Where did you grow up and when did you say to yourself: ‘’I want to be an Artist’’?
I grew up in Mauá, a city about an hour of distance from São Paulo, Brazil. I remember when my mom used to take me with her at college when I was about 3, and I spent all the time drawing in her notebook. I think I really never stopped since then. When I finished school and had to choose what I would do for life, I entered a graphic design college, ‘cause that’s the closest thing of art college we have in Brazil. I really didn’t know there was the “artist profession”, I thought I’d just be a graphic designer, but it happens that in the middle of college I was quite unhappy. I started looking for drawing schools, and found one pretty cool that had illustration classes. There, I had the pleasure to meet people that were actually illustrators and could make it for living, even without going to any college. That was when I really decided I was going to be an artist.
Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
Yes! I was very lucky. My mom always told me I could do whatever I want, and my stepfathather is a very talented musician who knows a lot about art and always taught me about it.
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
My first and strongest influences were video-games, like Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Chrono Cross, etc. The beauty of the different characters and places really made me crazy about it! Later on I got really influenced by animes, like Sailor Moon, Yu Yu Hakusho and Rurouni Kenshin. I discovered cartoon style when I was a little bit older.
Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? What helped you prepare to become the artist we know today?
Well, little bit of both. The one-year illustration class helped me a lot with the basics, but I definitely learned more by working and studying at home. After my 6 months contract of my first job as an art assistant of an animation series over, I spent 3 months at home doing nothing else but studying. My coworkers and my boyfriend helped me a lot, as we don’t have a lot of art schools in Brazil, we have this feeling of helping each other. Basically everyone knows everyone in this area and we try to exchange the experiences and knowledge we have. Everyone wins at the end :)
Did you have a favourite subject to draw when you were a child and do you still have one today? If you do, what makes it so special?
I always loved to create characters. I used to write pages and pages about the character’s story until they almost exist to me. I was always fascinated by the variety of characters I used to see in the games, how much story they can tell only by it’s visual. Later on I also began to like backgrounds and props, as they can tell the same amount of story. But characters are special. <3
From the initial client idea to the final work: what goes through your mind when you're designing and what is the method you use when starting a project? Could you describe it?
First thing I do is getting information and references about the subject. Then I sketch a lot of ideas trying to make one very different from another using the elements I discovered on my search, adding new things from imagination and playing with the shapes and proportions, and then show it to the client. Then I move ahead with the one he enjoys the most, develop (depending of the time there is) and go ahead with the final art.
What is your process in coloring your art and what type of tools and media do you use?
Although I also like traditional, I use to work most on photoshop. First I define the design only with lines, then I paint the silhouette and define the base color of everything with lasso tool or the default hard brush, each color in a different layer. Then I lock the layers and work with a texture brush to create the shadows and volumes. I often add a general shadow in a layer above everything in multiply mode. When I’m not in a rush I like to change the way I do, experiment with colors directly or sketching in the sketchbook.
What part of the creation process is the most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
Definitely the most fun is creating the design, playing with shapes, giving the personality to whatever it is. And I think the hardest is...the design hahaha. Keeping it simple, original, interesting, paying attention in every line, etc. It’s challenging, maybe that’s what makes it so fun!
What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work/collaborate with?
I work at a studio called Oca Animation, where I create characters and props for a tv series called Time to Rock (t’s not on air yet). My lovely coworkers are the talented artists Caio Martins, Welton Santos, Christo Silveira, Isla Garcia, Rafaella Bueno, Vencys Lao and our supervisor Alexandre Augusto.
What are some of the things you have learned from other artists who you have worked with or whose work you have seen?
I learned a lot about color with my teacher Andre Rocca and my ex-director Andre Forni, a lot about design with my boyfriend Victor Sampaio, and about gesture with the master Glen Vilppu (by seeing his drawings, videos and books)
Is there something that you have designed that you are most proud of?
HMM, I don’t really know. I like my late designs, but I always have in mind that I’ll make the next one even better. I’m proud, but with an eye on next!
