Interview with Illustrator, Concept Artist and Animation Enthusiast Henrique Lira

Interview with Illustrator, Concept Artist and Animation Enthusiast Henrique Lira
Henrique Lira is a Brazilian freelance illustrator, concept artist and animation enthusiast. He loves to create colourful and joyful artworks, and also be part of meaningful projects. Read on to know him more and his works!

How did you get into the world of art especially in illustration?

Cartoons and comics were my first influence, for sure! But I think I got interested specifically for illustration through music - when I was about 13 years old I stumbled upon the CD cover of the album “Get The Picture?” from Smash Mouth and I fell in love with that style. The creator of that cover, mr. Shag (Josh Angle) is my first big influence in the field of illustration. The unique style, shapes and the colours he used just blew up my mind, and then I found myself illustrating like there was no tomorrow!

Do you listen to music when you are working? If so, what kind of music are you listening to? Why?

Oh yes, I do! Music is a very powerful tool. I’m really eclectic and moved by my mood - Classic Rock, Lounge, House, Jazz, Metal, Reggae, Folk, Classical, World Music, Bossa Nova, MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), Mantras,  and the list goes on! Sometimes silence is an awesome resource, also. A couple of days ago I was illustrating something really cute and listening to Dream Theater, so it’s not every time that my music matches well with the artwork I’m producing. :-P

Have you worked in advertising agencies? Did you like it? Why or why not?

Funny that you asked - I actually started my career in ad agencies when I was 15. For 5 years I was a graphic designer/web programmer/motion graphic animator and also used to do a really fine coffee. And yes, I enjoyed the experience - mainly because it taught me how to be a real professional, and not just a regular ineffective artist.

I do like how you choose the colors for all of your artworks. What is your style in creating them?

Cheers, glad you liked it! :-) Luckily I started giving a special attention to colours in the very beginning of my career, influenced by Shag, so I was able to test out what works and what doesn’t for a long time. Basically my choices are based on my luggage of empirical trials. I think I created some unconscious shortcuts for color, like a muscle that I trained throughout the years. I usually like to do very colourful and joyful things - the happier, the best!

How would you like your work to be used in the future?

One of the main goals of my artwork is to increase the number of smiles in the world - if I achieve that, boy, I’m getting a brand new smile myself! Besides that I would love if my work (and my story itself) become a positive influence in the life of others, inspiring them to pursue their dreams, what they believe and love.

There are so many amazing illustrators out there. Do you have any specific illustrator that inspires you in your work? If so, can you tell us who that illustrator is and how s/he inspires you?

Indeed, I have! I must say that my current favourite artist is Mr. Dice Tsutsumi, the wizard of colours and emotions. His work is my main inspiration nowadays and I wish someday I have the honor of shaking his hand personally and say: GIVE ME YOUR POWERS!

What is your working environment like?

Some might say I live in a pirate ship with two parrots and a one-eyed scurvy dog called Johnny - well, they’re lying. I don’t have parrots. But the truth is that I work at home with a 13” notebook in a fine L shaped large table located in a room filled with small pirates, a huge artwork of the artist John Avon signed and a couple of artbooks. It’s a quiet and pleasant place, as a workspace should be. Oh yeah, there’s also a small bouncing-head monkey here, and I guess he really enjoys my musics.

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