1) What are your own origins Joao? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today? I was born and raised in the south of Portugal. I went to high-school and university here, taking a degree in Computer Science. After I finished my degree, I got a job as a programmer at a local Tour Operator. But after a year the company my girlfriend worked for went bust, and I was feeling a need for change. So when she found a paid internship in Manchester, in the UK (while aiming for New York), I jumped at the opportunity, and we both packed up and would come to live there.
After a year and a half in the UK, though, I was feeling a huge pull back home, so we returned to Portugal, where I now work with my family.
2) What inspired you to create ‘Cereals For Lunch’? I've always drawn, and when a friend of mine told me a gaming e-zine was looking for a monthly comic about gaming, I gave it a shot. I was a complete newbie to drawing comics, and I didn't get the spot. But it did leave me with a hunger to see what I could do with it next. So a couple of weeks later, before we moved to the UK (when I was feeling like a change of pace), I started doing the comic.
3) In your own words how would you describe this story? Ugh. It's really hard for me to describe it, because I think it's simply "life". You have these (now) 5 people that are basically going through life and figuring it all out -- like I was when I started the comic (and still am).
That's basically it. Then life happens. You think you know what you want, then you find it's not like you thought it would be, or something in your life changes and you have to deal with it. In this case, with often silly results.
4) If ‘Cereal’ was a song, what song would it be and why? Oh. I don't know. I'm thinking something like Green Day's 'Longview'. Mainly for the immature or childish outlook on life, but it's not really a perfect fit. I'm guessing there's a song that better suits CFL that I don't know of -- but hey -- there might be a 'Cereals For Lunch' theme-song coming soon, so there's that!
6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with? I learned a lot about a lot of things. About art and artists, between all the incredible artists that I talk to on a daily basis on Twitter.
About myself, though? Maybe how much I enjoy doing comics. And how much more other art I want to do. Along the way I realized it is very hard to get people to actually read your comic. I always thought a free comic would be easy enough to get people to take a look at, but I found it much harder than I thought it would be.
7) Your style of art appears very clean looking and manga inspired. What would you say prompted you to pencil in this way? Plus who is your favorite artist? In the beginning I did the comic digitally. Drawing with a tablet was a bit awkward and I had to re-do lines all the time because the hand wouldn't match the eyes. So when I had my hiatus I took some time to see if I could draw the comics with a pencil. I realized I could draw the comic much more easily that way and give it -- in my opinion -- a more natural style, but I'm still trying to figure out all the tools available.
I have no training at all. I just grew up drawing, from Dragonball characters and settings to videogames and eventually did some personal art with made-up characters.
My favorite artist? I'm so artistically illiterate, it shames me! All the artists I admire, I admire most for their overall work than for their artwork specifically. I admire a lot of elements of manga and anime, but naming people, I'm influenced by Bill Watterson, Scott Adams, Akira Toriyama; because those were the artists that I grew up with. But I try to take in elements from everything I see, from every medium, and also from everyday life, both in terms of illustration as well as writing.
8) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead? Haha! I guess it depends what you mean by 'good stead'! I try to keep a regular schedule and quality control. I usually have at least two people check my comics to make sure everything is ok. Over time I feel my artwork has improved, as well as my writing and in general the way I think about comics.
9) If your comic had a motto, what would it be? "Maturity is overrated".