"Designing a basic rock poster is not difficult because rock have stereotypes, skull – wings – guitar-etc…", on one hand this statment is 100% true and Thomas gave me the best reason for this blog to go on, as you may have already noticed if you sometimes read it, no, definitly no, rock poster art is not ONLY about skulls, wings, topless ladies and devils. The best evidence ? Just take a look at Thomas' work, this is definitly not Griffin-esque ;)
Actually this Haus Arafna album (Rhapsody in New York), and Italian Tarantella.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I 'been raised in Paris. I quit school early , then I worked in many unqualified job to see what it looks like (school kitchen, computer technician : cable disconnection... for corporate relocation, security, mobile phone seller for just 1 day, etc…).
After those two years of mind wandering (and doing a bit of graffiti) I started a preparatory class to learn the basics of graphic design and drawing, then moved to Angoulême to do a fine arts school where I met a lot of people who were doing comics (a universe I was not close to). I get my bachelor diploma in art/communication option, then moved to Geneva for a “new media postgrade” that was very deceptive (as I was interested by what new technologies socially engaged, and we were doing Vjing or moving dots on buildings… and for me it does not make an interesting sense), so I spent much of my time doing etching and silkscreen.
When did you start drawing?
Like any child soon, more when I used to do a bit of graffiti when I was a teen, then it became really serious when I’ve been in fine arts.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
As I was unable to draw Sangoku in the margins of my schoolbooks (I drew Krilin), I learn it in a preparatory class when I was 21yo, academic style, as I remember, my first nude drawings looked like whales.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I’m an assistant for the screenprint workshop in the fine arts school in Geneva, and extra money come from my art, mostly what I do for live show spaces or releases covers.
Fanzines mostly, micro self edited sceenprint books and collaboratives art books, I collaborated with 3 friends to create the core of the “Chiens Fous” (mad dogs), we do exhibitions-installations and books.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
A little non limited fields disorder for my actual taste :
Kuniyoshi and Japanese print in general, Olafur Eliasson, Joe Daly, Daisuke Ichiba, Kels book, Fuel publishing, alchemic, mystical and obscure works, antic art works, many others people well known and many, many works of unknown people …
I used to work a lot with computer but know it’s more like a support for colors.
In screenprint, if I draw by hand (not with high pressure water or blockout with brush), I always make a drawing at the size of the print on transparent paper with markers or lithographic pen.
Then I make colors with the same stuff or autocut film.
But I love incidents so I often start with an experimental point of view, to find other ways to use screenprint, erasing stuffs, drawing with tools or products that are not basically made for it.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
Mostly by hand, even stuff which look like vector.
It depends on the approach, It can take 4 to 10 hours (or more) including the print.
Generally, I just go to the workshop with an idea and do everything in one day, I sit, start to sketch (often very lightly) then draw or work directly, ideas comes during the elaboration process of the picture.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
I dunno, it will be funny to do this kind of pictures because I love backdrops, but generally I have “carte blanche”.
For which band have you already worked for?
Mostly for the experimental music scene, but also for well known bands & complete unknown band, here’s a list :
Boredoms, Aphex Twin, Merzbrow, Coil (but they’re dead), The Cramps (but Lux Interior is dead), Autechre, MF Doom, The Usaisamonster (but it’s over), Judas Priest (for the fun), Godspeed You Black Emperor, Hijokaïdan, Brian Eno, Boris, Sunn O, Otto Von Schirach, Venetian Snares, Arvo Part, Alva Noto, Haus Arafna, Maska Genetik, Chrome Hoof, Hawkwind, NHK, Primus, Ruins, The Psychic Paramount, John Zorn, John Cage, Bad Brains, Jello Biafra, Peter & the test tube babies, Dick Dale, Radikal Satan, Diamanda Gallas, Cannibal Ox (but I think it’s over now like Company Flow), classical ensemble for opera, etc…
Other bands are over for a long time I think…
Do you choose the artists yourself?
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster?
From a point of view above technical level, designing a basic rock poster is not difficult because rock have stereotypes, skull – wings – guitar-etc… Funny to do but not so refreshing, difficulty(interest?) in those kind of posters comes when you want to disturb those stereotypes and shift them.
it’s very interesting, mostly for experimental/deviant/hybrid music that have no graphic codes or a very tiny amount.
How you can dive into the sound and extract pictures from it is what I found very interesting.
The fact that I’m answering to this interview is the answer : )
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
My blog, where there is, I think, all of what I’ve made or make :
In real life, exhibitions just ended, one in Rennes (France), a solo exhibition of music posters, and an other in Geneva (Switzerland) with Chiens Fous, a really funny “end of the world” installation, called “No New Age Gondole Wave Banana Spleen”.
A solo exhibition is planned at the Poulpe, in Reigner (France) from january to february.
In November also, in Geneva, a four handed contribution for a Titans exhibition, huge size screenprint, during a convention that where are preparing at Usine Geneva. Check the blog : http://monstrefestival.blogspot.com/
In December (I don’t know when) in Labo Geneva, a wall painting in the gallery for the varnishing of a LP from wich I made the cover.
And for 2012 we will see…
The best praise you received lately?
A friend of a friend of mine, that I met at the end of the recent Melvins live show in Geneva, told me first that he liked the poster, then after 10 minutes of chit-chat told me he knew my work well and was a huge fan. I had to quickly find another topic of discussion as I was hugely embarrassed.
What can we wish you for the future?
Happiness, love and many projects before the end of the world.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!