Let’s learn a little bit about Christiano Flexa. If you have any questions for Mr. Flexa, please post them in the comments section!
Where are you from, where did you grow up?
I live in São Paulo, Brasil. (Yes, with an”s”, as we write it here.) São Paulo is our New York. I grew up in Santos, a small city on the coast, near São Paulo.
Do you have any formal art training?
I can’t remember a period of my life when I didn’t draw…I grew up drawing! But I never had any kind of formal training. When I was 7 or 8 yo my mother tried to enroll me in an art class, but the teacher there said “NO”. He said it was too soon… that it could scare me off and that she should just let me draw for fun. I think it was the right call. 🙂
What’s the first thing you can remember drawing?
Ohhh I can’t be sure, but I remember drawing a lot of Woody Woodpecker and Popeye. A LOT! And the Hanna-Barbera characters as well. It was what we had on TV for kids at the time. Unfortunately we moved a lot as I was growing up, so there’s nothing left from that time – sorry.
Tools of the trade…what are your favorite “go to” tools. Pencils, pens, inks, paper, paint, etc…what are we guaranteed to find at your drawing table?
Well..I like to put as much small details as I can get in my drawings, so I like to use mechanical Pencil… 0.3 or 0,5 lead as much as I can. :). There are some disposable nankin pens for inking (again, you can sure find the 0.05 or the 0.03 pens among my favorites)
I don´t have any particular preference for paper… (we don’t have as many options for professional paper here, so we make do with what we have). I did have the chance to work with bleedproof paper (REDNDR from Crescent) and really, really enjoyed it. And my new passion…the COPIC markers!
Who are your art heroes? Who’s work do you pull the most inspiration from?
There is a God among mortals that answers by the name of Adam Hughes. What he does, what he can do – it’s impossible to look at his work and not feel the need to draw, to make something.
There are others, but as an inspiration to be a better artist, I would say Adam is at the top of the list.
Adam Hughes, a God among men?
John Byrne, George Perez, Arthur Adams, Frank Cho, Steve McNiven, Jason Palmer, Milo Manara… not all of them show up as a big influence on my pencil work but they are among my favorites of all times. 🙂
And there is a name I’ll put on this list, a young Italian artist named Rosita Amici. She is amazing and worth your while (most of her work is adult material, but she deserves to be noticed) .
A similar, but different question, what artists have had the most influence on your own work?
The most visible influence comes from my early years and I can’t shake that off. John Byrne is there.
“John Byrne was everywhere!”
I was a kid when the Claremont/Byrne run on the X-Men were published here in Brazil (circa 1985). John Byrne was everywhere! X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and at the time he was my favorite artist! So there is no point denying Byrne is part of me as an artist. Looking at my work, who do you see as an influence there?
What work are you most proud of?
I can´t answer that! hahaha…I really don´t know…I’m that kind of guy that always look back at the finish art and thinks it’s not good enough… that I could do better…
What I can point out is the ones to which I had a special and emotional connection. The Neokosmos books (a Greek themed RPG created by a group of friends of mine called Krypteia) and the Celebration for the 500th Anniversary of São Vicente, the first city on Brazil. A group of writers and artists did a series of short comic strips for the local newspaper. Each story about an important local historic figure. The project won the HQ MIX prize.
What project/commission was most challenging or has given you most satisfaction?
Challenging? The DYC project. A pool of artists got together to draw Digimon characters in their on styles. I joined them for the fun even though I never watched the show. It was challenging for me to draw characters I had no knowledge of. Most satisfactory? The Hanna-Barberians project, recreating the Hanna-Barbera characters.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Could you describe your thought process for us?
Not sure where all this comes from hahahah – but I´m addicted to TV series and Comics since forever. Sometimes it´s a scene or a scene that didn’t happen or a conversation that brings some dumb but awesome idea. But mostly I just sit and start doodling and when I look – it´s there! I´ll pay more attention next time and see if I can’t come up with a better answer.
What advice would you give to young people who want to follow your steps?
Draw like there is no tomorrow! Taking art class is great. Looking at what and how other people do things is great. Having the most amazing ideas for a drawing is great, but there is nothing better for your art than to actually do it! Even if you are not all that good at first – not drawing will only make things worse and harder!
Can you picture a day in which you no longer use pen and paper – an all digital work flow?
No. Don´t get me wrong, digital art is fun! It looks amazing and it is really really cool… and I do some things 100% digital, but there is no substitute for pen and paper.
Are you working on any projects now? (plug away!)
Yes… but I can’t talk about it yet… it’s a team work and we will only talk about it when we have something to show for it. But it´s coming!