Rock Artwork (Thomas Baudel) (FR)

Thomas Baudel (Rock Artwork)

Once again,even when it comes to french artists, I have to thanks Facebook for this discovery. Thomas is maybe still not well known internationaly speaking, but, just by checking his website, you can guess this should change pretty quickly. Why am I so sure ? I think a quick look at the pictures behind should definitly help you understand. Nobody draws sexy little rock girls as he does and this is just one of the reason why I am so happy he translated his own interview into english as the french version was too restrictive. Thanx a lot Thomas for the extra work, you rule !!!

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

Hello, what is certain is that we will not remain in silence :)

In general, what I listen to most often is "Queens of the Stone Age's family ", the records of this group as well as new projects such as former members Nick Oliveri and all projects prior to or parallel (Kyuss, Eagles Of Death Metal, Desert Sessions, Them Crooked Vultures, ...) by following this great family tree I discovered a bunch of good bands :)

If you come for a photo shoot, I will play more fun stuff that I like (the dwarves, blood red shoes, the hives, ....) and I'll let you watch my cds to see if you could fins something  there you may like. I'm a big records collector with tastes quite varied, the music is really important to me!

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

My name is Thomas Baudel, better known under the pseudonym Thomas B. or the name of my personal enterprise "Rock Artwork"

I was born in 1976, now it souds good when you say you've known the 70's, right ?  but I was still too innocent to enjoy it, lol

I am graphic designer / illustrator in quite varied areas of expertise: web design, flash animations and cartoons , publishing, logo and illustrations

Born in the suburbs, I now live in Paris.

When did you start drawing? Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

I started drawing when we had to find someone to take care of the visual of my first band : BAD TASTE in 1992 so finally it was late enough. Initially, it was not really serious, I loved doing that but I did not called myself as an illustrator or graphic designer. In parallel, I was doing studies in marketting. I have worked for a time and having fun the night,  working on my images. Then after a few unsatisfactory experiences, I decided to start a new life, back to school to devote myself to a full time graphic job and my band. I did not get a well known high school and consider myself rather as a self-taught. Except in college, I never took one drawing class in my life !

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

I didn't earn enough money to live only with my job but I try, I have no other activity than free-lance

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

I was in an association of young illustrator and has attended a few of their publications, it also allowed me to go in many comics convention in France but the publications of the association were too childish for my taste, So I've founded a new collective more "adult" and published two graphzines. I had some news publications including the superb American magazine "Girls and Corpses" but nothing regular.

What is your usual day ?

The interest of Freelance is that you can avoid routine, time management as understood to avoid boredom.

I still want a steady pace and I do not count my hours when necessary. I draw many designs at night as the atmosphere lends itself more.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

My inspiration comes from the album covers and concert posters, including the work of Coop, Rob Zombie, Kozic and many more  who really give me the will to try. I also get inspiration with the comics of daniel clowes, adrian tomine and charles burns. Old Movie posters and comics or pulp covers are great sources too.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

In general, it all starts with a photo session mostly with female models

sometimes I have an idea or a request in advance, often we start the session, we made a lot of photos and ideas come :)

Then I redraw everything on  computer using vector software like flash or illustrator and my graphic tablet. I never draw on paper.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

I do not know if it is to be a perfectionist but I want to be proud of everything I do so in general I do not count my hours and works on projects up to be happy even if it does not match the price which I will sell the work. I can easily spend more than 40h on a flyer "All Naked" for example.

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 have my style and approach that limits me sometimes but I like challenges and push myself, so I really think about all proposal i may have even foolish. For example, I was delighted when the band  "High Hopes" has asked me this illustration of a bride with a giant hot dog :)

For which band have you already worked for? For which band would you love to work?

I have not worked with famous artists yet so the names I can quote do not resonate with you but I wish I could work one day with all the bands I listen and I quoted above. I made a tentative approach of Rob Zombie but it's very hard to achieve it. I've met Blag Dahlia, singer of The Dwarves and give him my tribute drawing, I've also exchange some mails with  Nick Oliveri, but there is still nothing concrete.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

I am open to every offers even in styles of music I do not particularly like
I don't know anything about electro for example and yet I work a lot for this style, also rap artists contact me sometimes, I've got no problem with that :)

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

To be still satisfied with your job after the return of customers is often the hardest part of the graphics in general
Since I've been contacted by people who want my style, I fortunately didnt have this problem anymore. My goal is that the band and its audience love the artwork unanimously.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

In my work, the human relationship is the central pillar. In that I recognize myself in the sensitivity of Daniel Clowes or Adrian Tomine I read some years or Matthew Woodson whose  I discovered the work very recently. After I can be more provocative than them, which brings me closer to many other artists...

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?

I post all the new stuff on my blog first (
) you can also follow me on Tumblr ( and facebook ( Sometimes I even do things specifically for this support otherwise  I show the illustrations that I expose, my professional work when it's really personal style and i'm proud of it, strips of comics, some other personal stuff , unpretentious pictures of concerts and also all my info exhibitions and shows to see my work in real life. Generally, If you like my pictures to the web format you love even more on paper :)

Any chance to see a book with your works?

Not yet but I would love to have enough content one day to have an artbook published.

The best praise you received lately?

The most beautiful,  I don't know but my reward and my satisfaction is the reaction of my models when they see the drawing i did for her for the first time and they are happy.

What can we wish you for the future?

More exhibitions, publications, commision works, it would be a real recognition of my potential :)

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

Thank you for the invitation :)

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