Artist Interview: Paulo Buchinho


Paulo Buchinho is an experienced illustrator from Portugal. I had the great pleasure of interviewing him and he provides some great advice for new illustrators and talks about his creative process. Keep reading!

How did you get your start as an illustrator?

I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. The earliest memory that I have is of writing on the wall of my room.

I always like comics and cartoon books. My childhood and youth were filled with lots of drawings. In high school I worked for the school newspaper where I was responsible for the front page comic strip and also for the illustrations in the inner pages.

Gradually I begun working with local newspapers and magazines until I started off as a professional illustrator when I was twenty.

I worked at two municipal museums where I created two comic books featuring the history of each city.

I worked for seventeen years in a governmental institution as an illustrator and I begun freelancing as a full time illustrator in 2003 and left my previous job.

Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to creating art and can you describe your process when creating art?

Inspiration comes from everything that surrounds me: books, movies, everyday situations, relationships, friends, my cats and from many years of experience in drawing. I think the thing is to pay attention to details of the situations that surround us. Sometimes, when you get blocked, the best thing is to stop, do a totally different thing and bang! the solution comes to you in a click. I visualize the illustration in my head and if all goes well I’m able to reproduce it on paper.

Regarding the technical part, my process is very simple and classic as I do a sketch by hand using a pencil, scan it and do the vector part using the scan as a guide. I always use a mouse to draw in the computer. I first do the lineart part, then the colors and finally the effects. My favorite vector applications are Freehand and Illustrator.

What advice would you give to an illustrator who is just starting out?
To begin with, make sure that this is the job that you want to do because it is very demanding and requires a lot of time.

Have confidence in what you do and assure that you what do is well done. However, every project has time constraints and it’s very important to deliver a project on schedule.

You have to understand what the client wants and that he’s paying you for your services. It’s fundamental that you treat the client with respect for his goals and time line.

You should have a transparent relationship with the client, clearing all doubts before starting a project.

It’s important to have work ethics and stand strong by it. This way you will avoid many problems in the future and clients will know how you work and what you are available to do. For example, I don’t do any work related to promoting hunting, bullfighting or any kind of animal fights.

What projects are you working on now?

I can’t mention any client names or brands as the work isn’t released yet but I’m working on a character design to use in a web site. I am finalizing a set of wall illustrations for a Jazz Cafe. I also expect to start doing magazine covers for a management Magazine in France.

I have regular collaborations with a national weekly newspaper and two institutional magazines. I am currently working on a new version of my website.

– Thanks Paulo for taking the time to answer our questions, you’ve provided some really useful advice! To view his work on ImageZoo, go here.


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