How did you get started doing what you do?
I started 10 years ago, I’m autodidact. Making digital collage was my passion, I love to compose an artwork with different pictures, mixed with textures, graphics elements or typography. And I became a professional 5 years ago. Now I’m working in the various creative fields of advertisement, fashion, print, editorial, music, etc.
How would you describe your creative style?
Digital collage or photographism. It is a mix of photography and illustration. I work with Adobe Photoshop, and sometimes a bit of illustrator. The mixture of elements specific to this digital collage technique is also reflected in the choice of subjects that I approach. For my agent, I’m an illustrator, but I work 99% with pictures.
What’s your inspiration?
My first inspiration was the work of Vaughan Oliver, art director of the music label 4AD and the artist Dave McKean. Maybe the first photographism artist? A lot of inspiration comes from the movies, I love the work of Peter Greenaway, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and The Pillow Book are my favorite movies. I also love Wong Kar Wai, Alfred Hitchcock, David Fincher- very aesthetic movie directors. But inspiration comes from everywhere, I’m living in Paris, and this is an amazing city with beautiful galleries and amazing museums.
What is art to you?
Art is the symbol of life, of liberty, of desire…
What does your typical day look like?
Generally, in the morning I check the social networks and have breakfast. Around 11 am I take a few phone calls and send emails to new clients. Then I work either on my personal projects or my orders, for about 4 or 5 hours. After that I take a break. I go get some air, take a bike ride or visit an exhibition. Back home, I commit myself to work. I’ve worked on a Mac since I started, and I spend about 10 hours a day on Photoshop. And last year, part of my desktop has become a favorite place to nap for Mimosa, my cat. I work all week, even on weekends. I chose Friday to be my day off.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
In the beginning, there is much research on the subject, or the idea that I want to develop. I like this phase of study and discovery. In experience, I’ve learned that everything we were doing in art was never wrong, it was just a step to get to what you want, even if all the trash we throw away. Then, step by step the idea is realized, the image takes shape and evolves. I will not stay closed, I remain sensitive to other ideas that might come to graft it. If I spend more time on an image, the result becomes more satisfying. I do not forget also to let stand, and submit my pictures to friends who have the sharp eye and know that I push myself beyond me. Finally, when it feels like a picture is finished, it is a joy each time. I remember in the film Pollock, Ed Harris, when a journalist asked him when he knows that his work is finished, he responds with the question “how do you know you finish making love.” Sometimes it is a day, sometimes a week…
How do you keep motivated?
I really love what I do, I’m always full of ideas, the desire to create is my energy. Even if sometimes what I do is not successful, it is never time lost. I take a lot of satisfaction from my work. I always want to create so it is fairly simple to stay motivated. Sometimes clients ask complicated or imprecise things- I never drop them, I know there is always a solution.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I do not think we should speak of accomplishment, but more for personal fulfillment. I’m 40 and there are more than 10 years that I did not think at all I would become an illustrator. My passion has changed my life, and I wish it to continue like that. Three years ago I became a teacher in an art school, I’m curious to see what the future has reserved for me.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
It is a complicated profession, which takes time. You should not count the hours. You must be surrounded by good people. You have to be curious, open-minded, learn to question, and especially learn to have confidence in yourself.
What’s your dream project?
I am passionate about music, there are a lot of groups I’d like to do the cover of their album, like Marylin Manson, Depeche Mode or Massive Attack- a famous group of which I am a fan, it would really be like a consecration for me.