This page is a personal summary up my art journey, written to help me reconnect with my roots by listing my influences as well as some of my projects.
Part 1: Initial inspirations
I grew up in a 3000 souls town dedicated to copper craftsmanship. There was no museum and I was almost never exposed to something else that classical art. My family was upper middle class, my parents did minimal studies. My father didn't have a lot of interest in art, unlike my mother who in her teens wanted to go to an art school (and mocked for it) and by the end of her career became an art seller. She is the one who inspired my siblings and I to pursue our art hobbies.
According to my parents I was an impatient and perfectionist kid, who could not stomach making something that did not worked on the first try, and consequently, was giving up fast. All the drawings prior to my teenage years had to be thrown away in an emergency moving, so I have no traces or memories of what I was doing before this period.
But what I remember was that both my parents loved movies (we had a ton of cassette tapes) and music, and that they had a nice collection of vinyls.
It's through the covers of their albums that I had some of the earliest visual shocks, mostly from covers of Pink Floyd and Supertramp.
I was also a big reader, mostly children novels (one of my favorites was "Historia de una gaviota y del gato que le enseñó a volar" by Luis Sepulveda), then gravitated towards science fiction, comics and mangas. I read a lot of the kid's French/Belgian classics, but among them my favorite was Gaston Lagaffe. Growing up I also remember enjoying Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese for its black and white pages, which wasn't common as most European comics were in color.
I was also reading science fiction and fantasy, and among all of them, Tolkien's Silmarilion and Frank Herbert's Dune were easily the most influential and forged my interest for gigantic sagas, immortal beings, epic story-lines, and cycles of destruction. As an added bonus, the covers of the French edition of Dune were paintings by Wojtek Siudmak and harbored a visual language I had never seen before.
In the mid nineties mangas started to get bigger editors and distributors, and like a lot of kids of my generation, I grew up with Dragon Ball, but also Gunnm and Akira.
Around 2000, new and more obscure series started to appear, and among them I discovered BLAME!, which still remains the biggest artistic shock of my life.
It's obvious in retrospective how BLAME! united several things I already enjoyed into a package made for me. It's a manga ; in black and white ; a science fiction story lasting thousands of years ; it tackles with immortality, a topic that fascinates me ; its landscapes are both realistic and surrealist in the painterly sense ; its creatures are fantastic and gross ; its graphic style is rough ; and most of all, it's contemplative, silent, melancholic, and Sublime.
All those influences were not really conscious at the time. I wasn't able of analyzing and identify what I actually liked about them from an artistic point. I had zero education around art, nor critical thinking. All I knew was that I enjoyed all that.
As a teenager, outside of uninspired doodles copying what I liked and done during math classes, there was nothing of notice to remember. I was starting to do some world building in my head, but could not get the reflex to actually dedicate time to it, too occupied to play video games.
Art was always an afterthought, a dreamy escape from the annoyance of high school life in the pre-smartphone era.
That changed a year later, after I graduated from high school.
Generated: October 31st, 2023