Even if you don’t know his name, if you’re a fan of DC Comics or Collectibles, you’re pretty familiar with the work of our latest spotlight artist. Heck, if you’ve so much as stepped into a comic shop or onto the floor of a comic convention at least once this past year, you’ve likely come across the distinct interpretations of DC Comics heroines reimagined in the style of classic pinup art that we call the DC Comics Bombshells.
The Bombshells have become far more than a popular line of statues. They’ve graced variant covers for some of the most popular New 52 comic books on the stands, are featured in their very own 2015 calendar and have even inspired entire groups of cosplayers. However, it all starts with a series of illustrations that are almost entirely the work of one man—Ant Lucia.
If you’d like to know more about the illustrator making retro feel fresh, read on…
What’s your full name?
Anthony James Lucia
Where were you born?
Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa
Where did you go to school? What’s your education background?
Grand View University where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design & Fine Art.
When did you know you wanted to be a professional illustrator?
I think as soon as I could hold a pencil. My mom always tells me the story of when I was in 1st grade and the teacher asked her to come inside and see what I did. We were given a project to draw on one square of a collective poster. Most of the other children drew a happy face or a sun. She then pointed mine out to my mom. I drew an Indian in a feather headdress riding a horse. So I think art was always my path.
Do you have a pre-illustration ritual?
I usually start with really rough composition/pose sketches. I also like to determine a color palette early on. After I have a refined sketch I scan it into Adobe Illustrator, pop on a movie and start building shapes.
Digital or traditional?
Both. I always start with a pencil and finish with a mouse. That’s right, I still use a mouse.
What piece are you most proud of?
That’s tough, because I’m proud of all of them! From the Bombshells line I’d have to say the upcoming Hawkgirl is one of my favorites. She has some really great personality.
Have you had any mentors in your career?
I would say my professors at Grand View were like mentors. They really helped me explore many styles and techniques which I would highly recommend to young artists. Try as many techniques as you can before trying to master one because in my case I always pull from different skill sets to complete a project.
A piece that you’ve worked on that you wish you could go back and redo?
I never know when to stop, so for me if I had the time, all of them!
What kind of DC Collectibles product would you like to work on?
BATMAN!! My goal in life has always been to illustrate/design a batman cover/collectible. Once I do that I can retire.
Who is your favorite comic book character and why?
BATMAN!! He’s just the coolest.
What was your first toy?
Not sure, but I had a massive collection of Super Friends including the Hall of Justice playset and Batmobile.
Do you have a favorite DC Comics artist?
Jim Lee of course!
Favorite comfort food?
Mom’s Pasta Cena, Deep Fried Tacos from Henry J’s, Bordenaros’ Pizza, Big Al’s Philly, Palmer’s Chicken and Biscuits, Manhattan Deli’s Cheeseburger Chowder, there are too many to name.
Favorite video game?
Last game I’ve played was Arkham Asylum. Unfortunately, I try to stay away from video games so I can get more drawing time in.
Justice League all the way.
Three favorite cities?
New York, Chicago and Des Moines!
Do you like roller coasters?
Day or night?
Introvert or extrovert?
Name something you’re really bad at?
How many books do you own?
Lots of art books and now children’s books for my daughter.
Where is the farthest from home that you’ve gone?
Do you sing in the shower?
That’s the only place I don’t sing.
What’s the best gift you’ve received?
Loving and supportive parents, a great big brother, an awesome wife, and a beautiful daughter.
What are your words of advice for aspiring illustrators/creative designers?
I never relied on becoming a professional illustrator right out of the gate, which is why I developed my career as a designer. Design still accounts for 40 hours of my work week and depending on the week, I devote around 10 to 20 hours to illustration. Design has always been more reliable as a source of income and has made me a better illustrator in the process. Not only for composition, color and technique, but it has also helped me market myself. Developing my own brand identity through logo, website design, booth displays, marketing materials, etc. It also gave me the financial freedom to be picky on what projects I take as an illustrator. So I guess what I’m saying is, you don’t have to have all your eggs in one basket.
Are you big into social media? If so, where can we find you?
I try. I’m most active on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ant-Lucia/190120834334669
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntLucia1
OR you can just visit my website: http://www.AntLucia.com