Our Peek Inside… series takes a look inside people’s journals to celebrate their imagination and inspire others. This week we are happy to welcome Fernando Lobo, an artist from Portugal who uses Paperblanks to draw and paint. Making his story even more special, Fernando is working alongside his daughter Aryana, who recently quit her job in order to promote Fernando’s work full-time. We thought there would be no one better to introduce and interview him than Aryana, and in conducting this interview she had the opportunity to get to know him better as well.

About Fernando

I asked my father a while back what was art for him. He replied, “Everything that’s created and reminds us of our true origin.” I believe that one hundred percent, because that’s what his work did to me. When I began to understand and learn how the world we live in operates and what our true origin is, I realized that all these stories told to us could never be captured by images. But my father creates these images! I suddenly understood his art and that became my fuel to make his work known all over the world.

My father has recently moved back to Faro, Portugal at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, where he grew up and creates art every day. He’s been doing it since he first learned to hold a pencil. He works completely intuitively and from the heart, highlighting the elements that make his country so special: the sea, the warm climate, the vivid colours are seen in his work, albeit in an abstract form. A day doesn’t go by when he does not draw or paint. Even when he goes out for a walk on the beach or for a coffee, his Paperblanks notebook and pen are always there. He loves Paperblanks because each book has its own character and the paper is perfect, the pen just glides over the paper, he says. He loves the beautiful design of each cover. And I do too, I use Paperblanks for all my notes and drawings.

When and why did you start using Paperblanks journals?

Well, my best answer is: from the very moment I saw them. Somewhere around 2011 or 2012, when I was still living in the Netherlands and using lots of other journals to keep my daily drawing habit going, that’s when I first saw the beautiful Paperblanks journals. As I was using the computer for my daily work as a Graphic Designer, I decided to keep my muscle memory by using my hand to draw. I was trying to teach myself how to express my inner world through drawing. Having kept visual journals, I know a drawing can be read just like words on paper can be read.

Why keep an art journal?

I have always loved to express myself through drawings, mostly using sepia ink and fountain pens. Keeping a journal of those drawings was a natural way of evolving from sitting at the drawing table to draw, to almost everywhere I went: on the train on my way to work, in nature, sitting on a rock at the top of a mountain, by a river, in the shade of a tree or on the beach. It became something short of an addiction, and a natural way of communicating with myself.

Looking back at those Art Journals I can almost make out the way I evolved and how that communication became a need for me. So, I would say that the biggest benefit of keeping an Art Journal is getting to know myself better by knowing where I came from. That’s how I get to know where to go from here.

What advice do you have for those who dream of having an art journal but fear getting started?

Well, first and foremost I would say: just do it. Every journey begins with a first step. No matter how small, no matter how timid, the following steps will show you the way.

There is no road paved by others, you are the one who makes your own path by walking it.

If you don’t work with words but prefer to express yourself by drawing, doodling or just literally scratching the surface, just do it. It’s a great way to silence all those voices in your head… and letting the heart speak. And because the heart chakra connects with the hands, they will do the “talking” for you, not the brain. Because of this you will eventually discover beautiful things that your hands can make when connected to the heart. Give the brain a rest and allow yourself to discover the beauty inside.

To learn more about Fernando’s work, please visit his website or his Instagram feed.

We are continuously looking for People of Paperblanks to feature on this series. Please send us an email if you have a project that you would like to be featured.


  1. What a wonderful read. I can already say i’m an instant fan of mr. Lobo’s work for sure! I love the mindset behind his creations and reasons for drawing every single day. I’m a regular Paperblanks user myself and I’m glad i found out about this artist, very inspiring. Thanks Paperblanks.

    His artwork would look amazing on the covers of your journals! Especially those cosmic, colorfull paintings (featured on the artists Instagram page). Absolutly beautiful work!

    • Thank you for reading, Brian! We agree, his commitment to drawing every day and anywhere is very inspiring.

    • Dear Brian,

      What a beautiful message to read!! I totally agree with you!!
      I will send the message to my father as well, thank you for the compliments.

      With Love,



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