Hugo Araujo

Painter, Penciller

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Brasília.

Schooling? Art training?
I’m graduated in Translation and I really like to study literature, but I’ve done some courses and workshops of visual arts with renowned illustrators on this business, like editorial illustration, engraving, xylography and so on. One of these workshops had the presence of Paulo Siqueira about comics and its creative process on Amazing Spider Man. When that kind of course appears, I always feel like attending to it.

How long have you been working professionally in comics?
I’ve started to make illustrations as a freelancer since 2006, but I’ve always wanted to work with sequential art. After publishing some authorial comic books, I was paid to do the art of two issues for a North-American independent comic book called “Pulp Will Eat Itself (with Royal Mcgraw’s script on the second issue). I think I’ve been working for 2 years with comic books.

What things — both in art and otherwise — have you worked on besides comics? Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time?
I’ve already worked as a translator for a publisher.  By a great coincidence, I translated two illustration-related books; one of them was about Photoshop features and the other one about 3D Studio Max. I learned a lot and I currently make illustrations for books, but usually for a great children’s book publisher and institutional illustrations for some clients in my city. The comic books haven’t become a full-time job for me yet.

Talk about how you broke into the business –was it easy? Hard? Ups? Downs? Any interesting anecdotes? When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel?
I can tell you beyond any doubt that I’ve always looked forward working with editorial illustration, be them books or comic books. However, I was forced by necessity to experience many different styles to satisfy as many clients as I could, but most of my studies were related to Sequential Art and based on publications about storytelling by Greg Capullo, Scott McCloud and Will Eisner. I managed, right on my first sample, to get a contract with one of the Brazilian’s greatest agencies, but my only professional job came up through a direct contact. Despite I’d already published my own comic books before, my first paid job made me feel like I could keep on publishing with no problems at all, encouraged by Doug Klauba’s compliment through the editors.

Did you work as an assistant to any other artists? If so, please talk a bit about those experiences.
I’ve never worked as an assistant, but I did some coloring samples over other artists’ pencils. I was personally indicated to IDW as a colorist by one of its pencillers, but I didn’t get around to do any work though.

How did your parents take to the idea of working in comics?
They just support me on that, so I can earn a good salary and mainly stability, otherwise, it’s not worth it.

How would you describe your workspace? Is it part of your home,
or do you go “to the studio”?

I work at home in a small space close to the window, with a drawing board, a good computer and a tablet. The table’s very long and my brother’s computer is placed on it so that we can work close to each other when it’s necessary.

What job are you proudest of? What’s your most embarrassing?

I’m proud of the kid’s book I illustrated. The most embarrassing one I just keep to myself. It was a children’s book and also my first reasonably paid job as a penciller. These pencils embarrass me, though they were essential for me to buy my first computer.

What are you currently drawing? Comments on that project?
Regarding comic books, I’m working on my own graphic novel. That’s all I can tell you…

Talk about your family: Parents, siblings, home situation. Are you married? Have kids? Names? Anecdotes about married life, how does it relate to your busy schedule, etc. If you have kids, do they understand your job? What do they say about it? Do they read comics?

I’m single and I live with my mother and brother, who works as a web designer and also pencils once in a while.

What projects do you hope to work on in the future?
I hope I’ll be working with fantasies or horror stories, but I’m also fond of classic atmospheres very much, as well as the gothic, fairy tales and homage to 50s’ Pulp fictions or maybe Steampunk, why not? I think by this you can already have an idea about my taste. It can be a coincidence, but almost all the work the clients ask me to do, they do involve old stuff. Futuristic stuffs are cool as well, as long as it has a hint of retro style.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
In five years, I see myself in my own house, with my place/studio to work. In ten years? Well… I hope I’ll be doing better on the pencils until so.

What is the interest in comics where you live? Do friends and neighbors know you draw comics for a living? How do they react?
Comics are not so unknown in Brasília. Here we have illustrators and independent comic books known all over Brazil and abroad. People usually find it interesting even though they don’t have the slightest idea about how this business works.

What’s 1 thing you’ll always find in your refrigerator?
Definitely, there are no beer cans because I hate it, even though it might upset some people.

What’s your favorite food?
I like to visit candy shops and besides that, I’m obsessed for sandwich, mainly because it’s a very practical and easy-to-do snack.

What are your favorite interests –Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports?

n fact, I’m a moviegoer. I like both intelligent and fanciful movies.  My music taste? I like specific bands, just like Cocteau Twins, Smashing Pumpkins, Siouxsie, The Banshees, etc. I also like something of Post-punk   and composers like Zbigniew Preisner and Angelo Badalamenti. I don’t do any kind of sports, I’m not overweighed though, and I like to write.

Have you ever thought of writing your own stories?
I’ve stopped thinking in order to start writing.

Have you ever been in a gang?

No, but there were many of them in my streets and running away from them was my joy.

What’s an average day in your life like? Walk us through a typical day.

I work at home, sitting on my table with the drawing board and the computer from 9am until 6:30pm. I often take the remaining hours during night to finish what it’s yet to be done.

Do you have any funny or interesting anecdote about the Comics business to share?
A funny story about comics? Hum…

Do you have any great, unsold projects in your files that nobody’s got to see published?
Yes, not exactly unsold because I intend to get it done the farthest in the middle of next year.

What’s your complete list of credits published?
Front 17 – Illustrations.
Front 18 – Self-published Comics.
Front 19 – Self-published Comics.
Pulp Will Eat Itself no. 1 – Comics.
Pulp Will Eat Itself no. 2– Comics (not published yet).
Exposé 6.
IdeaFixa’s Greatest Hits.
O Anel Mágico – Kid’s book.
Projeto Conviver – História, Ed. Moderna – For children’s book.

If you weren’t a comic-book artist today, what would you be?
A translator, because I’ve graduated in Translation and I’d probably dare to become a writer.

Have you ever taught comic-book art or had any assistants? If so, talk about that.
I’ve already taught it, but on private classes and I already needed to ask for my brother’s help to color some pages. That’s it.

The single thing you’d most like to be remembered for in your life is…?
I’d like to be remembered for my creations (Pencils).

Any closing words to your fans?

Good taste is essential.

Front 17 – Illustrations.
Front 18 – Self-published Comics.
Front 19 – Self-published Comics.
Pulp Will Eat Itself no. 1 – Comics.
Pulp Will Eat Itself no. 2– Comics (not published yet).
Exposé 6.
IdeaFixa’s Greatest Hits.
O Anel Mágico – Kid’s book.
Projeto Conviver – História, Ed. Moderna – For children’s book.


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