3DTotal: Hi Luis, thanks for talking to us. What first got you into the world of 2D digital art? Luis: Hi! Well, I always enjoyed drawing, and I was always fascinated with working on the computer. As a kid, I used to draw silly comics, and as soon as I found out about 3D software (back in the days of 3D Studio 3), I wanted to do art on the PC. But by the end of high school, I was a bit aimless. Not really knowing what to do with my passion for drawing, and without much of an academic choice at that time inPortugal, I took a course in Graphic
Design at the school of fine arts.
In the first 2 years I almost stopped drawing (yeah, the drawing teachers there kind of did that to you), and it was around the third year there that I finally did some doodles for fun again, and then I found out about the universe of online digital art communities. I wish I’d found it sooner. That’s when I decided I wanted to be an illustrator. I’d say I learned like 80% of what I know from the Internet, talking to other artists and looking at pictures. I can’t express how motivating and addicting this process was so far, and I feel like I’ve just started. I also made great friends this way.
3DTotal: Where do you currently work? Luis: Currently, I’m working as a freelancer. Until a year ago, I was Art Director at a local game development company, called Ignite Games.
3DTotal: We were first drawn to your work because of your illustrative/painterly style mix. How did your style develop? Luis: I tried not to stick to a style, because there was so much I liked to do… I was first fascinated by concept art, and skilful speed painting. Sparth and Craig Mullins, for example, simply blew my mind. Such strong impressions with so few
strokes! I tried to replicate the stuff they did, never really being able to, but learning immensely in the process. I also love animation (namely, Japanese animation)
backdrops, which are done with a more traditional approach and a different kind of attention to detail. Although they can be very realistic, the traditional craft behind them is incredibly simple and straight to the point. And they always have to convey mood, which is what I value the most, so I studied this kind of art closely.
And finally, my experience in graphic design helps me jump out of the previous
styles I mentioned, and do more free and graphical stuff. My personal stuff floats between these fields, and I’m happy to stick with them for now. I pick ingredients from each that I think are the most
appropriate to convey what I want to say. Also, professionally, I can’t decide on one 2D style to specialise in. So, I’ll keep exploring several. I feel I have a long way to go in all of them, though.
3DTotal: How long do you generally spend on a painting? (I only ask this because you say that, “I can snap out of a pic’s mood as quickly as I got in”, on your website.) Luis: He he, they usually take me from 8 to around 20 hours, for personal work. It’s hard to tell because my attention span is like that of a baby chimp and I multi-task a lot. But yes, at around 20 hours into a picture, I start to have a hard time deciding what’s being overdone, and more often than not work done after that time ends up spoiling the picture instead of helping. That’s also more or less the time it takes
for me to get tired of the subject matter, and yeah, then I “snap out” of the picture’s mood. I’d say, if the picture isn’t beautiful in 20-22 hours, then it never will be.