Where did you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist?
I grew up in Le Havre, in front of the sea, in Normandie. I used to draw a lot and I have always dreamed to become an artist. I also often used to dream that I was a lonely cowboy, an astronaut or a famous explorer… but to be an artist is much easier.
Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? How did you develop your skills?
After high school I went to a graphic/communication school in Paris. It was a rational choice for me. But they kicked me out three years later… So I understood it wasn’t for me! I love drawing and it's not the big part of the graphic designer job. Thinking about my future, I discovered the world of animation and I figured it contained everything I needed to really grow up as an artist and as a person. So I started looking for an animation school that would suits me. Now, I've been in Georges Méliès school for 4 years. This school teaches me a lot, but to really improve my drawing, I need to draw on my free time, as a daily routine.
Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
Yes, my parents and my grand parents always supported me and I've never missed pens or paper. My grand mother loved to receive drawings from her grand children, she had a big wall in her kitchen completely covered by kids drawings. As a child I had an humorous weekly magazine and my father was my first subscriber! It was talking about a seagull pooping on a man, who tried to take his revenge by shooting the bird with a poop machine. Sadly, my humour has not changed so much... My friends support me a lot too and I think my biggest fan is my friend Colin, he always asks me to draw his friends during parties!
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
My favorite movie was Dances with Wolves, I watched it so many times, I think it influences my taste for beautiful landscapes, solitude and so much other things. Obviously, there are the Disneys movies of my childhood, all the Myazaki's films and also the old belgian comics I found in my grand mother's house such as Lucky Luck, Tintin, Asterix & Obelix, etch.
Did you have a favourite subject to draw when you were a child and do you still have one today? If you do, what makes it so special?
I think it was the sea and boats. As a kid it was my favorite subject and even today I draw a lot of these kind of things. For that matters, my mates tend to laugh at me at school because of that, haha. I really love the sea, I grew up just next to it and it gives me peace, inspires me, its immensity makes my spirit travelling. As for boats, it means adventure, the unknown and the fight with elements.
What goes through your mind when you are designing and what is the method you use when starting a project? Could you describe it?
I think a lot before sleeping, it's often at this moment that I find my best ideas. I write every words I find in relationship with the subject and try to connect them. I look up for references, photos, or artworks. I draw a lot of thumbnails drawing to try to maximise variations.
What is your process in colouring your art and what type of tools and media do you use?
It depends of the drawing but generally speaking, I start by a rough sketch on paper or directly on the computer with my tablet. I also do a sort of color rough which consists of putting the colors in an intuitive way. Then I put different color shape with the lasso tool on Photoshop and slowly, I get into further details. I finish by harmonising the colors and by adding some light effects.
What part of the creation process is the most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
The funniest part is the color rough, at the beginning. I love to find my colors and throw them without having to think to much about it. However it is much harder for me to get it clean because I find it hard to draw perfect lines, it takes me a lot of efforts. That's why I like to use the lasso tool!
What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work/collaborate with?
I go to school every day, I work on my graduation movie all day long and at night I try to draw for myself and sometimes we play age of empire with my Class-mates, to take a break. I work on my movie with three awesome guys, Giovanni Anthony (AKM) and Quentin Laurent who make the story board and the animation and Benjamin Guillon who deals with the character design. In class there so many talented people, so I can't name them all!
What projects have you worked on in the past and what are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
This years I work on my end studies movie which is called « Le monde appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tard» (The world belongs to those who get up late), a crazy cartoon that looks like a catastrophe movie parody. It will be released in July and if you're interested you can follow the project HERE.
What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
I would like to keep enjoying what I do, whatever the career. I would be thrilled to create a Studio with my friends and work on our own projects.
Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
Both have their own advantages but I think I prefer to work in a studio at first, to meet other artists, to learn from them and exchange ideas. It's more exciting than working alone.
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?
Stay curious, get interested in a lot of various things, read books, Watch movies, look at the people in the street, the environment in which you live in.
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?
Over time, an artist will develop his own style anyway, I don't think that you have to force it. It can be dangerous to lock yourself up in a style and stay on your comfort zone. There are many artists who are very versatile and others have their original style, I think both can work.
We have a soft spot for hand drawn animation, what is your opinion about the future of this art form?
I'm pretty optimistic for the 2D animation field , which for me can't die, it's supported by a lot a passionate people who keep it alive.
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 follow me on my Tumblr blog ( thibautdenise.tumblr.com ) Feel free to contact me by e-mail for a question or anything else on: firstname.lastname@example.org !
Thank you Thibaut :)