Interview with Neimar Duarte – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

This next interview is with Neimar Duarte from Brazil, who placed 2nd in the competition for the Automotive Art category with his piece: Traveller Skull. Read about how he uses airbrush as the medium to express the creativity in his mind and how he utilises this talent for his own art and commissioned pieces! Links at the end of the interview to see more of his amazing work!


Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process was like for you?

Neimar Duarte (ND): I love to draw since I was a child, this passion kept growing, so in my teens I started to dedicate myself more to study drawing through books and magazines, it was before I had internet at home… Due to my passion for custom cars and motorcycles, I discovered airbrush art, and later in 2005 I was able to buy my first airbrush, and make my own compressor at home.
Actually I wasn’t able to go to any art school, however my desire to learn was so strong that I decided to teach myself, through magazines and books, later by videos on the internet, artists who post step by step process on social media, and lots of thinking and practice.


S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?

ND: This skull is part of the custom painting I did on a Harley Davidson. As it was a commission work, the idea was born out of a good discussion with the owner who told me a little bit about him and his tastes. He gave me freedom to create but I had in mind everything he told me. Things like the main element of the motorcycle culture, freedom, travel, wildness… So I came out with this monochromatic composition of skull, roads, compass, clock, birds… I tried to make it elegant. I always make a digital illustration before, once it’s approved by the customer, I started the painting process. Most of the time I do the entire process, from the metal to the clear coat. That was the case in this project.
The particular skull in the front fender took me one week to finish; the entire motorcycle took me two months.


S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?

ND: Airbrush for me means freedom, to create and put in to some surface, in a visual form, the crazy ideas that keeps running around my mind, being able to show it to the world, making people imagine things outside of the real world.
When I’m doing something for myself, the ideas came from elements that I collect in my mind daily, I’m constantly being inspired by things I see everywhere I am. When I’m doing some commission, I mix the customer ideas with these things that I have in my mind.


S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?

ND: My goal is to be able to create more pieces for myself, completely free. And to do more for the art, sharing knowledge, maybe learn how to teach.


S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?

ND: I like better to work over metal, but sometimes tridimensional pieces are a little tricky to work on and demands lots of time in preparation. So I feel more comfortable working on an ACM panel, which is a composite aluminum panel that comes painted, it’s a perfect surface to work, you just scuff pad it and it’s ready to go.


S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing

ND: I like to mix photorealistic looks with elements or scenes that do not exist or are impossible to happen. Or at least I make things with more contrast, shinier or more colorful. Now depending on the subject, I’m looking photo references with more freedom, feeling that I can change things to make it unique and more interesting.


S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

ND: For the very beginners in airbrush, don’t be afraid if your first contact with the airbrush looks like crap. My first attempts were really scary, at first I thought, “it’s not gonna work.” But you have to be persistent and keep going, it will get better soon.

Yes, practice is very important, but you have to stop and just think sometimes, research about what element of the paint you are trying to reach at that moment. Then you go to practice again.
Remember that painting came after drawing, and as you are painting you use drawing techniques, so it’s very important to study drawing as well.


S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?

ND: Yes, I got my website
Instagram: Neimar Duarte
Facebook: Neimar L. DuArte Fine Art & Custom Paint

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