Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray

How did you get started doing what you do?
I just started doing it.

What’s your inspiration?
People in any field who hold a certain intention while maintaining a kind of willingness to be transformed, and then allowing this transformation to surface in their work. And cartoons.

Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray on Jung Katz

What is art to you?
I’ve bounced a lot between design, illustration and art. If I were forced to put these experiences into words, I’d say: design= problem-solving, illustration= illumination, and art= exploration. Lately I’ve been drawn to create more original work, and as Francis Bacon said about the role of an artist, “…to deepen the mystery.”

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
I’m currently taking a fresh look at what I actually enjoy doing — or rather, where I find myself thriving. A typical piece usually begins and ends the same day, but mainly because that’s the window I’m allowing for it right now. I’m working on some short and long-form comics that may take me a year to finish.

How do you keep motivated?
One of my favorite quotes by Chuck Close is: “Motivation is for amateurs.” I consider it a privilege to even get to do this kind of work. How I feel about it doesn’t seem to change a thing, so I generally I accept motivation as an output, not a stimulant.

Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray on Jung Katz

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Nothing. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Not long after some of my friends and I begin procreating, the question arose on having a second child. Pros, Cons… there are a million ways to endlessly turn over a decision like this — especially if you are privy to the inevitable rough patches. One afternoon, my friend’s dad was within an earshot of this conversation and announced from the kitchen, “if you really thought about it, you wouldn’t do anything.” This phrase keeps coming back to me whenever I find myself in deep contemplation with no real results. For those of you whose brains need this distilled into a statement, I’ll appropriate a quote by David Byrne: “Stop making sense!”

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Spend more energy on finding out what moves you vs. what may or may not work. If it doesn’t move you, it will never work.

Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray on Jung Katz

What are your thoughts on art school?
I actually turned down art school for a liberal arts education. I had this vision that I’d end up being a 9 to 5 artist straight out of art school (how crazy is that?) and I didn’t want this to happen. Maybe I intuited that I didn’t possess enough independence to enter the art world through school and still keep my creativity alive. The biggest benefit from my more diverse education is that I learned to learn, and to generate my own experiences and learn directly from them. If you can do that in art school (and can afford it) then why not go? But as a lot of artists have expressed lately, don’t go to school with the expectation that it will produce something magical in your life. You’re in charge of that.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
Lots, but I want to keep them happily stewing away without lifting the lid.

Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Paul du Coudray on Jung Katz

What’s your dream project?
I’m working on figuring that out right now, while reducing the amount of time I spend on anything else.

What’s your process like?
Pull in something fresh, dive in and keep trying to break it.

Follow Paul du Coudray on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook.



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