It seemed like no matter where I looked, Lucas's art was staring me in the face, making me wonder at it's effortless style and beautiful flow. On my Twitter feed; Lucas. Tumblr dash; Lucas. When I finally tracked his complete gallery down on deviantART, I knew I had to extend him an invitation to join Depthcore.
Extending invites can be tricky - people who are unfamiliar can take a minute to get their head around the idea of an art collective. To my relief, Lucas had not only encountered the collective before, he was an established fan, and was delighted to hear from me. I couldn't get his account connected quick enough, and sure enough, his debut submission did not disappoint. We had a lovely informal chat today, so read on to learn more about one of Depthcore's newest sons...
Justin Maller: Hey Lucas! Thanks for having a chat. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Lucas de Alcântara: My pleasure, Justin. I'm a Brazilian designer, from Minas Gerais. I worked with advertising agencies for many years. It helped me develop my skills for art and design. I started a freelancer career a couple years ago. I wanted to reach new horizons, so I left the agency life to focuss on my personal arts.
Justin Maller: Brazil has quite a rich design culture; what is it like trying to forge a professional career there?
Lucas de Alcântara:Yes, we have many influences from many people and countries, and it has molded a rich culture here.
I think the most important thing for me is that I worked with different types of clients in many areas. It made me grow in many directions, and explore aspects of art and design that I would not have found otherwise. I had to undertake a wide range of works when I was an AD designer, and that versatility helped me a lot to develop as an artist.
Justin Maller: Tell us a bit about the campaigns you were working on as an AD? Are they similar to the things you're doing as a freelancer? What are the biggest differences?
Lucas de Alcântara:I had just as many small business clients, as I did multinational clients. I think it's very different now, because I have creative freedom, and more room to breathe and create. Now I work mainly with t-shirt designs, so the art is made with my personal taste and judgement. I think that having that freedom in creation is the main difference between working for myself, and for the agency.
What I did take from the agency is experience in reaching people in the broader public; be it for a small business audience or for a worldwide market. Agencies are very restricted, and have to consider a lot of factors when making your works.
Freelancing also gives me the time to research more thoroughly, make proper plans, and develop my concepts fully with every work I make.
Justin Maller: Let's talk about you art; I love your style. How would you describe it?
Lucas de Alcântara: I like roughing and doodling as often as I can. Ideas come 90% from theses ocasions. Usually I have a theme in mind, so I rough on it as long as it takes to make a strong concept to start with. I like to always construct the basics of my designs with roughs: composition, line flow, tones etc. I spend hours before I go to the art itself.
My styles is influenced by sources drawn throughout my entire life, accumulated over 30 years or more.
These infuences range from Giger, Dave Mckean, to Bosch, Diego Rivera, to the music that I hear, from anything that I see on my day-by-day, on the streets or anywhere else and inspires me. But with all this inspiration, mainly I work with three or four lines of thinking, each one in its time. Three or four styles that I prefer.
These are surreal and biomechanical, with influences from Giger and scifi, cartoon, watercolors, and digital paintings, for which I have even more sources of inspirations.
Justin Maller: If you had to describe your style, how would you?
Lucas de Alcântara:Full of passion, definitely.
Justin Maller: You tackle a broad range of ideas and topics in your work; is there any one theme you find yourself returning to regularly?
Lucas de Alcântara:My scifi arts, and my touch on steampunk style. They are the ones that i like the most.
I like clowns and rabbits, for my watercolors, it's almost like a obsession :]
Justin Maller: How did you enjoy your first Depthcore chapter experience? What was it like to join the group?
Lucas de Alcântara:I was, and am, still stunned by it. I think this was one of the most important things that happened in my career lately. For some simple facts: it's a home of some of my idols, such as Iain Macarthur (I'm a fan of his for a long time) and lots of others; a place to grow up as artist. Also, I have focus now, to make my best arts and to get involved with it more profoundly. I think the Chapters gives me that focus, which I haven't had lately. And to be able to develop the art with this amount of feedback from such amazing artists as DC's - it is a gift. That's the word, a gift.
Justin Maller: We're really glad to have you working with us man! I'm looking forward to showing off your workshop in an article following this one; how did you find using that tool?
Lucas de Alcântara:It's an honour, really.
I think it is an amazing tool. It's an oportunity to have feedback and orientations from some of the best artists in the world! This is one of the hugest differentials in Depthcore. You get opinions on aspects of work that you don't have experience in, and in receiving those opinions, that experience becomes yours. And in return, you give your experience to others. It's not a common attribute that you could receive and give so easily in any other scenario in professional life, on the same level you can in DC.
Justin Maller: How did you find responding to the Chapter theme? Was it nice to have something to guide you, or did you find it constrictive?
Lucas de Alcântara:This is the focus that I mentioned above. Working with focus, with an aim, allows you to work better and more eficiently. The themes have consense by the whole team, so it's far from being constrictive. I really enjoied to get this theme specifically in my debut. It was a pleasure to work with it.
The theme "Obsolete" worked perfectly with my scifi style, so it was awesome. It was fun to make. I had a good time developing it, it was cool.
Justin Maller: I think you really nailed the concept with your submissions! What did you think of the rest of the Chapter? Is there an older chapter we did you wished you could have tackled?
Lucas de Alcântara:Thanks! I hope I'll be able to make even more better arts for the incoming Chapters. I think that "Noir" was the theme I more wished I could have participated, but,honestly, all the themes has a great matter for arts, I think I'll be glad to participate from all the future Chapters.
Justin Maller: Aside from art, what do you fill your days with?
Lucas de Alcântara:I like staying with friends, and family, I think they're always source of inspiration and motivation too.
And my dear 5 string bass ;] I play it less often than I would like, but I still play a lot. I like playing the musics that touch my heart, instead of just putting them on paper. But, yeah, I'm a bass addict! I used to write short stories some time ago, but when I stopped writing, I filled the void with my bass classes.
Just for the record, I actually did write, about 10 years ago, some short stories with Kafka, Borges and others as inspiration, but I quit them for my drawings and paintings :]
Justin Maller: Nice! Thanks very much for the chat mate, great to get to know a bit more about you!
Lucas de Alcântara:My pleasure! and thanks a lot for inviting me for DC, it's gonna be a mark for me and an oportunity to make diference too with you guys!
Thanks Justin and each and every artist on DC! You are my idols.