[Zupi] It’s possible to notice a wide diversity in your illustration and your work, sometimes realistic, sometimes characterized, not to mention your composition methods. The artist should have this range of options to create?
There are all kinds of artists: there are those who remain constant throughout his work, always reinforcing the identification of his style, as well as those who see every job as an opportunity to try something different, something he’s never done before. The first kind ends up creating himself a visual signature. And if it’s good, it may also be copied. Particularly, I create different styles in order to actuate in diverse markets, besides books, magazines, newspapers, products and ads. Today I find opportunities to apply the most diverse styles on each project, like the three ads from Nextel’s campaign, published on Zupi.
[Zupi] What are the most explicit references in your creations?
I never thought about it.
[Zupi] Do you deal with concepts before illustrating or prefer the spontaneous creation method, with no previous thinking?
When I create, I usually focus on the message I want to transmit. I work guided by the idea that illustration is a very good art for those who love to tell stories.
[Zupi] Tell us more about your award-winning work ‘Urban Children’.
The illustrations of the ‘Urban Children’ series are dated from 1995 and were developed as a graduation project (TCC) on graphic design by UFRJ. I was 25 years-old when I made those watercolors, and they gave me a lot of professional opportunities right after I graduated. It was published as a five-page essay on the weekly magazine of a big newspaper from Rio de Janeiro, and five years later it was featured on the annual catalog of Society of Illustrators of New York.
[Zupi] You also develop works for kids. How are they different from your more complex creations? Is there any distance between the work you do for kids and your subjective, authorial work?
Yes, I made some children’s books. I actually think that the drawings are the same, I just try to work hard on building my characters’ psychology so children can identify with them.
[Zupi] How do you evalue the current illustration market and artists in Brazil?
I wrote extensively about this on Ilustrar Magazine. I invite all Zupi readers to follow my columns there.
[Zupi] With your vast experience and recognition in Brazil, what would you say to those who are just starting out and wish to make art more than just a routine casualty?
Be curious. Observe. Draw, paste, write a lot and always. Always keep an active sketchbook. Learn to manage your finances wisely. Never (or almost never) give for free what they can pay for. Participate on collaborative projects that result in cool graphic works. When the time is right, be daring; when it’s not, be prudent. Esteem yourself.
Check more of Renato Alarcão’s work at www.renatoalarcao.com.br