“”What do you do?- I am an Artist.”
Few people dare to say that. But why? We tend to make everything sweeter so that people won’t ask too much, or will understand. If I say I’m an Artist, they’ll ask again “What do you do?” demanding precisions. If I say I’m a Graphic Designer they’ll assume I draw logotypes and work for free for my friends. If I say I’m a painter they’ll probably think I sell 5000$ canvas that nobody understands… But really, who cares ?
I genuinely think an Artist’s struggle starts with definition. We’re constantly asked to define ourselves, but as an Artist looking for constant creativity flow coming and going, shouldn’t we dissolve any wall or label that may block our flow, our freedom? Isn’t that the whole thing about Art?
So I say I’m an Artist because I am. Everything I see, hear or do goes by an antichamber where it’s processed, analyzed and turned into some piece of Art, an inspiration, a color panel, a quick screenshot that will remain here until enough bended, scratched, thought, re-imagined, transformed, extracted,… I draw everyday for as long as I can remember. On paper, canvas, wood panels, fabric, people… Pencils, markers, pens, paint, charcoal are all part of my quiver. I’m also a musician. I play and compose. Everyday I sit by my window, hands on my piano and I improvise, looking outside. Every piece of music that I hear is decomposed. I try to recognize the instruments, to write the music sheet in my mind, to see the eyes of the musician playing it. For me, both graphic arts and music are related. One inspires the other and vice versa.
Everything is a source of inspiration. It means I can be inspired by nature, other artists, sounds, dancers, movies, travels… Sometimes I feel the urge to create something. Today it’s a painting, tomorrow it can be a soundtrack, a comic book about dinosaurs or a peacock on the back of a vintage jean jacket… Being an artist means being open to every possibility, every daily life sound, every color, every voice, and never, ever, ever being bored of watching a sunset over the sea (That would be a crime).
I’ve been working as an Illustrator for a few years now. I’ve been told that my style is too miscellaneous or random to be interesting or understood, as you can see on my website : ffringed.com. I’m actually pleased to hear that, because it means I’m not like everyone else out there. It means that I’m always exploring, and also very flexible and comfortable in many situations.I’m now in the south of France, enjoying summertime, family and the Mediterranean sea. I start my day with a good breakfast and a good read outside in the sun. I read stories about the past, other countries, fictions and fantasies. I like beautiful stories about beautiful people. It always inspires me in some way and It’s refreshing. This time is perfect for a little meditation. Then I often play some music or work listening to music (always). I can’t work well with a complete silence. Then lunch, coffee of course and back to drawing and painting. This entire “routine” is flexible. But most of all, it doesn’t work if I don’t go out and stretch, do some sport, swim, go for fresh air, see my friends, or travel for some time. The key is in balance, learning how to treat yourself with good things, with beauty and kindness. The 5 senses are involved, and we must treat them right.
As a freelancer, everyday life is easier and soul-searching at the same time. It’s easier because I free my mind of what people expect me to do and create exactly what I want to. It’s exhausting sometimes too for two reasons : I have to eat, pay my bills, be productive and show results, as said before. I’m also constantly pulled and pushed by different vibes and inspirations, coming from everywhere, and if I don’t control myself a little bit, I work on 5 or more different unfinished projects at the same time, that I end up abandoning. Because inspiration is here to take it when it comes. You can’t ignore it. But also, inspiration needs to be controlled in a way that it’s really effective. Inspiration can be a hurricane. You should know how to read the weather.
Being an Artist is the way of life that I chose, and even if along the way it doesn’t work, I’ll just do something else that I love (Did I say that Artists tend to love a lot of things ?). But I’ll never stop creating.”