Diogo Costa does concept art to pay the bills and filmmaking because he loves it - he's currently working on a short animated film called "The Hunt" - An ambitious project that attempts to bridge the gap between live-action and animation and achieve the Hollywood-level production values - but on an indie budget. Besides all that, he finds time to teach Concept Art classes at IPMAIA - he likes to keep himself busy!

What's the story behind you and THU? How did you learn about us?

I learned about THU some years ago through social media - I think one of my favorite artists was attending the event as a speaker, and I was intrigued - by the quality of the lineup (a lot of my favorites there) but also because the event was held in Portugal (which is VERY close to home). I've been following THU from afar since then, always intrigued by the scope of the event and by the amazing feedback I've heard about it.

I always wanted to go, but it was either bad timing, I was out of money, or there was a pandemic going on - I finally managed to go back in 2022 - the best decision I've ever made - I only wish I had made it sooner.


What's your favorite thing about THU as a brand?

Community. It sounds cheesy - and I'm not one for cheesiness - but this is true. When you're part of THU, particularly when you are attending the main event, you feel like part of a community. You meet like-minded people from all over the world: some might be your "heroes" while others are very talented junior artists just out of school. What they all have in common is that they're there for the right reasons: for the love of the craft, personal growth, and connection - depending on where you are in the world, or, if you're a freelancer like me, it's common to feel isolated - THU is a way of bringing all of us together - and it's fantastic.



Do you want to talk about your experience at THU 2022 in Troia? Any favorite, memorable moments?

There were many incredible moments (it's crazy how you get from an informal yet professional event to a thoroughly relaxing, party-mode mood on the last day) - but my favorite thing was the people I met there. I went to THU with the specific goal of finding collaborators for my short film (without THU, the film wouldn't have been possible), but I wasn't expecting to make friends and lasting connections there - people I know will be part of my life for a very long time.


If you had to highlight one significant benefit or impact on your career from attending our events (in-person and digital), what would it be?

To put it bluntly, I feel less "alone" since attending THU. I'm a self-taught artist who comes from a non-artistic background. I had zero connections to anything related to the art world. It was tough for me to get into the industry - and even after I managed to do so, I always felt like a sort of outsider - either my peers/clients were on the other side of this world - or if they weren't, the closest we could get was digitally through a skype call. It was challenging to create a real connection - and even when it happened, it never felt real. 

But something happens when you meet people in real life. I'm a very visual person. I need to see how people move through space, behave, and laugh, as well as what they laugh at, to connect with them. It feels very different when someone compliments (or critiques) your work to your face - it feels natural. And where else can you spend hours around a picnic table discussing the metaphorical implications of Batman and Superman as archetypes during a sunny afternoon? (I don't know about you, but that's quality time for me!).
I came out of THU with a completely new vision about my worth as an artist (and as a person) and with my imposter syndrome virtually gone. I finally felt "accepted" by the industry -  I wasn't an outsider anymore.

I only wish I had gone there sooner. 

Don't think twice if you're hesitant about attending the event for whatever reason. Go! You won't regret it.


Thank you, Diogo!