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Interview with Isis Sousa

Tomasz Strzalkowski

Hello Isis, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background in CG and are you self-taught or have taken some training? Also share about your current job.

isisHi there! I’m a 27 year old artist, born in Brazil and living in Norway. I started drawing and painting as early as I can remember! Begun to learn Computer Graphics at the age of 11 and did my first freelance jobs when I was 15. When I was 17 I was working for some Brazilian Heavy Metal record companies and been on that industry doing mainly advertisement, hot sites, web banners and all kinds of promotional materials for bands from all over the globe. Besides that I always liked to paint and draw for myself in both traditional and digital media. All my learning has been through trial and error – with that said, you see I am self-taught. Eventually, I quitted with the record companies and now am following the path of digital illustration since 2-3 years ago.

Can you tell us a little about your drawing techniques and how much life references play an important part in your paintings?

My technique is simple: I do not do a perfect drawing prior to painting. What I do, especially when working for clients is to develop some quick studies. They consist of very simple sketches where I try to envision the base colors and composition. Once these are arranged, I think of which lighting style fits best with that specific palette and composition, also in a sketchy way. Then I start rendering it for good and adding more complexity to the palette and lighting. Only in the end I add texturing, which I must say is done with painterly brushes such as airbrush, sponge, pencils and so on. As for the use of references, I have several life drawing reference books, which I consult prior and during a painting. I do observe people around me; everywhere I go and eventually do research on the web. Life references are the surest way on helping you give a proper anatomy and nonetheless, authentic look to your characters and portraits.

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What things inspire you when you start on a new piece of work and who is your inspiration?

I get very much inspired by nature: the weather, birds, plants even the geology of a terrain. So I can use these elements as inspiration for a Fantasy character for example. Folklore, culture and traditions as well as History play an important factor on how I build and present my characters. I try really hard to give each of them a unique and believable countenance, so I get great ideas of looking at people with unusual or special anatomy to reach the results I am looking for. Key people in my life as family and friends inspire me to go on with their love and support.

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