Winner Interview: It’s a New Year! Stay “Pawsitive”

2016 had us all like, “you have cat to be kitten me right meow.” But it’s the dawn of a brand new year! And our ‘puns’ challenge winner Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (a.k.a ‘rodrigobhz’) has created the purrfect design to ring in the new year with, reminding us all to paws for a second, reflect on the months ahead of us and, above all, to just stay pawsitive.

We talked to Rodrigo about his punderful design, the surprising twist meaning that ‘pun’ has in Portuguese, and about his 21st print on Threadless! Check out the interview below!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you do? Where are you from? What’s your favorite pun of all time?

I work as a graphic designer and illustrator. I’m from Brazil, born and raised in Belo Horizonte city. My favorite pun? I once heard a pun about amnesia, but I
forgot how it goes.

“Dodgebolus of Gymron”

Funny thing: You know, here in Brazil we talk Portuguese. Do you know how we say farts in Portuguese? Puns. Seriously. It’s a childish way to say it, but it’s true. So, I think I just won the farts challenge.

That’s too perfect. A challenge win is a pretty great way to bring in the New Year! Excited?

Yes, the last time I won a challenge was in…2015, it was the GYM’s challenge. It’s always amazing to win, it doesn’t matter how many prints you already have. I hope this is the first and not the last!

What attracted you to this challenge?

Puns. I love puns. Even the bad ones. The theme is right up my alley, most of my designs have the “funny” factor and I just couldn’t let this one pass.


Tell me a little bit about this design! How did you come up with it?

We are living strange and dark times and this design has a positive vibe, right? I have notebooks where I like to write down ideas and make sketches. When a new challenge is up, I always check them to see if I have an idea that fits the theme. This time I was lucky and found a list of puns/wordplays and “be pawsitive” was there. I just changed the word “be” for “stay” and the cat was an easy choice. The style is kinda…sketchy, I drew the cat direct on the computer and it’s pretty much the first version with a few tweaks.

“Stay Pawsitive” in action

I gotta ask: dog person or cat person and why?

Dog person all the way! I really, really, really love dogs. I think they’re best friends ever. Should I make a dog version of “Stay Pawsitive“?

“Stay Pawsitive” on just a few different products

Despite the craziness of 2016, it was a pretty good year for your designs getting printed! What’s your secret? Which one were you most excited about getting printed?

Yes, six prints last year! :) It’s my 21st print, it’s insane! I don’t think I have a secret…it’s a combination of luck, timing and hard work.


My favorite print is “S.T.“. It’s an overused concept (E.T. poster parody) but I think I managed to give it a little twist with the waffle moon. I posted this design on my Twitter account and tagged Millie Bobby Brown and she liked (she was like, the first to do it). It seems very silly to get excited about it but I don’t care :P


You have an Artist Shop with us too! Do you have a favorite design in there?

You know, people always say to me “you should open a store to sell your stuff, dude” and now I have my very own shop with the Threadless seal of quality. It’s not easy to get attention, but still a good way to make some cash. My favorite design has to be “Please“. I love dark humor.


What are your 2017 art goals?

It would be amazing if I manage to make my Artist shop work. It’s the biggest challenge. And maybe win another challenge or two. Or three. Maybe…four?

What’s your art/design philosophy?

Milton Glaser, the LEGENDARY graphic designer, once said: “There are three responses to a piece of design — yes, no and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” I’m always aiming for a ‘WOW!’ But it would be awesome if someday I get an yes or two :)

Anything else you’d like to share?

Happy New Year and stay pawsitive!

Shop the winning design!

CategoriesBehind The Tees
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Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.