*Please tell MyDesy readers about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer.
I have been drawing, painting and taking photos as a professional for almost 10 years now. I briefly studied sculpture and traditional painting in Hastings (England). I'm mainly a self taught visual artist. I also have a degree in Journalism which helped me having a global view of the world we live in.
*Where can we find you (Twitter/Site/Blog/….)
You can follow my work on many online networks. I'm an active member on Twitter, Blogger, Flickr, DeviantArt, Facebook, etc... you may just find me by searching my name on any of these social websites. I'm also going to show and sell my creations in a new website called "The Artistery" (coming soon).
* Do you work in an office? What is your routine like?
Well, not really. I work as a freelance creator from home. I usually spend most of my time developing new ideas and personal projects. From time to time, I also focus on specific commissions.>
*Your work is full of creativity mixing painting with photos but with a sort of humor. Do you ever get stuck with creativity block? What would you do to get out of it?
Thank you very much. I've never had any kind of creativity block because I always try to not be stuck in one single graphic discipline. I get bored very quickly when I do the same type of work during several weeks. So I just do my best to find new forms of visual expression, new graphic styles, sometimes merging together various techniques I've already experimented. This is very exciting for me and it really helps to convey ideas and concepts in a different way.
*Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design?
It really depends on the type of graphic work I'm doing. Retouching and improving photos is usually the easiest and fastest task for me. Complex photo-montages are a bit more time consuming. Making full and inventive digital paintings is the most difficult and challenging but also the most rewarding. It takes more time and usually requires preparatory sketche/studies and a step by step creation process. One circlist portrait takes me several days of work at least.
*What, for you personally, are the pros and cons of being a designer?
I see lots of advantages. Working in the visual communication field offer many professional possibilities and designs are always needed to express any kind of ideas and concepts. But graphic art also has clear limits in the impact it can have, I think it will never be able to generate strong emotions as music can do for instance. Music is definitely more powerful.
*How does your job as a designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?
I really just feel like a "regular everyday normal guy" (Jon La Joie), lol. Everything around me influences me, that's for sure. I always try to make art with the simple elements that surround me.
我用一部很好的Mac還有一些軟體，像是Photoshop, Alchemy, Illustrator, Painter等等。我有個基本款的Wacom繪圖板，還有一部老Nikon D70相機。（我等不及要趕快換一台更好的相機和繪圖板了！）
*What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software?
I work on a nice Mac and use simple but useful softwares such as Photoshop, Alchemy, Illustrator, Painter... I have a basic Wacom digital tablet... and an old Nikon D7O camera (I'll soon have a better camera and more powerful tablet, can't wait...).
*What are your plans for the future? Any creative work coming up, or that you're currently working on, that you're excited about?
I'm going to finish my "Pencil Vs Camera" series. Then I intend to make a few more circlist portraits. And I'll be working on new creative series in the coming weeks. But I can't already reveal precisely what it will be.
How did you come up with the idea for Pencil Vs Camera?
I’ve been taking photos and drawing since almost 10 years. This « Pencil Vs Camera » series is nothing but the result of several years of graphic exploration and a logic consequence of my artistic evolution. But the real idea came while I was watching television and writing a letter at the same time a few weeks ago. Reading my letter before putting it in the envelope, I saw in transparency the television behind the paper. I then realize it would be great to make something similar in a single image showing 2 different actions.
I went outside and Drew « Pencil Vs Camera 1 » which is very simple and shows 2 chairs with a small table. About ¼ of the scene is represented on the paper, the other ¾ happens on the photo. So this is roughly how the project started. In my other « Pencil Vs Camera » images, I tried to introduce weird elements on the paper (such as dinosaurs, ufo’s, double pair of eyes…) to contrast with the realism of the photo.
How do you pick the photos you use?
The photos and drawings always come from my own stock/production. I somehow consider the surface of the image as a battle between drawing and photography and the tools of this fight are my « pencil » and my « camera ». So I usually choose photos with a striking subject and a specific action. It can also be nice to use a background scenery with a very simple or low semantic effect and make everything happen inside the small piece of paper.
The great thing is that photo and drawing are 2 different ways of expression but they go well together and they definitely have the same purpose: share an idea, an emotion, a concept or a message.
*How do you pick what to add?
There are no rules. There mustn’t be. Imagination and creativity are the leitmotif. This is why this series is so amusing to do for me. You can choose to draw something in a realistic way or to rather go crazy. I personally prefer to show unreal things on the paper because the photo is a mere reflection of the world we live in.
I noticed that representing a strong perspective on the paper (for instance in Pencil Vs Camera 4 or 8) gives a good illusion and generates a nice visual impact when it matches the main lines of the background scenery. It is very exciting for the viewer to ignore what’s really behind the paper. It is clear for me that it really is the battle between drawing and photography that is the whole message and purpose of the series.
*What are your favourites so far?
I don’t really have favourites. I let the viewer decide what he prefers and I’m only thinking about my next projects.
*What reaction have you had to them?
This series has had a very positive outcome. I really didn’t expect that. I’m very happy of the good feedbacks I’ve received from all over the world. I think and I hope this technique will become a new form of expression for everybody. So good luck!
喔，是啊。我最近在嘗試「digital circlism」，用來做了幾張名人的頭像（例如Bob Marley和Lady Gaga，現在正在做貓王的創作）。這是一個全新的創作技巧，而且我還繼續在改進當中。Cirlism是種結合點描派和譜譜藝術的技巧。我的每一個Circlism創作都採用好幾千個小圓和黑色的背景組成。每一個彩色圓環都用數位的方式一個接著一個組成。
*You’re developing a new technique called Circlism, would you please introduce us what is this?
Yes, I have recently been working on "digital circlism", making several portraits of famous people (such as Bob Marley and Lady Gaga among others, I'm now making a circlist portrait of Elvis Presley). This is a totally new technique and I'm still discovering and improving it. Circlism is a mix between pointillism and Pop Art. Every of my circlist creation is made with several thousands of little circles on a black background. The colored circles are digitally applied one by one in a non automated way. The most important for me is to focus on the dynamic lines of the represented subject and to generate a nicely textured image with a 3D illusion.
What are your favourite 5 websites, and why?
I like Abduzeedo, CGArena, Flickr, DeviantArt and ToonPool. The first 2 always bring interesting art news and exclusive updates with quality content, the 3 others have another purpose and present the artworks of thousands of famous and less famous artists. As a journalist, I really like finding new talents as well. And I'm now going to visit more often MyDesy, which I just discovered recently...
Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?
My one and only piece of advice would be to suggest them to bring new content to the graphic world by following their own path and to never forget their initial dreams.