Port­fo­lio in­ter­view

The Brazil-based trio chat to us about brushes, il­lus­tra­tion and how they came to work to­gether

Photoshop Creative - - NEWS -

David, Bruno and Vic­tor make a fear­some de­signer trio that’s get­ting a lot of at­ten­tion lately

David, Bruno and Vic­tor are three friends from Brazil who bonded over their love of de­sign, retro art and Ja­panese cul­ture. All stu­dents of de­sign, they set up the Ilus­trata stu­dio in 2013 and have gone on to cre­ate some fan­tas­tic pieces of art: the irony of it all? They found Pho­to­shop “dis­ap­point­ing” when they started learn­ing it…

How did you guys meet?

The three of us stud­ied at the same univer­sity [on the] de­sign course: we all wanted to find a way to com­bine our pas­sion for il­lus­tra­tion with a job that made us enough money to sup­port our­selves. De­sign was, back then, the best choice. We live in a small town in Brazil and in 2013, in the sec­ond year of our un­der­grad­u­ate course, we made the de­ci­sion to work un­der the stu­dio name Ilus­trata. Since then, we’ve been in­volved in de­sign and il­lus­tra­tion.

Can you re­mem­ber when you first used Pho­to­shop?

That’s a funny story! We found out about Pho­to­shop at the be­gin­ning of univer­sity. Back then, the most re­cent ver­sion of it was CS5, and we were all new­bies. After talk­ing to some friends, we re­alised that Pho­to­shop was the best tool for dig­i­tal il­lus­tra­tion, so we re­searched which ver­sion to use. The funny thing is that we orig­i­nally found it a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing to use… but after just a week of us­ing it, we were hooked!

How does is your cre­ative process usu­ally work?

We start with a thumb­nail sketch on pa­per. At this stage we can see the gen­eral lay­out of the il­lus­tra­tion, and with this, we build a bet­ter com­po­si­tion. After that, we scan it to make the dig­i­tal sketch in Pho­to­shop. Here we’ll de­fine the de­tails and ad­just the el­e­ments of the il­lus­tra­tion, like back­ground and char­ac­ter, to make it clear enough for the fi­nal art­work. Af­ter­ward, we start on the line art us­ing some Pho­to­shop brushes; we se­lect the colours, and add shad­ows and light­ing. Fi­nally, we go to the last stage, where we’ll finish the il­lus­tra­tion with some ad­just­ments such as tex­tures and halftones.

It’s prob­a­bly not sur­pris­ing that you start off on pa­per when a lot of your work looks very tra­di­tion­ally il­lus­trated

Yes. We al­ways buy a lot of brushes, tool pre­sets and tex­tures to achieve this vin­tage look in our work, but some­times, we make our own brushes, too. We like the fact that we can add tex­tures, lights and shad­ows us­ing it. We also like how blend modes give a to­tally new look to the work.

Is ‘vin­tage’ how you’d de­scribe your style, then?

It’s nor­mal for us to re­ceive some emails ask­ing us for il­lus­tra­tions with ‘Ja­panese old-school style’, and it’s a good way to de­scribe most of our work. But we’re three peo­ple, with three dif­fer­ent styles. Equally, there are char­ac­ter­is­tics in our work that the three of us have in com­mon like halftones, dis­tress and line art.

Can you all agree on a favourite tool in Pho­to­shop?

Ob­vi­ously the Brush!

Ob­vi­ously! What tips do you have for Pho­to­shop be­gin­ners?

First of all, it’s re­ally im­por­tant to study the fun­da­men­tals of de­sign and art, like com­po­si­tion, draw­ing rules and colour the­ory. You can learn a lot when you study artists that you like and how they cre­ate art. By do­ing this, you can learn dif­fer­ent ways of work­ing, other styles to try and fi­nally bring this knowl­edge to your own work. Keep your­self cu­ri­ous and ex­plore the soft­ware to find new ways to en­hance your art.

Has your style evolved the more you’ve learned about Pho­to­shop?

In the be­gin­ning we were very in­flu­enced by our idols: the likes of Kat­sushika Hoku­sai, Bi­ci­cleta Sem Freio, Yuko Shimizu, and Gas­tón Pacheco. Of course we are still in­flu­enced by these artists, but to­day we have a more au­then­tic style. We’ve evolved a lot since we started to work with il­lus­tra­tion in 2013. We try to keep study­ing draw­ing and de­sign all the time, so we never stop evolv­ing.

What have been the best projects you’ve worked on?

Broc­co­zilla was one we were re­ally proud of, as this project in­tro­duced us to many op­por­tu­ni­ties around the world. Be­fore this il­lus­tra­tion we only worked with Brazil­ian clients, but when Broc­co­zilla was re­leased we had a lot more recog­ni­tion. Due to Broc­co­zilla, we could make other awe­some projects like the Hoppy Art Land and that in­flu­enced us to cre­ate The Great Ra­men. We post weekly on our In­sta­gram ac­count, so we’re al­ways pro­duc­ing new pieces of art.

Cathulhu Here we cre­ated a retro comic cover for a cute mon­ster called Cathulhu, a half-cat, half-cthulhu crea­ture. With this we used some hard bushes to line the art, coloured it and used halftones, too.

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