Hi Luis can you tell us about the real you? What were you were like growing up and how did you end up working in the CG industry?
For as far back as I can remember I drew. At home, on vacation, at school during classes. All my books are filled with drawings everywhere. I knew inside that this was what I wanted to do all the time, and thanks to some really good teachers in high school I came to realize that this was possible.
The moment it clicked was in my first year of university. I joined an agency and they started to give me different freelance jobs for newspapers, magazines and sometimes TV shows and I loved it. The deadlines were super aggressive, but seeing my work in the Saturday newspapers or in a double page spread would feel so good, and at the same time I was able to understand what it was like working in a professional environment. I was hooked!
Halfway through my studies I found the world of 3D. I knew I had to make a decision as to what my next move would be. With that in mind I began learning 3ds Max, so by the end of my degree I had a strong illustrative and 3D portfolio. I knew I wanted to go into movies or video games, and that Portugal was not developed enough in those areas so I needed to find another place to do this. The United Kingdom was the closest country that was suitable and I was good at English so I started applying to studios that I liked the look of until I got a reply back from Rockstar Games inviting me for an interview.
Have you had to sacrifice much for art such as where you live, etc?
I don't think so... quite the contrary. I never felt it was possible to grow so much in so little time, and the fact that I moved so much has made me aware of what is really important and taught me to not be attached to the material things. We live in great times where Facebook, Skype and technology allows us to keep in touch with people we love and no one is ever that far away.
I also have to say that I feed on going into a new country, coming across new cultures and new ways of being - you learn so much. The things I have seen and experienced in different countries has been really inspiring. Oh, and every weekend is like I'm on vacation since it's a different country.
Besides your foreign travels, where else do you look for inspiration and how does it influence you?
The way I see it is that the internet has revolutionized the way we inspire ourselves as artists. The number of forums and websites where artists around the world can meet is just unbelievable and you can actually talk with some of the great masters that have worked on things that inspired you as you grew up.
Over the years I have found my favorite spots on the web where people I admire and learn from provide constant sources of inspiration. The more you give the art community, the more they give you back; it's really beautiful. If I see a shot in a movie that I like, within a couple of hours I can follow the director of photography, understand where he came