What projects have you worked on in the past and what are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
I worked on “Dino Aventuras”, a Brazilian pre-school tv show for Disney Junior ( teaser: https://vimeo.com/138897282 ), “Haunted Tales for Wicked Kids” feature film (“Historietas Assombradas para Crianças Malcriadas” in the original, it’s a latin american Cartoon Network series ( the film is not ready yet, but here’s the first teaser ) and I’m actually working on a TV series called Time to Rock, which I can’t show much by now. It’s going to debut on 2017.
What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
Hmm, my longterm goal is to gain enough experience with visual development in feature films to become an art director. I guess my dream project would be art directing some story about my country or south america culture.
Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
Definitely, working for a company. Freelancing is not bad, but if I could choose I always prefer to work close to people, so I can learn from them and grow better.
What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? How do you boost your imagination and keep yourself creative?
That’s a good question! I try to walk around the neighbour, read a new book, watch a documentary about an artist, travelling with my sketchbook in hands or just look to artist’s works very different from mine. We always need new things and experiences to keep our mind creative.
Concept art, animation, illustration, comics, there’s so many options to choose and when you’re young, sometimes the only thing you know is just that you love to draw: what should a young artist take into consideration to make the right decision when choosing an artistic path?
I think the best way is trying different things. I was pretty sure I wanted to be a book illustrator, when I suddenly had a job offer in animation (where I fell in love). Each area needs different skills, but everything is related to the basics. So go straight for them, and you will discover your vocation as times passes by.
What’s your point of view about the industry today: what are the expectation for someone who wants to make a living with an artistic career?
In my country the expectations are pretty good. The industry is growing with governments founding and international acknowledgement (The boy and the world is rocking out there!). There’s no plenty studios, but if you study and become a good artist you sure will have a job. Comic books area is also growing up really fast, and it’s possible to make your own and make a living from selling it.
Who are the artists who inspire you the most today and what are some of your favorite designs?
I think my top inspirations right now are: Aurelius Battaglia, Anette Marnat, Mary Blair, Glenn Vilppu, Heidi Smith, Kevin Dart, Stevie Lewis, Samantha Maurer and Scott Wills. My favourite designs are Berry Reynold’s for Secret of Kells and Shane Prigmore’s for Coraline. Also I’m very inspired by Gobelin’s short movies.
We have a soft spot for hand drawn animation, what is your opinion about the future of this art form?
Well, I’m kinda new on the area to say, but is hard to tell since animation is an expensive thing, and unfortunately traditional is even more. I would love love to work on a traditional animation, and really hope there’ll be always someone to help with the financial part, ‘cause there’s a lot of good people willing to work in such a beautiful art. It should never disappear!
Social networks, crowd funding websites, print on demand online service, you name it. New media on the internet are connecting the artists directly with their fans like never before. In your opinion, how is this affecting the industry and what are the pros and cons?
I think It’s affecting industry in a very positive way. Indie projects are now possible, creating an immense diversity of styles. People are showing themselves very receptive with new things and ideas, comics, animations, games, books, etc. It’s so good you can instantly send a message to an artist you like, buy something from them, ask something. Knowledge is being shared like never before, and it’s amazing for us artists. The cons, I think, is that you have a lot of people to compare to, and it’s easy to think you’re not good enough (specially when there a lot of young damn good artists!). But it’s important to know that you are a single person, with single individualities, and with single ideas to express with your art.
Finally, Where can we see your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
You can check out my works on Tumblr liviaconstante.tumblr.com, Behance www.behance.net/liviaconstante, Instagram instagram.com/liviaconstante, ( I just won’t be able to see Instagram messages, because it doesn’t really works on my phone ): ) Pinterest pinterest.com/liviaconstante/my-works and Nabaroo nabaroo.com/liviaconstante
I’m not selling anything yet, but if you have any doubts, requests, critics, suggestions, or job offers you can send me a message at Facebook or tumblr, or mail me at email@example.com
Thank you Lívia :)