Combining traditional and digital magic to create pop surrealist / psychedelic hybrids of intimate and collective mythologies (dreams, emotions, quantum physics, politics, philosophy or metaphysics), I leave indeterminacy areas for the viewer’s own mythology to resonate freely with it.
I have extensively explored creativity, through drawing, painting, sculpture, music, graphic design, animated GIFs, photo, storytelling, sculpting and research. Now, I specialise in illustration and art, and do my best to breach through the viewer’s rational mind, and widen that gate to the things on which words slip, but that feelings can describe.
CA: What stands out for you as one of your favourite career highlights so far?
J: It’s hard to pick one, so I’ll pick three and make myself at home 😉
– Designing and making 3D printed trophies for an environmental prize. My girlfriend did the 3D modeling and got some parts printed at her school (she’s graduating in a 3D Master’s degree), I made the concept, spent an eternity of trial, error and printing the rest in a fab lab, another friend helped with a few parts, and then I assembled all the parts and painted the 12 trophies. That was long, challenging, totally new, got me into some team work, and went great in the end!
– That challenging spirit, when you try something new that you don’t know if it’s goingto work properly, is also what made collaborating with Diesel quite cool: we made augmented GIFs of people coming to parties in their shops in France, LIVE. They get a a small GIF going at a GIF booth, I take them, add pre-made or improvised effects, elements – mostly stupid stuff dropping from their open mouths or jumping from head to head – and re-upload them on the fly. The thing is I want to make every attendee have at least one augmented GIF, so I only have like 5min to download the GIF, add digital magic, and re-upload it. That’s extremely short. And stressful. But getting those automated scripts in Photoshop and pre-animated bits help the day, definitely.
– Making a 100+ mushrooms characters for a digital illustrated card collector platform for a californian start-up. It was their early hours, commissioning artists themselves to get quality large series in the game, and as long as I kept it coherent, I had lots all the freedom I wanted. So, I made a ton of mushrooms with pen and ink on watercolour paper, scanned them, added a frame and colours on Photoshop. 3 per day, roughly. That was another challenging gig, and very rewarding as the finished set is super rich, quirky and diverse, and yet very coherent as a whole.
CA: What are you currently working on?
J: I’m about to get another painting started in my “synecular” series, and mostly, I’d like to develop my inner business man thing and do things myself, as reaching out to art directors and getting contracts is statistically not very effective. I have a few entrepeneurial ideas I like, but nothing I can talk about right now, of course 😉
CA: How’d you get started as an artist/musician?
J: You know, the usual “the world sucks, so I’m gonna make my own” kid thing. Later on, having bands and doing small stuff for friends in bands while getting 2 Master’s degrees done (english, japanese, and marketing/management thingies), and taking on photos and photomontage, I get to the point where I can start a PhD dealing with contemporary japanese artists (anthropology, art history, and japanese language, mostly), but I decide that I’ve always wanted to create stuff, less to analyse what others do, so I finally put an end to this studying eternity, and start this hard, lonely, weird, enduring and cool thing that a creative career is.
CA: Who or what influences your art?
J: At some point, I considered going into contemporary art, but a large part of it is just going against something aesthetically pleasant, for good and bad reasons. I want to make beautiful – albeit often bizarre – works. I want to play with bright colours, and create shapes that give me a feeling that I call “gourmandise visuelle”. “Love of good food” is an ugly translation for “gourmandise”, but I think you get the idea, it’s like treating yourself with some visual delish, that feels generous and tasty to the eyes.
Other than that: science (biology, quantum physics, astrophysics, psychology and whatnot), collective mythologies (archetypes through stories, religions, philosophy, metaphysics, delusions and desires about the future, etc.), and intimate mythologies (dreams, emotional readings of real life, etc.).
Name dropping: Salvador Dali (got some catalan blood and been nurtured with his imagery), René Magritte, weird animation from my childhood (Gandahar, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, The Wings’ Oriental Nightfish), Miyazaki Hayao, Hokusai, the 3 Murakami (Takashi, Ryû and Haruki), Radiohead, Queens Of The Stone Age, Devendra Banhart, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, Jean Giraud / Möbius, Darren Aronofsky, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Kilian Eng, James Jean (I wouldn’t dare compare my work to his, but I think we share some surreal / psychedelic influences, and a true love for mushrooms), etc.
CA: What is your creative process like?
J: Whether there is an intense ideation, concept-digging, mind-rumbling phase or I just go with my guts, everything starts with a sketch with a blue pencil, and then some black inking. Then, it becomes the base for a painting, or goes to the scanner to get some digital magic through Photoshop – cleaning the lines, adding colours, texture, lighting, and going back and forth with the colours, until I get something nice).
CA: How do you feel our Art + Brewing initiative can benefit emerging artists?
J: I love beers. Drinking them, obviously, but also, coming from the capital of wine (Bordeaux), the world of beer appears a lot more diverse and rich, both on the receipes and ingredients you can use, and on the visual marketing side of things, especially with all the craft beer craze mixing well with local artists doing the visual storytelling. So, those beers travel, and their art dress with them, that way it gives artists exposure to art enthusiasts and beer lovers alike.