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Early life and work
Originally from Brazil and son of two professional skydivers, Gustavo started his professional career at the age of 16 as a full-time illustrator at an advertising agency in Brazil. His work spanned from large billboards to magazine ads to storyboards for live action and animated TV commercials. Gustavo's influences were comic books, fine art, and industrial design.
One year after starting his professional career as a commercial artist, Gustavo entered and won an talent search competition held by a São Paulo-based agency that was looking for local talent to work for international markets in United States, Canada, and Europe.
After reviewing over 20,000 portfolios from four different countries, Gustavo and another artist were chosen. They had a year of training before the first professional assignment, and Gustavo began his international career as a concept artist and visualist.
His first assignment was to create a pitch using visual concepts for a science fiction and fantasy franchise based on the basketball super star Michael Jordan staged in a post-apocalyptic universe. After that Gustavo illustrated comic books for publishers such as Marvel Comics. He has designed characters, environments, vehicles and cinematics for game and movie companies in North America and Europe.
In early 2000, during the boom of the "dot coms" Gustavo and his brother, a software engineer, invented the Custo Z system. Custo Z is an online tool that would help users develop and organize their professional and personal networks as well as their finances.
During an interview for "Globo", a Brazilian broadcaster, Gustavo stated that he developed the Custo Z system at night as he was still designing visuals for the entertainment industry during the day.