Renaud SAUZEDDE aka Wild Reno (Version française)
It was while looking at the Sinner Sinners record sleeve that Reno's work caught my attention. I decided to check out his website and what I found was an original piece of art (go check out the guitars, dudes!), adding the fact that this young man also used to work at Hawai Surf, I just needed to have a word or two with him.
Hi Reno, of course I have to ask you the mandatory question that appears in all Crew K interviews, what do we listen when we step into your home?
Wow, tough question since it changes every day...but we can say that you will certainly hear Valient Thorr and Converge...Hellacopters also, loud as it can be!
Can you tell us more about yourself? Who are you? Where are you from?
My name is Renaud Sauzedde, aka Wild Reno. I have been a graphic designer for a few years now. I started in a board sports shop well known by the surf culture lovers in Paris, Hawaisurf. I learned there and caught a very strong influence from the skateboarding culture that has always been very productive! I am now my own boss with my best friend as my partner. We have created our own brand of guitars, Wildcustoms. I handle among other all the communication part of it which enables me to do what i like for a good cause! I then design all the visuals for our label and at the same time a lot of record sleeves and posters for bands in our circle of friends.
I have always been attracted to drawing but also to everything around logos and brands. It is also true and unfortunate that I never had the chance to follow a course or a training in this field. I guess this might be because at the time I simply did not know this ever existed, how it could be called and I never imagined you could make a living as a « art graphic designer ». What is a graphic designer? I only knew what a street designer was. I turned toward territorial arrangemments studies then management and business studies. But then fate always catches up and from a shop assistant in hawaiSurf, i started to work as a DTP assistant for the same store. By fidling with this new field, they started to give me the outlines to do then asked me to handle the newsletter, then two, then they gave me adds to realize...to end up making skateboard promodels. So I really just learned the job on my own and I really have to thank the team that enabled me to do so and who gave me this great opportunity. Besides my job and by being a member of a rock band I also had to work on record sleeves for demos and flyers for concerts which helpled me a bunch developping my skills.
Today can you live of your art or do you have another activity besides this?
I am not just a graphic designer but in a way it is for the best since it enables me from doing what I like and gives me a lot of freedom in all my works. When one has to to eat, it is very hard to only do what one just likes doing. So I am not over productive in this matter because I have a lot of other things to handle in order for our company to grow but I definitely feel free.
Do you work on a regular basis with newspapers/fanzines?
No, i still not have had the chance to work with them as of yet but who knows what the future deserves.
Could you describe a typical day?
Well, I start by dropping my elder son to the kindergarden then run off to the office where I start by answering my emails...it is a big part of my job since we working a lot though internet. After it depends of what we have to do, it could be accounting, guitar sanding, doing research and ordering new guitar parts and hopefully pretty often working on Illustrator to create new logos, visuals for Wild or buddies and developping new ideas for future posters. The evening between two hugs from my sons, i keep on answering customer emails and go on playing with illustrator.
Clearly my two main references are Shepard Fairey (Obey) and Jim Philips. I also love stefan Doitschinoff (Calma) in a more religious southern american style. I also love John Dyer Baizley who besides being a fantastic artist ( modern style but darker) is also the guitar player of one of my favorite band, Baroness. However these are only the most famous artists among the wide community of graphic designers who really kick asses! There are so many others with an original style and great ideas...this is this very true diversity and large variety that makes it interesting and which gives tremendous pleasure discovering new posters.
What are the different steps in your work (from the sketch to the finished piece)?
I first start by sketching the core of the poster which is the main element, the theme, and decorative details. Then, I scan the whole piece then test little by little different things on Illustrator which takes a lot of my time. If I had followed some kind of training, i would be more organized and efficient in the process and method! But sometimes feeling and freestyle just feel quite good and it brings soul to things.
Are you doing everything by hand or are you using a computer?
Actually i use both, trying to do more and more by hand! I also want to start tattooing (which i aleady started) so it is important to draw and to keep working by hand. For that matter, all the tattoo Kustom and rock n roll culture is also a big influence.
How long does it take you to create a poster?
Arghh, this question kills me and could me stop doing what I do, i would rather not think of this!!! « Lol » as we said. I really do not know but definitely two much time if we had to make a living out of it
know a very cool print worker at the end of the road where our workshop is located but I have to admit i wish I could do the whole process on my own...we will see when I will be retired.
You have a very distinctive style, do you only do what you like or if tomorrow one comes and asks you an oil painting of horses running into the sea in the sunset, are you ok to do it?
Of course, i will not do it! I only do what I like and tries to adapt to the request still with a maximum of freedom; since i do not feel obligated, if I do not feel comfortable with the theme, just pass; i really think that if you reluctantly do something, you will make shit! And we have the same reasoning when it comes to our guitars.
With which bands have you collaborated?
Mainly indie music, in particular « Picture me dead blondie » which is my brother's band...so it is a pleasure/work. I also worked with Herscher (doom), Sofy Major (HxC Noise), Sinner Sinners (Horror Punk)...there are others but for now I only work for buddies which already keeps me pretty busy!!!
For which bands would you like to work?
I do not have any specific ambition toward this, I am just glad I am doing what I like but setting my sights high, i would not spit on making a poster for Metallica or foo Fighters
Who choose the theme, the bands or you?
Well first i pick the bands i want to work with and usually I have free hand. Bands ask me posters because they like my style and ideas.
What is the most complicated part in making a poster?
To say "stop, it is finished"
Do you consider yourself belonging to a specific graphic scene and if yes who else do you think is part of it?
No, I do not think I am part of a specific scene, I do not meet that many people and therefore not really in the public eye so I guess I have a more marginal approach. Now maybe some of my creations do look like other designer pieces which I think is hard to avoid but now saying in which style or scene I am part of...well, i do not know.
Allright, now it is time for self promotion. Go for it!
Well, it is mainly on the Wild website: www.wildcustoms.fr into the Kustom culture tab or on our facebook page where I usually add the latest works. As to see my posters for real, I am planning on keeping them a spot in our showroom in Vichy.
What is the best compliment you have heard lately?
I want you to tattoo me! (although the only thing i have tattooed so far is a simple typo on my ankle). I guess it means that people trust me through my creations which is very nice..but still ;-)
what shall wish you for the future?
For Wild to end up buying off Gibson and to do next Foo Fighters record sleeve and to also make Dave Grohl's guitar for this new record...do you think it is something feasible?
Thank you for the interview and see you soon on the website!
Thank you, it was a pleasure;