At A24, we like to say that all fan art is great art.
Still, a few pieces always float to the top — works of pure and undeniable artistry, usually by a nonprofessional, that gain traction online because of some indescribable sense of rightness. You look at it and think, this person really gets it.
Then there’s stuff like 'Look What You Made Lady Bird Do.' Bold and irreverent, it’s a surprisingly detailed riff on Taylor Swift’s last album cover featuring a pensive Lady Bird and headlines about the film's historic success. The artist had a shop on RedBubble, and his ode to Lady Bird’s Reputation was startling to say the least.
There was no anticipating what came next. With a single tweet, the floodgates burst open. Friends and followers, both famous and otherwise, were ready to place their orders. Even in the literal face of the world’s most litigious pop star, ‘Look What You Made Lady Bird Do’ was soaring.
It was clear what we had to do: Find the visionary responsible for the crown jewel of the Lady Bird bootleg merch market and learn everything about him. Enter 16-year-old Guilherme Rabel, cinephile, tastemaker, Xavier Dolan superfan.
We went looking for answers. What we found was a new friend—and our first Brazilian teen brand ambassador.
How old are you and where are you from?
I’m 16. I’m from Brazil. I’m currently in high school, it’s my last year.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’m going to fulfill my dream of being a doctor, so I really want to go to med school. But at the same time, I want to do something with my passion for filming, because I really like filmmaking. I want to get money so I can buy better cameras and all that, and maybe do something in the future.
Talk to us about what inspired your Lady Bird fan art.
Okay, so it wasn’t because of me watching the movie. It was because of like, all the buzz around it, like I found out about it pretty much right after it was announced, because I really, really love Greta. And I’ve seen all her movies, and then I’m like, it’s an A24 movie, and I love the company, too. So it’s a Greta Gerwig picture with A24, I knew it wasn’t going to be bad at all, so I was pretty excited. I knew I was gonna love it.
Do you have a passion for illicit merchandising?
[Laughing] Uh, I just started designing stuff to post on Twitter, right, and then some people really wanted to buy them, so I’m like, maybe I can make some money out of it, I don’t know. Then it was crazy. You guys tweeted a picture. Like, I was on a plane. And then I got off the plane and there were so many emails, telling me like, “You’ve sold ten shirts!” I’m like, what is happening? And then I went on Twitter and all my friends were commenting on your post. I’m like, what is going on? And then I started screaming.
How many have you sold?
I sold like 44.
Who’s your fashion inspiration?
Oh my god, my fashion inspiration will probably be Xavier Dolan, the director. Like, I feel like his— I don’t know, everything about him inspires me. I really, really love him. In his movies, the fashion sense that he does his own clothing for the movie, it’s so cool to me. It’s like, he makes his own universe out of just outfits in a movie. And he’s also fashionable as well.
What went through your body when Xavier Dolan commented “Want,” in regard to your shirt?
I was crazy about him for years and years, and like, I don’t know, so I put [his picture] on my header, just for him to see that I really like him. It was like, I see you and I like you. I tweeted that I wanted to send him a shirt, but he didn’t see.
You're stranded on a desert island. Who would you rather be stuck with: Lady Bird or Taylor Swift?
I think Lady Bird because we’re both teenagers. We kind of have strong relationships with our mothers, like mine is not that strong, ‘cause like hers was really strong. But she seemed like a cool person if you’re not fighting with her, and I feel like after the movie I know her, whereas I don’t really know Taylor Swift. And Taylor would come after me, right, like, “Delete your design,” and I would be like, “No.” Lady Bird would have appreciated it.
If A24 sued you, would you consider wearing your own design to court?
I would be glad if A24 sued me. If A24 does anything to me, I would be like, “You’re doing amazing, sweetie.” It would be my dream, like you guys can take me to court.
Have you always been into film?
My grandma, she always took me to the movies, she made me watch The Sound of Music, Gone With The Wind, and other classics. But then I stopped watching movies, so I went in a music phase, then a TV shows phase, and none of them satisfied me. So then I started like digging for movies, going to independent movies, and then I found a community on Twitter. And then I found A24. Most of my favorite movies come from A24, like my favorite movie last year was Moonlight, and there’s many movies from this past year, so it’s kind of like, I like movies but I really like A24 movies.
In a lawless world, if A24 could sell anything, what would you want to see in the A24 store?
I would buy something like, “Sorry you’re not A24,” on a shirt.
Tell us about the time Barry Jenkins sent you a hoodie.
Oh my, that was crazy! So the day before, I was ice skating in Canada and I broke my arm. The next morning I was feeling like shit and I was in bed, waiting to go to the hospital. I was supposed to be in class, but I wasn’t so that I could go to the doctor. Then Barry Jenkins tweeted something like, “My DMs are open, so if you want the A24 hoodie, you can DM me and I will gift one to 10 people who want gear.” So this was the moment of my dreams, I wasn’t gonna get it if I was in school. It gave a meaning to me breaking my arm. I started typing things, like fast. I didn’t know what I was writing, but then he asked me for my PayPal, and it was the greatest day of my life. And then he followed me [on Twitter]. Sometimes I’m nervous, like what if I tweet something and he doesn’t like it?
Have you always envisioned yourself embarking on a life of crime?
No, but then I watch Good Time and maybe that’s my goal in life.
This interview was edited and condensed for length and clarity.