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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Talented Artist - Carla Chaves from Ribonita Chocolat - Interview & Giveaway

Ribonita Chocolat
About Carla Chaves

My name is Carla and I'm the person behind Ribonita.

I'm a Portuguese artist who loves crafts, dolls and everything cute and playful. I'm in love with photography, nature and the old ways of simple living.

My work is the result of all these passions. I love to create dreamy tiny world s where kindness, love and happiness are the main feelings expressed.

I hope you like what you see here! I hope my work can put a smile in your face :)


Website // Facebook // Instagram


1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I'm Portuguese, married and have a wonderful family. I'm a full time artist trying to pursue my dream life. I've always enjoyed drawing and playing with paper and dolls.

When I was a little girl, I made most of my toys, and that was the beginning of a great creative adventure. I love dolls very much! Dolls with big eyes. Eyes are the window to the soul, and I'm a soul searcher.

My work is a mix of whimsical and cute (some say it can be somewhat creepy). Through dolls, be it drawing, painting, creating paper dolls, sculpting, altering and photographing, I explore and try to unravel emotions. Most of the times, these dolls are presented together with tiny and round animal companions. I'm passionate for nature and love being in the wild. I have an obsession for foxes. They are the cutest creatures!

As a creative person and also as a collector, my biggest dream is to be able to create a line of original dolls and toys for people to collect and enjoy. Playing is fun! And life should be fun :)

2) What’s the inspiration behind your work?

My work is inspired by so many things! Mostly magical and wonderful things, like nature and Fairy Tales, old times like the Victorian Era, Rococo, Art Nouveau and also Japan's culture of "Kawaii". One of my main inspirations are dolls. I find them fascinating! They can be very expressive and for me they represent creativity and wonder.

3) Where did you learn how to make art and your very cute designs?

I've been drawing since I was a little girl. One of my favorite play times was making paper dolls.
When in College, I studied Fine Arts and I have a degree in Painting (oils, acrylics, mixed media and such). Art has always been a part of my life. So, between looking at inspiring things and practicing drawing, I found my style.

4) What does your work place look like?

At the moment it looks like a very messy place. I make a lot of things, so my house looks like a strange fair (really). There are art and crafting supplies all over the place! Plus many art books, toys and dolls!

One of my dreams is to have my own studio (a big one). When that happens, I'll be happy to share a bit with the World :)

5) You make bookish items, where does your love for books come from?

I have been fascinated by children's books with beautiful illustrations for a long time. When a child, I would spend hours just looking at the pictures. Then, when I've learned how to read, things got even better! I was able to enter fascinating worlds, filled with magic places and adventures. Books are open doors! They can make you smile, stir up your emotions, make you dream!

6) Can you tell a bit more about how you started your store?

Creating things is something I must do. It's a part of who I am. When I started to show my work online, first on my old blog, then Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, people asked if I would sell this or that piece. My friends and family were already supportive of my creativity, so I thought why not sell my art?! I've started in local fairs selling badges, bookmarks, handmade accessories, handmade toys, t-shirts and other things. Then I opened my store. My best sellers online are bookmarks.

7) How did you get the idea to draw cute characters?

I have a word, "Kawaii". Since forever I've always loved cute things, animals with big eyes and dolls with big pink bows on their hair. Japanese artists are definitely a huge inspiration for me. So yes, all I see is cute. Cute makes you smile :)

8) You make everything by hand, can you describe the process from drawing a character to turning it into a product?

I love drawing by hand. After I've decided what idea to pick up next, I make very rough sketches. When things start to look how I want them to, I make the final drawings using my favorite mechanical pencil. After that I scan the drawings and let the Photoshop fun begin. I paint everything on my computer. When I'm satisfied with the look of the piece, I create the bases for bookmarks, postcards, badges, etc...

Focusing on bookmarks, I print them on my laser printer, cut them both by hand or using a plotter. Then they go to the process of laminating and finally they are cut by hand.

9) You love stories, do all of your characters have their own story?

Oh yes! They can be both inspired by Fairy tales and old classics of literature, or they can be inspired by anything that happens on my day. I can give you a recent example. Sometime ago, when I was having one of those stressful days, suddenly a character popped on my head. A T-Rex dinosaur having a cup of camomile tea. The "Tea Rex" theme is already somewhat a cliché, but that day, one having a relaxing herbal cup of tea made much sense!

10) What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future include art books, printed fabric and my own line of toys and dolls.
At the moment I make everything by myself, and that can be very overwhelming. I need to create so much more! I want to be able to hire lovely people to help and collaborate in my project. So yes, I plan a very creative and fun future :)



One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive three bookmarks of choice from Carla Chaves.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The quality and design look amazing. Unique, fun and lovely colours too.

  2. What fun characters! I like the fox bandit at Etsy!

  3. I love the beautiful artwork in each character.

  4. Your bookmarks absolutely beautiful and I will have to buy some as gifts!

  5. I love these bookmarks!!!

  6. Such cute bookmarks, very unique!

  7. These are absolutely adorable. I love the colors and such a talented artist!
    twinkle at optonline dot net

  8. Looking at etsy, I can see the talent you have, the pieces are gorgeous!

  9. Carla, your bookmarks are so cute and creative!

  10. These designs are very imaginative and the art style is unique

  11. Very creative! I love the bookmarks, they are so cute.

  12. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  13. I found that site very usefull and this survey is very cirious, I ' ve never seen a blog that demand a survey for this actions, very curious... mua ban dochoitinhduc