Brazil’s iconic landmarks get a whimsical makeover

(CNN)Brazil is known for its beautiful beaches, rainforests and dramatic architecture, but artist Toninho Euzebio captures a side of his country that you won’t see while watching the Olympics.

Euzebio combines sketches and photography to create whimsical landscapes that are filled with giants, acrobats, rocket ships.
It’s a pretty low-tech operation. Euzebio carries a Moleskine notebook everywhere he goes so he can start drawing whenever inspiration strikes. He uses his phone’s camera to take the final picture.


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Euzebio, an art director and illustrator, says his idea isn’t unique. It’s actually a fairly common advertising technique. But he received positive responses from his friends when he posted pictures on social media for fun last year.
In April, Euzebio did a series featuring Brasilia’s landmarks and historic buildings to honor his hometown’s 56th anniversary.
“In the case of buildings, the first thing I try to do is to study a little of its history and perhaps from there comes an idea, and for that the Internet is a great ally when I look for this information,” he said.
A lot of his inspiration comes from famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, whose iconic buildings dot the country’s capital. Older buildings are more of a challenge, he says, because it takes longer to draw all of the architectural details.
“I usually try to finish the drawing in 15 to 25 minutes at most, as not to risk seeing any variation in light or changes in what I portray,” he says. He has to work even faster with animals, he adds, because there’s a good chance they’ll change poses or just wander off.
Since he started the project, Euzebio spends a lot more time walking around and looking for ideas. He finds that mornings, when he’s on his way to work after taking his daughters to school, are best — and sometimes his girls even give him suggestions.
“I try to work with whatever is there,” he said. “(It) can be a statue, a trash can, a tree — well, anything.”

A photo posted by Toninho Euzebio (@teuzebio) on

Euzebio’s project started as a hobby but it has worked its way into his regular job. A picture of a man playing a crosswalk like a piano was used in a campaign to remind the city’s drivers to watch out for pedestrians crossing the street. His artwork has also been featured in small exhibitions and a pop-up shop.
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