Lucas de Alcântara Interview
Chapter XLIV: Echoes
- Ari Wenkle
Chapter XLV: Primal
- Lucas de Alcântara
Chapter XLIV: Echoes
- Vesna Pesic
Chapter XLIII: Time
- Niklas Lundberg
Chapter XLII: Obsolete
- Karan Singh
Chapter XLI: Mirror
- Raphael Vicenzi
Chapter XL: Mythic
- Rik Oostenbroek
Chapter XXXIX: Eve
- David Mascha
Chapter XXXVIII: Freestyle IV
Chapter XXXVII: Her
- Jonathan Foerster
Chapter XXXV: Noir
- Matei Apostolescu
Chapter XXXIV: Idio
- Kervin Brisseaux
Chapter XXXIII: Requiem
- Cristiano Siqueira
Chapter XXXII: Temple
- James Wignall
Chapter XXXI: Freestyle III
- Theo Aartsma
Chapter XXX: Empire
Chapter XXIX: Untitled Dreams
- Bart van Leeuwen
Chapter XXVIII: A Trip to Elsewhere
- Jeff Huang
Chapter XXVII: Vivid
- Eric Sin
Chapter XXV: Freestyle II
- Gavin Hislop
Chapter XXIV: Calibre
- Christian Jehle
Chapter XXIII: Lounge
- Justin Maller
Chapter XXI: Deluxe I
- Gavin Moore
Chapter XX: Voodoo
- George Smith
Chapter XVIII: Human
- Antti Sinisalo
Chapter XVII: Freestyle
- Justin J. Bacon
Chapter XVI: Element
- Nik Ainley
Chapter XV: Habitat
- Bart van Leeuwen
Chapter XIV: Verve
- Alistair Uz
Chapter XIII: Infinity
- Bharani Kumar
Chapter XII: Evolution
- J Braam
Chapter XI: Submergence
- Vincent Lai
Chapter X: Symphony
- Pete Golibersuch
Chapter IX: Technica
- Thomas Larsson
Chapter VIII: Fantasy
- Alston I. Cabral
Chapter VII: Re-Birth
- Tony Graf
Chapter V: Foundry
- Gavin McGinn
Chapter IV: Nemesis
Hey Lucas. Congratulations on being our featured Artist for "Echoes"! Your series of work for this Chapter was truly amazing. Before we talk about that, tell us a little about yourself—how did you find your start in art?
Hi! First of all, I must thank the Depthcore artists very, very much for this feature. I am so happy with this, because Depthcore really means the world to me, and has since the first day I was invited in.
Well, I am a freelancer illustrator, born and based in Minas Gerais, Brasil. Art has infiltrated my entire life, it permeates my oldest memories. I started my first roughs and sketches when I was four years old; at least that was the age I was when I made the oldest sketch my mother kept. I've always drawn or sketched as long I can remember, and I used to make some finished arts once in a while. But professionally, I only started in 2004/2005, when I began working in local advertising agencies. Then, some years ago I started my freelancing illustration career.
So, art has always been present throughout my whole life, in one form or another.
How did your location effect your development as an artist? Do we see influence from your environment manifest in your pieces?
We all suffer influence from many, many sources, always, don't we? What elements we keep and select from this ambience, in our childhood or during our lives, and how we take them further, that's what shapes us in my opinion.
I think that knowing how to best absorb these influences, these phenotypes, and how to work with them, is a great way to develop not only as artist or professional, but also as person.
One important point for art is to search and find the daily, common and usual elements in our routine—from the city, from the neighborhoods, country—that are universal and that can be seen and understood by everyone, like they're their own common and usual elements too.
Culturally, the State I live in, Minas Gerais, is very strong, varied and important. So I have been always influenced by it, from the folklore to the Baroque culture (which is very characteristic here, and I think the most beautiful in the world), from antique to modern art styles.
The down point of the influence of this ambience—more country and a bit far from great Centers—is that I never had contact with art schools (the cities I've lived didn't have any), and some other important incentives were missing in my formation as an earlier artist. But I think that I've overcome these down points and have taken advantage of the good ones though.
I'd love to hear how your style developed over the years—how has your work progressed?
I like to think that expressing art is quite simply like expressing verbally. So, for me, evolution doesn't mean leaving basic elements behind and let them be forgotten to get newer ones. We have to carry some elements our whole life, like we do with words, phonemes.
There was a famous writer from Minas Gerais, Guimarães Rosa, who worked very much with neologisms, constructions of nonexistent words, from other existent words or ideas, assembling them, uniting them in order to form new words. By the way, he was a master in making the daily elements of the common man's life become universal matters, characteristics of mankind. But expressing ourselves better doesn't mean always inventing "new words". So we can speak and always say new things, evolve, but also keep some of our core elements. And that's how I try to make my art; although I always change color schemes, elements, themes, or radically change the subjects I talk about, I am always keeping my accent, my language, my idiom.
It's a huge pleasure for me, when I find myself with a new way of expressing the ideas I want to share. And sometimes, even when we have to change, we see that necessity is there to make us grow, to make us improve ourselves, so it ends up in something like the same values added to us, the same knowledge we acquire by learning a new idiom or culture, continuing the comparison.
What were you trying to achieve with the body of work you produced for Echoes? Is there an over-arching theme present in these pieces?
I think that the theme of the Chapter is so rich, and very inspiring. Playing with how memory works on us, on our lives, on our formation, is a very rich topic to work with. And the idea of uniting the concept of memory and how it constantly comes up, in waves, like echoes, was very exciting to build as arts.
I used this concept as base, and I think my works was marked by this all the time—the way that some memories work in periodically constant flows, in waves. And I tried to work with the most known, to our common sense, forms of memories and the feelings affected directly by them.
