Where did you grow up and when did you say to yourself: ‘’I want to be an Artist’’?
I was born in Vietnam and moved to France in 1995. I lived in the south of France. I don't really remember exactly when I decided to become an artist. As a child I wanted to become a scientist, but after I finished high school I wasn't confident enough with it so I decided to take a break for one year to think about what I really wanted to do. I started to think about art because since my childhood I draw a lot and everybody always told me: "you draw very well, you should do something artistic!", so I went to a fine art school to learn drawing and painting. Within 2 years I became what I wanted to be, an artist. After this school I passed the exam for the Gobelins school, an animation school in France.
Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
I was always supported in so many ways in my past few years. My parents wanted me to be happy with what I wanted to do and so when I told them I wanted to do art studies they were happier than me! I'm so proud to have such great parents. My friends from high school did understand because they always told me to do art. Haha
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
As an artist I always looked for inspiration because I think it's always good to be aware of what the world and people can offer you in many fields, even personally. But for my art, I love to watch animated movies and I'm a huge fan of Ghibli and Disney/Pixar. Living in France also made me a big fan of impressionist artists like Monet or Renoir.
Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? What helped you prepare to become the artist we know today?
As I said I went to a fine art school (Ecole Emile Cohl) and then I passed the exam for Gobelins in Paris, where I am currently studying to become an artist for the animation industry. I always respect people who teach themselves but to a young wannabe artist, I think I will always recommend to go to art school. You know, nowadays, art schools don`t seem to be the only way to become an artist because with the Internet you can learn much more by yourself than before but with an art school, the big point is to be with people who are like you. Sometimes you learn more by speaking with people than to practice your drawing. I definitely think that becoming an artist is a subtle mix of learning from your practice and from the culture around you. Something I learnt in my fine art school was to be aware of other things than art.
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?
When I was a child I was obsessed with Mangas, so I copied every one I owned. Haha most of the characters were from Dragon Ball Z, such a cliche. And now my obsession is to draw people I see and how expressive they can be with their body language. You know, it is important to know your subject very well, to draw and understand what you really want to draw.
What is your process in coloring your art and what type of tools or media do you use?
I'm always trying different ways of expressing myself with my art and since I have got an iPad I enjoy drawing with it. It definitely makes me want to draw everywhere and all the time since I'm not being observed by people, they think I'm just playing with my iPad haha ! But I love the feeling of drawing with pencil on paper and I have a sketchbook in my little pocket!
What are some of the things you have learned from other artists who you have worked with or whose work you have seen?
I did have the opportunity to do an internship at Sony pictures animation and I was in such a great team and learnt so much I couldn't imagine before. My mentor, Marcelo Vignali, a great artist was so inspiring. His way of designing things is what everybody should learn. As I said, the most important thing is to take time to understand what you want to draw. For that you have to think about what you want to convey with your design and what you think your design is for. Sometimes it is ok to draw in your own way but if you want to be understood and to share your art with people you also have to think about what others think.
Is there something that you have designed that you are most proud of?
I always think, things could be better.. To be honest, there is nothing I could be proud of because, I think, I would be happy enough if people I love could be proud of what I do.
What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
I would love to have an opportunity to be part of great projects which I could support in my own way. I think I would be happy to work in an animation company where I could evolve my art with other great artists.
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?
That's a good question. Every artist has has an art- block at some point. Sometimes an art block is just something that you end up with when you think of new possibilities about your art. My advise for dealing with it, is not to give up and just relax yourself, take time to look around you. I mean you can take a break. It doesn't mean you have to put down your pencil, it's the moment for you to think about your art and think about new art. Sometimes I enjoy to just look at artists I like and take time to discover new artists. It's in that moment I boost my imagination and creativity the most. Then inspiration can come easily. I think it's like your whole life, you will always deal with ups and downs.
Concept art, animation, illustration, comics, there’s so many options to choose and when you’re young, sometimes the only thing you know is just that you love to draw: what should a young artist take into consideration to make the right decision when choosing an artistic path?
Oh another good question! I have been asking myself what I should do. I think it's something you discover with experience. I know some people think it's important to know what you want as soon as possible because you will have goals and you will tend to these goals, but to choose between a lot of stuff you would like is almost impossible and you know why it is impossible? Because these different fields are connected. Concept art is connected to animation and etc... That's why I will always suggest to a young artist to develop himself before thinking what career he wants. I know there are young prodigies like Olivia and Elena Ceballos. And it amazes me how confident they are with their art. There will always be people who will be sure about what they want. Marcelo Vignali told me to be honest with yourself and to look at your art and think what your art is about. At some point you will understand where you art will fit in the art industry. Sometimes, by speaking with friends you will learn more about yourself and your art.
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?
My point of view about it is positive. I think everybody can find their place in the industry. I am repeating myself but you have to be honest. I think it's important to want to find your own place. People in the industry mostly tell me: if you don't want to be rich, it's for you, because maybe you can have a living with an artistic career but you do art because it's your passion. But in my opinion the industry can evolve so fast that you have to be ready to expect anything. Sometimes there are good surprises and sometimes bad ones so I`m sure you can have a living but be ready for any expectations.
Who are the artists who inspire you the most today and what are some of your favorite designs?
The people who inspire me the most are certainly my family and my friends. My true love is for sure who is inspiring me to become a better person and a better artist. Some artists who inspire me the most are impressionist painters and artist from the animation industry such as Marcelo Vignali, Peter Chan, Oga Kazuo, Cyril Pedrosa, Juliaon Roels, Nicolas Marlet, Aurelien Predal, Enrique Fernandez.. and a lot of people I could name if I had time! Haha
We have a soft spot for hand drawn animation, what is your opinion about the future of this art form?
Nowadays big companies tend to use 3D animation in their feature films and the only 2D animation I saw came from student films or from independent studios for ads. That's what I have observed, but everybody loves 2D animation and I think it s because it reminds them of their childhood. Everybody watched old Disney movies like Dumbo or Robin Hood and all were 2D animation, they were so beautiful and I think 2D animation/hand drawn animation will come back. I also like that 2D animation gives you a lot of artistic possibilities, like mixing mediums.
Finally, Where can we see your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can check my work on my tumblr site at aikikou.tumblr.com and I have a portfolio on portfoliojulesduchoad.blogspot.com
I would be happy if people support me on tumblr and see my art. I don't have an online shop because I didn't think about it before. If someone is interested in my art, feel free to ask me and send me an email.
Thank you Jules :)