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Gambuzino: How to become a respected illustrator and business owner

Gambuzino – in Portuguese, this word refers to an imaginary creature born out of the innocent and boundless imagination of children. In this story, however, Gambuzino signifies the talent, endurance and drive of an artist who quit her job to build an illustrating business. 

Ever since she was a teenager, Margarida Eloy knew she wanted to create art. During her high school and university years, she took multiple artistic courses, but her true passion was the world of illustration. Through hard work, she made her dreams of being a full-time artist come true and created Gambuzino. Since then, she has achieved significant milestones, reached a wider audience and even worked on a book. Let’s dive into Margarida’s vibrant journey of self-expression and overcoming societal expectations.

Going from Instagram doodles to a published illustrator

Margarida’s illustrator journey started back in 2013 when she, encouraged by friends, decided to share her doodles with the world on Instagram under the page name Ahoy Sailors. As her style evolved and gained recognition, so did the need for a distinct identity. Thus, Gambuzino emerged in 2018, embodying Margarida’s unique vision and creative spirit.

Her decision to quit her job as a museum receptionist and pursue her dream of becoming a full-time artist in 2023 marked a pivotal moment in her journey. She managed to finance her projects all on her own – and still does. Her more prominent work includes exhibiting in prestigious galleries, hosting fully booked workshops and illustrating her first book. 

Gambuzino art tiger

Gambuzino isn’t just an illustration project – it’s Margarida’s creative alter ego. The name “Gambuzino” holds a special significance for her as this word symbolises the boundless imagination of children. This whimsical essence perfectly captures the spirit of Margarida’s illustrations.

Pushing back against gender biases to grow a business

Being a female entrepreneur came with a unique set of challenges. For example, despite her talent and dedication, she had to fight with social expectations and learn to demand what she’s worth. Society’s expectations often clashed with her need to value her work properly, yet she learned to be more assertive. 

“Although the field of illustration is not dominated by men, I feel that as a woman I was educated by society to be humble and never refuse any proposal. When working on my own, I had to learn to say no, when I don’t identify with the projects, and especially when my work is not being properly valued.”

Gambuzino attending art market with myPOS terminal

Although Margarida’s journey was occasionally shadowed by stereotypes, she seized each opportunity to prove her professionalism and talent. Her story serves as a testament to the flexibility and strength of women. Reflecting on her journey, she offers advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs:

“Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who support you. Save enough money for a good safety cushion, then take the leap of faith and dedicate yourself entirely to your dream.”

Growing a customer base through smart payments

Art markets are a very important part of Margarida’s business and a primary source of income for her. At first, she could only accept payments in cash or through mobile banking applications which posed limitations. Margarida shared that many customers would give up on purchasing her pieces because it was “too much work”. That’s why she decided to integrate myPOS into her business. She chose the portable and user-friendly myPOS Go 2, ideal for use on the go. This device is compact and light and using it expanded her customer base.

Gambuzino uses myPOS device

“Investing in a myPOS machine allowed me to significantly increase my sales in the art markets. The best part is that it has the lowest transaction fees, which is very advantageous for small businesses like mine,” Margarida said.

The journey of Gambuzino embodies the essence of creativity, resilience, and entrepreneurship. Margarida’s story serves as an inspiration to women everywhere to pursue their passions. It’s a testament that with courage and commitment, dreams can, and do, come true.

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