I came across this eye-catching study of DC Comics character Shazam by Bruno Oliveira quite by chance – tracking down the Brazilian artist’s original post here back in 2012 on DeviantArt – and thought I’d quickly spotlight it and his work.
Bruno Oliveira began his career when he was just 16, doing illustration jobs for publications such as Nintendo World and Clube Magazine, published by Conrad Editora, in Brazil.
After working in animation, his first comics work, Dukse Drengen, was published by the Danish company, Kool Comics.
Active in the Brazilian market as well as in the international market, Bruno has had works published by small press and independent publishers before debuting at Marvel Comics in 2016, in Deadpool #21. His credits also include issues of Mosaic for Marvel, Drones for IDW and Gauze for Arcana.
In an interview for ProCreate, Bruno, who says he always wanted to be a superhero artist, has some useful advice for aspiring artists and breaking into today’s comics industry.
“It was really hard,” he says. “It sounds fun and great, but being a freelance artist means taking care of so much that you usually don’t have to if you just work for a company.
“You need to learn how to look for work online, how to sell your work, how to price it, how to schedule everything so you hopefully don’t run out of work… all of that is really hard when you’re starting.
“My first freelance work was when I was 16. As soon as I got it I thought: ‘Well, this is it, I’m a professional now, I’m gonna quit school and be awesome.’ Man, was I wrong. I didn’t get another job for over a year, and it was just a small project as well. I kept trying to look for work online, but a lot of companies were still suspicious of hiring people they hadn’t met in person and it took a lot of searching, a lot of practice and a lot of talk to get things rolling.
“So many people helped me with tips and with awesome advice. When you want to draw or paint for a living, you are not aware of how much else you need to do and learn in order to turn this into a profession.”
Above all, though, his tip for aspiring creators practicing to be a better artists is to have fun.
“It is amazing how much faster you learn when you can make it fun for yourself.,” he feels.”When we’re serious about learning something, we tend to be very strict, very technical and mostly very hard on ourselves. That’s incredibly counter-productive and we suffer for nothing.
“I’m completely against the whole ‘suffer for your art’ type of thinking.”
• Bruno Oliveira is represented by Chiaroscuro Studios