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A tribute to Goa’s fashion czar

Ophelia Lobo has paid a beautiful tribute to celebrated fashion designer late Wendell Rodricks on his 60th birthday (May 28) in the form of a digital portrait. NT BUZZ gets details


She has always been inspired by Wendell Rodricks and how he encouraged new talent, especially Goan artistes. Hence, when the creative director for Wendell Rodricks’ label, Schulen Fernandes (Wendell’s protege) approached Ophelia Lobo to commission a portrait of the late artiste, she realised what a fitting tribute this would be for him.

Of Goan origin, Lobo moved to Goa from Mumbai in 2018 after completing her bachelors in mass media and chose to become a graphic designer to keep her creative side alive. At present she works part-time with an agency and illustrates when she is free.

 Her Wendell tribute is her first portrait of a famous personality as he made an impact on her personally, ie the way he spoke his mind and inculcated his personality into everything he did. Before this she hadn’t thought of creating portraits of famous people. “I could get more traction by sketching celebrities but that isn’t my focus. I was fortunate enough to work with the Wendell Rodricks Design Space team during my tenure at a previous job. When Schulen mentioned that it would have been his 60th birthday, I immediately wanted to contribute to it,” she says.

Lobo chose to do her work in digital medium as “people love the vibrant and playful nature of digital art”. “It can be scaled up to the size you desire and used on various platforms. It doesn’t take up space, there’s no waste of material and is more versatile compared to traditional art, which I also love doing,” she says.

While making this portrait, Lobo says that she focused a lot on the details of Wendell’s face; his kind smile, and calming gaze. She chose a black and white image because it resembles a past era yet a timeless essence. “As for the yellow background it’s from his labels logo. The sketches you see in the portrait were hand-drawn by him so I thought that would add a nice personal touch for the background of the portrait,” says Lobo who completed this within a day because it was time-sensitive. It takes around three hours in total, she says, to create a portrait like this in favourable conditions – a quiet surrounding, the right energy, even how much you care about the subject. She usually does a lot of her work late at night when there aren’t many distractions.

 “After seeing the artwork online, I was approached by a friend of Wendell who was moved and shared this with his partner Jerome Marcel while some shared it to their own page. It seems to have struck the right chord in people’s hearts,” says Lobo.

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