Where did you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist?
I grew up in North of France and I have played a lot of video games ( Crash Bandicoot !!!) in my childhood. In fact I have played so many video games, I wanted to make video games ! It was a real passion ! I have decided to be an artist because of that. I was 9 I think and unlike a lot of my friends, I known what to do with my life very soon !
Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? How did you develop your skills?
I‘ve been to an art school called Supinfocom. Unfortunately, this school is more a 3d school than an art school. We didn’t have life drawings for example, so I had to practice outside school because I wanted to draw and not to be a 3d technician. I had the chance to meet my girlfriend there and she helped me a lot because she taught me photoshop and a lot of stuff about anatomy and colors. But in my first and second year, I had a great teacher who showed me how to make great composition ! It was very helpful and I’m always attached to composition in my work. So, if had to do it again today, I would probably choose a more classical school about pure drawing. But It was a cool experience anyway!
Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
Yeah ! All of my family and friends always supported me in this way ! In high school I was ''the guy who draw'' and a lot of people found that very cool. I just had some problems with a few teachers in High School because they didn’t understand how I can think drawing is a real work and how you can earn money from that. Unfortunalety, a lot of people always have this kind of thoughts and it’s bad for the profession :/
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
A good friend of mine show me a Hiroyuki Imaishi’s anime called ''Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt'' It was a revelation for me ! The style, the animation and the craziness of the show were so inspiring ! A whole new world opened to me at this moment : You can draw whatever you have in your mind even the craziest idea by making them cool ! When I was a child, I have watched a lot of crazy stuff like ''The Powerpuff Girls'' or ''Dexter’s Laboratory'' so I was probably already into the punk and colorful side ^^ But ''Panty and Stocking'' and the rest of Japanese pop culture really blow my mind! Because of that some of my strongest influence are people in the same way of life like Paul Robertson, Kinuko or Guillaume Singelin. I love the earlier poster period of Kevin Dart and I find the works of Vassili Zorin absolutely stunning!
In a more classical way, I have always loved the romanticism period with artists like Caspar David Friedrich or Yoann Fussli. I find their paintings very inspiring and they have a real sense of mood in their pictures.
What part of the creation process is the most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
I have a lot of ideas and I love to imagine how I could put this idea into an illustration or a backgrounds. This ''mind game'' part is the most fun for me because you imagine a lot of stories, you have a lot of possibilities and it’s very motivating! The hardest part is the fabrication. It’s always difficult to stay true to your ideas. Most of the time the final illustration don’t stick to what you had in mind. I’m always changing a lot of things that worked on my mind but they don’t work at all in Photoshop! It’s very frustrating. Put exactly what you have in mind into a drawings is the ultimate quest of all artists.
What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
I really would like to create my own animated series or be the art director on a animated feature film. I try my best to imagine a project and make a pitch every year. I have just made one recently and I have sent it to the Annecy’s animation festival. Wait and see. For now, I only worked on animated series or advertising company. I think working for an animated movie would really improve my skills and of course be very fun and interesting too.
What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? How do you boost your imagination and keep yourself creative?
Don't freak out and go to a museum or see an exhibition about photography. In fact going outside sometimes is very inspiring if you look and observe life closely. Drawing from life is important but something I wasn’t told as often is : look closely to what you want to draw. For example, I love cities and observing it during my way to work have helped me a lot. Less original but still: create a Pinterest with all the stuff you like to keep you motivated and give you ideas when not inspired.
Concept art, animation, illustration, comics, there are lots of choices. When you’re young, sometimes you know only one thing: you love to draw. What should a young artist take into consideration to make the right decision when choosing an artistic path?
Unfortunately I didn’t choose my artistic path because when I was in art school I had no idea how the animation industry work. After my studies, I have learnt of lot of things but I feel like I’m always behind compared to a lot of young artists. I didn’t have internet at home until I was 22 or 23 years old. Some places on internet like forum or ''artistic social network'' like tumblr or deviant art are a paradise to understand how to work and to have feedbacks on your work. This can be very helpful to decide what you want to do. You like to draw backgrounds and characters but a lot of people like your characters much ? Be a character designer! It’s just my opinion but I decided to be specialised in backgrounds because of that But the most valuable thing to do is basically just draws! The more you draws the more you know what you like to draw and so what you want to do! Good luck ;)
Many art teachers and schools suggest to their students that a commercial artist should always work in one consistent style if they wish to have a healthy career. In your own experience, do you believe this to be true?
In my own (short) experience, its unfortunately the case. A lot of companies prefer artist who have a more realistic style. Its hard to find a cartoon project in France unless you work in 2d animation. Alexandre Diboine ( a great artist) once said to me that if you want to work a lot you have to work in a lot of different styles - but if you do that, you will be average in various styles. If you develop your own, companies will call you because they will like YOUR style and if it goes well they will call you again. You will become more important for that company than if you had a more « classical style » So, I try to continue to do my own stuff and to work with colors I like, and for the moment I have worked in a few companies. So it’s cool. But I try to be a little more realistic in my work in order to find more jobs. Unfortunately the realistic style always prevail.
Finally, Where can we see your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
You can find my work in my Tumblr blog ( www.crlito.tumblr.com ). If you have some questions you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you! ;)
Thank you Charles :)