10 Questions with illustrator Gustavo Magalhães

Gustavo Magalhães is a Brazilian illustrator based in São Paulo, Brazil. After 10 years as an illustrator living in the music and arts scene, he has developed a strong cinematic style and has become an accomplished multidisciplinary artist. 


Read on to learn more about Gustavo and his inspiration in the world of illustration:

1. Do you take any inspiration from your culture/background/surroundings?


100%. I have a background in the punk/underground music scene. So all of my ethics, values, and way of work come from there. On the contrary, I come from a small town, so all the simple stuff inspires me as well. Like the things we almost never notice. These are my main inspirations: the daily ordinary part of life and the DIY spirit of the punk scene.


2. Tell us about your approach to working for packaging vs editorial projects.


These are my favorite things to work on. My first memories as a kid interested in art were either looking at packaging or magazines, so I try to evoke that inspired feeling for whoever is viewing my work. When working on the packaging I try to balance the message delivery with creating an experience, from opening a package to making use of the product. For editorial I try to deliver the prettiest and most direct image possible, considering that we first see the image and then the text, but I avoid creating work that takes too much attention away from the information. It's all about the balance.


3. How do you like to work? What inspires you on the day to day?


I'm a morning person and work at home, so I like to work very early (5 to 6am) and start my day with a routine. Preparing a cup of coffee and eating some fruit. Then while I drink my coffee I listen to some daily news podcasts and I'm ready to work. I'm inspired by everything around me, Carol (my partner) and I walk the dogs and see people on the way, birds, people going to work and kids going to school. All of that inspires me everyday.


4. Did any specific artist inspire you to become an illustrator, and who would be your biggest inspiration now?


Yes! My father, he was the first person I ever saw making a drawing and I wanted to be part of that, that's my biggest inspiration from when I was young. As an adult I am a comic book guy, so whatever I'm reading always inspires me a lot. At this very moment my biggest inspiration is Bill Watterson -- I'm reading Calvin and Hobbes all over again.


5. What was your first experience making art?


As a kid I started doing bootleg posters of Cartoons that were on TV for my friends at school. I would give or sell the posters for pennies and it gave me the first feeling of accomplishment with my drawings. After a long period I started doing art for my band and my label at the time, a studio my partner and I founded called "Miopia". Shirts, CD covers, posters and more!


6. What are you working on at the moment?


Personally, I'm working on my first comic. After a few short ones I decided to try something more substantial. It is still very early, I'm structuring everything I've written. So I don't know much about it yet hehe.


7. What is your favourite piece of work to date and why?


My first New Yorker piece for sure! Not because it's the New Yorker and all the weight it has in an artist career, but because it was a long time goal that I had locked in the "not ready yet dreams closet". So this feeling of uncertainty and excitement was good.


8. What would be your ideal client/project?


Any client that believes in me. Usually, clients reach out to artists just because they know how to draw, and a few times they reach out because they want to collaborate with you and what you have to offer.


9. What is your biggest influence/inspiration when it comes to creating?


I have a huge list of daily inspiration and references in my work, but to make it short and point to just one, the Hernandez Brothers. Their complexity and simplicity of narrative and drawing is so inspiring, I have to take a short read of their comics everyday and get that "I will never be that good!" feeling!


10. What do you do when you’re feeling less creative or have art block? Any tips for fellow creatives?


Cuddle your pets and look at the sky. It always helps. If it doesn't, sleep and try again the next day. It's just a bad day and you will make it through.


To commission Gustavo please contact Artistique's Global Manager Helen at [email protected]