First Comics News: How did you make your start as a comic book artist?
Nicolo Arcuti: I started my journey as a comic book artist a little more than two years ago, I was fresh out of comic art school, and just threw myself on the internet looking for collaborations. I immediately published a couple of indie titles and anthology stories, and shortly after I met Rob!
1st: What is the process of inking after you have penciled a page?
Nicolo: I usually don’t really have a separated process of pencilling and inking. My process goes from a rough sketch of what the page looks like, directly to the final art (with some corrections along the way). This allows me to keep a fresh approach, and not over-work the drawing.
1st: Do you have any formal art training?
Nicolo: Yes, I do! I have studied in my hometown of Perugia (Italy).
I took a three-year comic book art school, where I was trained in pretty much everything from artistic anatomy and illustration composition to inking and coloring.
1st: What is the thrill you get from drawing?
Nicolo: I’ve always used drawing as a form of escapism and to bring my crazy ideas to life since I was a child, and that’s always stayed with me, to this day. I know that my drawings can depict any kind of world I’d like to live in.
1st: How did you end up being the artist on “Skotus”?
Nicolo: As I said in the first answer, I was just posting my art online, hoping to find somebody who would give me a cool story to draw, and Rob happened to see my stuff.
1st: He reached out by email, and made me two proposals, one of which was SKOTUS.
Nicolo: We hit the ground running from there, and have put up a great creative collaboration. The man is just a volcano of great stories!
1st: How do the President’s expressions bring across the fact he is psychotic?
Nicolo: I’ve tried to convey his psychosis by taking the difference in his expressions to the extreme, almost as if he morphs into some kind of monster when doing his most evil stuff, but still keeping his traits recognizable.
1st: When drawing the oval office what do you use for a reference?
Nicolo: I just went online and did a brief search for pictures of the real oval office, and then tried to see which are the most characteristic elements. I wanted it to feel a bit strange and unusual, and mostly did it through lights and shadows, it shouldn’t feel completely right, there should be something weird to it, just as with the president.
1st: How do you feel about drawing scenes of torture and killing?
Nicolo: That’s always a lot of fun to do because it’s where you can really take drawings to the extreme, be it a facial expression, or a splash of blood. Those are things we hardly experience in our life, and the representation should be more of an emotional one, instead of just realistic violence.
1st: Do you see any of the President’s qualities in you?
Nicolo: Not really, no, I don’t see myself as a psychopath serial killer. Not yet at least. Ah ah!
1st: Why are you part of Deviant Art?
Nicolo: I suppose for visibility purposes. I never really get any jobs from there, but it’s cool to get feedback from fellow artists and art lovers alike.
1st: Do you ever listen to music while you draw, what type if you do?
Nicolo: Of course I do. I’m a big music fan, and a musician also. While drawing, I can’t really listen to regular songs that I like, or I get too involved in the music, and get distracted from the art.
I usually like to listen to soundtracks from movies I like, think Blade Runner, Interstellar, Superhero movies, etc.
1st: What is the most important thing an artist can do to get better?
Nicolo: Never give up, exercise every day, and always take in criticism from better artists and really embrace it.
1st: Would you like to work on a Batman comic for DC?
Nicolo: That’s maybe my number one dream as an artist. That or Superman, I grew up reading those two, and I used to make DIY comics about Batman and Superman when I was a kid.
1st: What do you have to say to all the people who enjoy seeing your art?
Nicolo: I’d just want to thank them for the support, and tell them to stay tuned: great things are coming in 2019, mostly from me and Rob, our minds are set on to become the Super Mario Bros. of the comic industry!