Emmanuel Briand

Where did you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist?
I was born and raised in France in a small town close to Paris in Normandy. I have two brothers and one sister, one of my brothers is my twin and the other two are twins too. I have drawn since my early childhood, I think this passion begun when I decided to do the same drawing several times to be sure that it looked exactly to what I had in mind. My first "real" drawing was one that depicted my family in front of my house (or maybe it was a castle!).

Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? How did you develop your skills?
I attended an art school called "Ecole Pivaut" to study anatomy, perspective and the animation process.

Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
My family is what helped me the most to become what I am today, and my friends were very supportive too.

What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
The Prince of Egypt and the old Disney shorts (Mickey and all the others) were all great influences. Disney in particular was kind of a revelation when I was a child. The different values all placed in each character, the colors and the harmony between the lines. Some of the characters drawn by Marc Davis where particularly inspiring to me, they still inspire me to create my own characters today.

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 love to draw birds and elephants but I don't know why. I also love to draw faces because there's always something really interesting in them, they are full of information. Draw them is an exercise that I like because it's a good way of experimenting with lines and shapes.

What is your process in colouring your art and what type of tools and media do you use?
When I start a design I'm always focused on contrast and the number of values I could put in the character. To break down my workflow, I would say that the shape come first: I imagine a global shape which could translate the character's behaviour and then I make a correspondence with the different parts of his body to get closer to what I think are his/her main feelings. Then I start thinking about what could graphically transcribe the information’s I need to place in the global shape of what I need to create. Contrast plays a huge part in my work, both in terms of shapes and colors (I prefer using the academic cold/warm contrast when I use colors). Regarding my art tools, I mainly use pencils. I use a scanner to import and complete my designs when I render or animate them digitally (with Adobe Photoshop and Flash). I also use watercolors for my traditional pieces. 

What part of the creation process is the most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
The most fun and easy are certainly the colors, the most difficult is the structure.

What are some of the things you have learned from other artists who you have worked with or whose work you have seen?
To be patient and to strive to learn new things everyday.

What projects have you worked on in the past and what are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
One of my first gigs was with "No Brain", a Paris based studio,  for a music video commissioned by the alternative rock band "Radiohead". I worked on a TV show called "WAKFU" as background colorist, props designer and graphic-concept visual developer. During that time my art was featured published on a book called "How to Art", an ''how to'' book about animation techniques. I worked also as a lead background designer and colorist on a TV show named "Les mystérieuses citées d'or" (trans: The Mysterious Cities of Gold") to build a production process based on Adobe Flash application program. Right now I'm working on a short film with a friend of mine, the short is directed by him. In the past I have also worked as a teacher for handicapped children.

What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
I would like to work for Disney/Pixar, but I would also love to create my own cartoon, a simple story with with a dog and a cat that I had in mind for a while. 

Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
It depends, both of them are cool. Working in a team is always funny and working by yourself is calming and relaxing.

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?
Ah ah I don't know! I prefer to have many graphic styles so that clients can always have more than one choice when they dig in my portfolio.

If you had to recommend only one art book (a comic book, graphic novel, children book, ''how to'' book) to a fellow artist, what would it be and why?
If I have to choose one I would go for ''The Prince of Egypt: A New Vision in Animation''.

What’s your point of view about the industry today: what are the expectation for someone who wants to make a living with an artistic career?
It's hard I think. There's so many artists and the overall artistic level is very high, but it is always been like this in this industry isn't? My expectation are the same of when I was very young, a house family and a good Studio who believes in you. 

Who are the artists who inspire you the most today and what are some of your favourite designs out there?
To name a few: Noah Klocek, James Robertson, Sterling Hundley, Jeff Turley, Ashley Wood, Neil Campbell Ross, Paul Felix, Alex Kanevsky, Radford Sechrist, Milt Kahl, Martin Wittig, Hans Bacher, Paul Lasaine, Oga Kazuo, Ralph Eggleston, Carter Goodrich, Ricky Nierva, Tony Fucile, Dominique Louis, Geefwee Boedoe, Robin Joseph , Teddy Newton, Charley Harper, Yuasa and Nishimi, Master Hokusaï, Claudio Acciari, Pete Oswald, Lou Romano, Ted Mathot, Andrew Shek, Chris Sasaki and Kevin Dart.

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 check out my work at ( tokyobanana.blogspot.fr ) and get in touch with me on Facebook ( facebook.com/emmanuel.briand.9 ) If you wish to purchase some of my art (prints, originals) feel free to drop me a line on ( tokyobanana.briand@gmail.com )  

Thank you Emmanuel :)