You were incredibly prolific this Chapter—what has you so worked up at the moment?! Where is all this amazing work coming from?
The fact that I changed my way of expressing, changed my style a bit during this Chapter, was a significant reason for the large amount of works. It was euphoric for me, actually.
I am working on arts more suitable to exhibitions now, and this also culminated while I was in middle of the process of creating for Echoes. So one lead to another.
As usual, I think this was one of our strongest Chapters. What are your impressions of it? What stood out for you? Where would you like to see Depthcore progress to in the future?
I am impressed with this Chapter and, as with the previous Chapters I had the opportunity to participate in, this was a real joy for me. It was impressive to see the works and the effort of the new artists added to Depthcore lately too.
The quality is getting higher and higher in every Chapter.
I am expecting to see the 20th, 30th anniversary of DC, with this increasing quality, the increasing success, reach, and importance.
What mediums were you predominately working in for this Chapter? Was there anything especially challenging or motivating about working with them?
I started with ink pens and some watercolors. But then I decided to focus on watercolors, because of the new style I was working with. The results I was getting felt great for me, and so satisfying, so I needed to focus.
I think that the most challenging decision I made was to take a new approach and use my watercolors that, until then, I was using almost only for children's illustration. Then in the middle of the Chapter things changed in an wonderful way for me. I ended up with a great series to work with and perhaps I will be able to use this for a long time without the risk of running out of content or importance to the style.
Do you think being involved with our collective influenced the development and production of these pieces? How does being a part of a group like this effect you as an artist?
As the ambient elements tends to shape us, the ambience on DC could only influence me to grow enormously as artist. And this couldn't help but be reflected in my arts. This has been so since the first day I joined DC. And it's not a passive acceptance of the ambience as a shaper of the ones capability for growth. It is an active interaction with DC, with the development, with the growth through the workshops where we get opinions of every artist an DC, and improve our ideas and concepts.
This interaction and the feedback it provides are priceless for me and, whenever I can, giving my opinion too to help, feeding back to the other artists as well... I cannot forget to mention that. We learn so much in teaching what we can. It's a fact.
Do you have specific artists, directors or authors who you feel contribute strongly to your creative life? What aspects of your day to day life feed your imagination?
I think that every day, or at least very often, I discovery a new super inspiration for me, in arts. If I made a list, it would be kilometric. There are so many artists, so many musicians, books, animes, HQs, that really inspire me.
I like to create more in the night, and with some musics on, like lately The Black Keys, some techno, dubstep, or even some classical songs. It depends a bit on which kind of art I'm about to do.
My imagination is a bit easy-teased, so many things become many ideas. But sometimes I have my own method of art creation that I like a lot too: I used to sketch randomly, without pretension, and some pretty strong concepts appear from it. When I sketch or rough freely, intuition speaks louder and opens space for my concepts.
I see a strong strain of carnival and comedic personage influencing your work—what is it about the circus and it's performers that inspires you so?
Circus and Carnivals will be an eternal motto for me. Anyone can have every kind of feeling from a Circus. From seriously strange to beautiful, from scary to ridiculous. From sweet to bitter. So you can make basically any kind of art from that.
Everybody questions if some things will endure through technology or time, like books, TV, or even paintings and other traditional arts... But what almost nobody notices or comments is that Circus has been there for about two thousand years or more and that still it will exist forever. It's not questionable if this will endure, because it's obvious it will. And it hasn't changed almost anything since its beginning. So it's an amazing thing for me.
It's one of the few subjects that you can use to reach every age, every public. And it's universal—every single country, every city has seen a circus.
Where do you see this latest stylistic progression leading you? Is there a new direction you're interested in pursuing?
I see that my themes are getting more mature, more serious, and I'm getting closer to a style I think I'll keep and from which I will probably develop others. I used to be focused on children's illustration and/or sci-fis. And almost every art I was making before went around these approaches. There were some exceptions, but usually most of my arts went around it.
I now see a wider field to work on. But, specifically, I am aiming to keep change my techniques and mediums soon, or at least start using new ones too. I have already begun practicing some other paintings, and hopefully I will put these techniques in to the next Chapters too.
When was the last time you were genuinely inspired by something you saw or read? What was it, and how did you react to it?
I think it was Greg Simkins' arts. I am practicing acrylics now very often (or as often as I can), and my first inspiration to try this technique was his arts. His skills are something out of this world.
Your "Flashback" series was a highlight of this recent Chapter. What were you trying to express with that trilogy?
It was about the different behaviors we assume along our lives, when we have to adapt, or change, and leave our older characteristics behind. As when we have to grow older and leave the child within us behind.
It's about somebody bringing back these old habits, old manners.
Some people tend to simply put one mask over another. Masks that would hide these "children", these habits... instead of changing them, or correcting them to the past. Those arts were about the memories, that would come up like flashbacks.
I am using this topic—Mask—in my arts more and more, recently. The concept goes further, and are deeper in every art, in my opinion. Also, I always try to show the two sides of any concept in my art, and by having all those colors in this series and showing that softness instead of a brutal form I try to show that not all this masking and hiding of the past should look or be destructive, inappropriate.
What does the future hold for Mr. de Alcântara? Share your dreams with us.
I'll do my best to improve my skills, trying new techniques and mediums. Expect more works to come, and more arts to make. And I will do my best to do justice to the people who support me, in every art I make.
And I hope I'll succeed on these goals.
Congratulations again on your feature—it was the closest to a unanimous selection we've ever had, and I'm sure your work in this Chapter has earned you a lot of new fans. Accordingly, I'll let you end this interview on your owns terms.
I'm speechless about that info, Justin. I'll work my best in every Chapter, always—and I'd like to thank each and every artist from DC. You all are the best!
Thanks, again and again, from my heart!