life since very early in life.

There are 3 main factors that are truly unique situations and opportunities in my childhood that were decisive to lead me choosing costume design specialization today, those are:

I grew up in Brasília, the Capital of Brazil, and my mother was a violinist in the Symphony Orchestra of the National Theatre, and thanks to that, since I was an infant, I was taken to watch Ballets, Operas and other cultural shows from around the world. That gave me a unique opportunity to understand how important the costume was in telling the spectator who the character was and how it could separate each of them, especially within large groups.

That also gave me another unique opportunity; Because in Theatre you see much more of the costume than the actor’s face, due to the far distance usually between the audience and the stage, it is of absolute importance that the costume/make-up/hairstyle helps communicate the character’s personality, background and role within the story...The opportunity to see the costumes first hand, touch them, see all the details and compare to how they were seen from far away by the audience, To see their movement, See how much it affected the actor’s performance.

Because of both my parent’s close contact with many people in the cultural and artistic circle, they had many fantasies that they would bring home from operas and ballet and I would wear them out and through most of the day. That connection with costumes only grew as I entered figure skating. My mother would help do a long search for the perfect outfit to go with the theme of my choreography in national competitions as well as shows.

Same when I did ballet.

That is where I learned the process of creating outfits that represent a theme, feeling, story or culture and how to simplify through stylization and color without losing the essence of what needs to be communicated. Costume choice is part of the points in an artistic sport competition in case you didn’t know.

For most of my childhood I was all alone during the weekend in my parent’s country house. There I had my weekend just for myself to wear whatever costume I wanted and to pass my time I had a vast collection of movies my father brought from New York, including many foreign animated features from various countries, operas, ballets, and concerts of various music genres together with many fantasy books and comics. This artistic material I had for those years are the foundation of all that inspires me today. That’s where I watched costumes being brilliantly used by master costume designers and artists of all kinds of artistic mediums being given the full attention it deserves.

That is what ignited the passion I have today for - History, the multi diverse cultures in the world, Seeing how costume was represented in different audio-visual mediums, How it was drawn and painted, from simple to fully detailed. 

Currently I am using my passion to develop design that feature cultural heritage. I also bring specialized experience helping connect foreign cultures with an American audience through well researched costume design focusing on cultural symbolism. 

I’m very versatile with levels of stylization for animation and am capable of simplifying cultural motifs without compromising the meaning and I understand that choosing and creating effective symbols requires more than just knowledge about history.