Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer

How did you get started doing what you do?
I started drawing very early when I was a child. It was like a sort of shelter I guess, a way to escape myself. I liked projecting myself through my drawings.

How would you describe your creative style?
That question is always complicated for me because I work with a lot of different techniques- principally etching techniques- that means I have different graphic universes. I prefer to speak about the spirit of my images, mostly poetics and narratives. Often linked with tales or mythology universe, playing with ambiguity.

Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz

What’s your inspiration?
It can be a word, a sentence heard somewhere, a painting, a music, an object… Anything and everything! It comes often without warning. But I search into my readings most of the time for inspiration.

What is art to you?
A way to express myself.

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
That depends on the technique. But working on an etching is like a silversmith’s working. I can spend many days on a plate to shape the picture, step by step. It takes some precision, time, experience to succeed and reach the final result wanted. And when the plate is finished there is still all the printing time. To produce each etching I spend about 30 minutes preparing the plate for printing. So you can imagine the printing time for an etching printed in 15 copies. It may sound crazy to still be working with these techniques today. But I like this slow process, especially in view of that particular era where it became so easy to produce pictures. Definitely it’s something important to preserve.

Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz

How do you keep motivated?
Working, for me, is like taking up a challenge. I like to push my work forward, always going further, testing different thing all the time. In that way, my thirst for experiences is a stimulation to create. The positive feedback about my work encourages me to pursue that path, but I want to surprise my viewers. In a certain sense, I am very demanding with my work, I try to improve myself all the time. This, undoubtedly, is the best motivator.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
My interest through my work is to captivate and speak to the imagination of the viewer. Present images like sort of opened windows into which they can project their fantasy, where they can dive. For me, it’s the most beautiful thing about the image in general.

How have others reacted to your work?
People project lots of things into my images. Sometimes totally different. Frequently they think they recognise a reference to a story or a myth. It’s interesting to hear what they imagine. Sometimes they are disturbed by some of my images because they are strange or upsetting. But it’s what I search for. I don’t want my images to be too kind.

Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz
Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Listen to and follow your instinct.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Never stop working and showing what you do. No need to force things, it will work out and pay off. Be patient and stay true to yourself.

Interview with Illustrator, Sophie Lécuyer on Jung Katz

What are your thoughts on art school?
The opinions are very divergent, and people doesn’t search for the same things by entering those schools. But maybe the most important is to use the art school like a tool and a chance to improve yourself. You can learn everything or nothing in an art school, what counts most is your motivation and dedication to your work.

What’s your process like?
I work in a spontaneous way, more or less. Often I start to work without really knowing where I want to go. I just have a starting idea and a desire to create, so I dig into this idea or I drop out and pass on to another. I build things little by little, one thing bringing another… It’s important to make things even if you don’t know where they will take you, the essential is to always move forward.

Follow Sophie Lécuyer on Facebook.


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