How 2Minds really do think alike at this Brazilian studio.
he small concept art and illustration studio 2Minds didn’t get overelaborate when coming up with a name. Why be needlessly fancy when something simple works just fine? The studio is the marriage of two minds, those of Brazilians Thiago Lehmann and Luiza McAllister. The pair have been working together since 2010, their contrasting mix of styles and skills aiding each other. When they were interns at a design studio they decided they’d like to illustrate together.
The couple quickly established a thriving home studio, with global clients including major advertising firms, as well as concept pieces, game art and fan art. “The initial results were beyond our expectations,” says
TLuiza. “Because our styles were really different, we kept ourselves motivated by comparing the resulting studies every day.” “After a couple of months the first client contacted us and we’ve been working non-stop ever since. We discovered that in combining each of our strengths the results are unique. It also helped us to work faster and improve the quality of our designs, since we are each other’s art director for every project we do – and we are highly demanding art directors with each other!”
Although the studio only comprises the pair, they rely on a roster of skilled partners to help out on more complex projects. This is reflected in the studio’s portfolio, which displays a wide range of styles and excisions – they are masters of multiple art forms.
keeping it simple
Being a simple arrangement does have further upsides: it means the pair can be absolutely clear in what work they take on and what they pass on, as Thiago explains: “We only work on things we are passionate about. And we’re always trying to improve.” This constant searching to improve and innovate is a further strand of the studio’s portfolio. Within it you’ll find client projects mixed with personal work. All of it different, interesting and brilliantly executed. “We love creating and developing our own projects,” says Thiago. “We try to bring new stuff to the table – different media, different styles, different point of view. Our personal projects keep us motivated and help us improve our performance in freelance jobs. We’re creating new techniques all the time to achieve the results our clients expect.”
The studio recently worked with Riot Games Brazil on the Jungle Hunting Season project for League of Legends. They were also commissioned by Alderac
We are each other’s art director – and we’re highly demanding art directors!
Entertainment Group, producing two decks of the new expansion It’s Your Fault, four decks for the Pretty Pretty Smash Up expansion, as well as all the artwork for the upcoming game Love Letter.
“Previously we worked with Arkadium, creating concept art and character art for the Taptiles Saga game. We also worked with Zombie Studio, contributing to their advertising concept art projects and also developing a big project for Danone Latin America’s Danoninho Dino City.”
one big con
In 2014 2Minds created its first art book, called Profundus, a traditional illustration concept of oceanic creatures. For the launch campaign they also painted two acrylic pieces and two digital posters. All 250 sold out when the studio attended the first installation of Brazil’s Comic Con Experience. The goal for the project was to explore traditional techniques instead of their day-to-day digital work – and they managed that with aplomb.
In December 2015, 2Minds published its first comic book, Plumba. The project compared the pair’s desire to combine a traditional adventure story with highdefinition work, developing different concepts and styles for each chapter. The final result is a comic book that feels like a concept art book.
In terms of workflow, the pair are highly structured to the point of being strict – surprising given the instantaneous and free flowing nature of their work. “We usually start with a lot of thumbnails and sketchy silhouettes – trying to understand the shapes and dynamics we need to build the illustration,” says Luiza. “We send these to the client, so they can participate in the whole project. Every decision is shared.
“This first experimental phase really depends on the client’s directions. We start with variety and try to narrow it down, depending on client feedback. Some directors change their minds when they get a chance to see a different angle of something they already had in mind. This process allow us to participate more actively in the creation process, instead of just following orders.”
After the central concept is agreed, the pair split the work into two phases. Thiago is responsible for the conceptual ideas. He sketches all projects and creates the final layout and line art for each piece. Luiza decides the colour schemes and paints and renders all final art – and does the majority of client communication.
living the dream
In terms of the future, both Thiago and Luiza are content to see what develops naturally rather than striving after a fiveyear-plan. “Since we are a couple, our goals are similar and happily we are aligned with what we are expecting for the future!” says Luiza. “We are really happy with what we’ve achieved over the past couple of years.
“We hope that in the next couple of years we can still work with board games and digital games and keep the personal work up to date. The dream is to keep working with the independent things we love – and maybe get some money in the process!”
The dream is to work with things we love – and maybe get money in the process!
Behold, one of the cute but fearsome Pet Warriors!
One of several characters 2Minds created for its Profundus art book of traditional illustrations.
Where the magic happens: 2Minds’ studio space is a place of both discipline and spontaneity.
Blue is another character 2Minds created with Riot Games for League
Do you give me a stroke or not? Another of 2Minds’ Pet Warriors.