Hello! My name is Catarina Sobral.
I’m an illustrator, picture book writer and director of animated films.

I was born in Coimbra, Portugal, in 1985. I studied Graphic Design and did a Masters in Illustration. In 2011, Orfeu Negro published my first book and, since then, I’ve illustrated twenty picture books and written fourteen of them. (Well, one is a silent book, I don’t know if that counts...)

Playing with the relationship between text and image is at the core of my practice, and while I don’t attain to just one medium, I try to find the best approach that fits each project.

I’ve also directed two animated short films; written and done the art direction of a stage play for children; and produced a radio show for young audiences, with texts by different authors, including some flash fiction of mine as well. I have two courses at Domestika, and teach in two schools in Lisbon, where I currently live.



Clients with whom I’ve been working include:

Diário de Notícias
 Magazine Georges 
Triciclo Editora
La Leche
Quatro Cinco Um
Almanaque Saraiva
Cognac’s European Literature Festival
Pestext Festival
Festival 5L
Enchanted Lion Books
Editions Pióro
Natur & Kultur
Edizioni Bas Bleu
Edições Eterogémeas
Einaudi Ragazzi
Non Verbal Club
Amnistia Internacional
Associação Cais
Vista Alegre
Casa da Música
TAP Air Portugal
Leopardo Filmes
Universal Music
Copine Kinowerbung
Tea Collection



My work has been recognized by:

Bologna Children’s Book
Fair – International Award for Illustration

Winner, 2014

Finalist, 2016 + 2021

Nami Concours
Green Island, 2017

3×3 Professional Show
Merit, 2013 + 2014 + 2016
Honorable Mention, 2014

3×3 Picture Book Show
Best of Show + Silver Medal, 2015

White Ravens
2013 + 2014

Portuguese National Illustration Award
Special Mention, 2011 + 2017

Golden Pinwheel Award
Finalist, 2017 + 2018

Portuguese Authors’ Society Award
Best Children’s Book, 2013

Amadora BD – International Comics Festival
Best Picture Book Illustration, 2013

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

Finalist, 2015

The AOI World Illustration Awards
Shortlist, 2015

Cuatrogatos Foundation Prize
Winner, 2016

Serbian International Book Fair
Finalist, 2016

Little Hakka International Picture Book Competition
Finalist, 2017

CICLA Original Illustration Exhibition
3rd Prize, 2023

And exhibited in both solo and group shows:


3 Foguetões e 1 Caixa de Lápis
Portugal, 2023 – 2017

Num Milionésimo de Segundo
Portugal, 2023 – 2019

Quatre Bicyclettes et un Pot de Crayons
France, 2022

Portugal, 2021

Portugal, 2018

Sirenas y Palabras Antiguas
Colombia, 2016

Tão Tão Grande
Portugal, 2016

A Parede dos Desenhos
Portugal, 2016

O Meu Avô
Italy + Portugal + Lithuania + Hungary, 2016 – 2014

Tentar Outra Vez. Falhar Melhor.
Portugal, 2015

La Sirena y los Gigantes Enamorados
Italy + Japan, 2015

Cachimbos e Cartas de Amor

Portugal, 2015

Portugal, 2013 – 2012

Portugal, 2012 – 2011


Europa Ilustra
Spain, 2024

CICLA Original Illustration Exhibition

China, 2023

Braga 22x22
Portugal, 2023

Ilustre Sintra
Portugal, 2023

Bologna Illustrators Exhibition
Italy + Japan, 2023 + 2014

Portugal, 2023 – 2021 + 2016

Portugal, 2023 – 2021 + 2019

Ilustração Portuguesa
Portugal, 2023 – 2016

Páginas de Saramago
Portugal, 2022

Imagines Nostrae Animae
Portugal, 2022 – 2021

ECOS – Ilustraciones Sobre un Futuro Sostenible
Uruguay, 2021

Baba Kamo Festival
Spain, 2020

Ilustra 33
Portugal, 2020 + 2017 – 2013


Portugal, 2019

‘100 Outstanding Picturebooks’ From Around the World
Germany, 2018

Hier kommt Portugal!
Germany, 2018

Spain, 2018

France, 2018

Nami Concours Winning Works Exhibition
South Korea, 2017

Três ao Cubo
Portugal, 2017

Playground for Word
UK, 2016

Mostra degli Illustratori Iberoamericani
Italy, 2016

Princípios de Colecção
Portugal, 2016 – 2015

Sofia International Literature Festival
Bulgaria, 2015


Portugal, 2015

Panorama 2015
Italy, 2015

Lo Sguardo Obliquo
Italy, 2015

Macau and Portugal, Art of Illustration
Portugal + Macau, 2015

Cosmos, Uma Odisseia Ilustrada
Portugal, 2014

Pelos Olhos Dentro
Portugal, 2014

Imagens que Contam
Portugal, 2014

Une Saison Graphique
France, 2014

3 Meses e 2 Dias
Portugal, 2013

Como as Cerejas
Italy + Brazil + Colombia, 2013 – 2012


You can reach me by email at

For queries concerning book presentations at schools or libraries, 
please contact mini@orfeunegro.org

I apologise in advance but I can’t reply to requests for personal projects. 
Thank you for understanding.



Site design by Ana Types Type
Landing page photos by Ana Isa Mourinho
Book photos by Álvaro Martino


© Catarina Sobral 2024