In the first, and very possibly only, installment of interviews with those who make this magazine happen, here is a brief talk with Decibel Art Director and all-around beloved metal artist Bruno Guerreiro. Bruno fielded some questions a few years back when he had an art show, but here are a few more about the guy who makes so many things look so goddamn awesome.
What is the first drawing you remember being proud of?
Man, it’s tough trying to think back far enough to something specific. One image that pops up in my head is a drawing I copied out of a comic book, of Wolverine.
Do you know what first sparked your interest in specifically drawing monsters, demons, zombies, etc.?
Maybe comic books growing up sparked something. But I think I just find it more interesting for me to draw things that don’t necessarily exist. It allows for a little more creativity.
At one point did you realize you had the ability to turn this into a career?
My parents have always been super supportive of my art since I was a kid, so I don’t think I ever thought that it wasn’t something I could pursue. Though I was sure I was going to be a pro hockey player, but that didn’t work out.
After high school I thought I wanted to get into animation, since I loved to draw cartoons all day, but the college I applied to turned me down. I ended up going to Community College of Philadelphia, which was exactly what I needed. The teachers there were fantastic. The drawing and painting classes were crucial in my development. But it was a couple design classes that pushed me in the Graphic Design route. The teachers there noticed I had an eye for design. So then I transferred to Tyler School of Art, and pursued Graphic Design. Luckily Tyler’s design program is heavily influenced with illustration, so that was exactly where I needed to be. After I graduated there in 2005, I came to Decibel as one of the designers, and have been here since. Along with being art director at Decibel, I do freelance illustration and design work. Mainly gig posters and album artwork.
How have your parents viewed your path so far?
Like I mentioned, they have always been supportive of anything I do. So much so that they have at times purchased some of my pieces from my site. My dad recently bought my Reaper shirt I started selling this summer. That’s pretty damn cute.
What is your work ethic like? Do you like to get something done right when inspiration hits or are you a procrastinator?
It’s definitely a mix of both, but I definitely lean towards the procrastination side. When I get a deadline for something, I most certainly don’t begin physical work on it right away, unless it’s something I was already thinking about and had ideas for. Usually it stews in my head for days/weeks. A lot of times I talk myself down along the way, and tell myself what I’ll make won’t be any good. So that’s when the quickly approaching deadline kicks me in the butt and gets me moving. By then my ideas for the project are pretty flushed out, and I begin drawing.
Working on Decibel is different though, there is less procrastinating, I usually design features as they come in. I am the only one laying out the entire issue, so procrastinating would not be a good idea come deadline time. Plus Albert wouldn’t allow for it.
How many steps are there for a piece, sketch through finished product?
Brain stewing. Sketches. Usually I’ll ink right over my sketch. Then we move to the computer to scan the image, and add color.
Is there any kind of music you prefer to work to?
No, could be anything. Really depends on my mood, or what the vibe is. Electric Wizard is always in heavy rotation for me. But a lot of the times, if i’m working on a gig poster or album artwork for a band, I like to listen to their record that the piece is being done for, and I believe it really helps in the creative process, and the feel of the piece.
What is an idea you had for a piece that you thought would be rad and then ended up being real dumb?
Might be too many to mention. I feel like this happens often during the process of coming up with ideas. Without the real dumb stuff, not sure we would end up with the slightly better stuff.
How do see the state of metal art? What has changed or where do you see it going?
To me, it looks great. Seems like in the last few years there have been several big books to come out on just metal art–posters, albums covers and such. I personally follow some artists on social media that inspire me everyday. It seems the community is strong, and people are inspired by each others work. I’ve been a big fan of the vinyl resurgence as well, seeing artwork at that size is glorious.
I also love seeing the metal community expanding into other forms, like graphic novel/comic book type realms. My good friend Mark Rudolph has put out two tribute books that I was lucky enough to be a part of, Satan is Alive: A Tribute to Mercyful Fate, and Morbid Tales!: A Tribue to Celtic Frost. So many amazing artists contributed to both of these books. I think if the artists are delivering work that comes from their heart, and they love what they’re doing, we should all be in good hands.