Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Illustrators Arise: Yohan Sacré

How are you doing, creative people? It's a mighty fine morning we're having today, isn't it? Well, it's about to get better, because it's time for another rendition of Illustrators Arise. You don't know what it is? Let me tell you: it is where I introduce my favourite illustrators from all over the world every month through an interview so you guys can read along and get to know them too. Doesn't that sound great? Well, what are we waiting for? Since October is the month of Halloween, when mystical creatures and ghosts roam the streets, I thought it would be the perfect time to have Yohan Sacré over, an avid creator of strange beings. Again, discovering him was all thanks to tumblr, where I stumbled upon his adorable creatures and beautifully neat pencil work. He now lives in Namur, Belgium as a freelance illustrator - there isn't a lot I can find on his bio but I imagine he lives his life amongst mystical creatures of the wild. 

Bonjour, Yohan! Let us start with the most basic questions: how did you start drawing and why do you stick with illustration?
Bonjour, I started since I was born. It even seems that I already started in the womb of my mother, scribbling on my placenta with my little fingernails.
On the illustration, it was an obvious choice. I always wanted to do comics, but throughout my life, I realised that I've been much more comfortable with children's illustration. But that does not prevent me to turn to other media such as graphics or modelling. In the future, I would like to work in the field of video game.
Did you go to an art school? If yes, what is your opinion on it? If no, why didn’t you?
I studied Fine Arts. It sounds so prestigious, when in fact, there are years of secondaries before you can be called full-fledged. They cover the basics but never really pushed us completely, as there were people there who didn't necessarily love art. Rather, it became their last resort when other schools were unsuitable to be an institution for them. I'm mostly self-taught. Personally, I do not appreciate studies. Even if I find them fundamental. I'm not an example to follow.
What materials do you usually use?
Mainly, I use my hands, a 2B pencil and Canson drawing papers. But I also use coloured pencils, Photoshop, watercolour, gouache.
And right now too many video games, I do not know if it really helps to work.

You draw a lot of strange creatures in your works. Where do you gather the inspiration from?
It comes with all sorts of traumas, dreams and too full of information we lavish in society.
Sometimes it's thoughtful, especially symbolically. But the best is when things fall into place instinctively, what a pleasure!

I find your strongest suit is in character designing. Are you interested in designing characters for animation/gaming projects in the future? 
That's nice, as said above, I would love to work for video games that seems perfect for storytelling strong unforgettable experience. I develop many universes and characters in this context, mainly comics and books at the moment. But the right people to realise it into magnificent projects are yet to be found.
You’ve been writing children’s/young adult books for quite a while. What is the most impressionable experience you’ve ever had throughout your career?
I cannot quote something above the rest; I like everything I do, especially the errors. And even my sentimental privacy included. Let's just say I have no regrets and I've experienced a lot of great things.

It seems you often contribute to collective art books in the past. Any chance you would publish a solo art book in the future?
Yes, I started out with many collectives, art-books, fanzines. For personal achievement, I have yet to grow.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you have become? 
This is a question that haunts me from time to time, because I'm not really good at anything. I would have liked to be Kermit the Frog.

What does the future look like for Yohan Sacré? 
I hope beaming with books that all would love sincerely and great adventures. But I still have to work hard to get there.

What kind of advice would you give a novice illustrator out there (including me)? 
Work hard and be open to everything that surrounds us.

A little note from me

What drew me to Yohan's works is his adorable yet mystical style and his incredibly neat yet detailed pencil work. It is very rare to find someone who has a child-like illustrative style but able to create an almost eerie and mysterious feel to his works. He is not only very skilled at designing cuddly strange creatures, as evident from his illustrations above, but also has limitless imagination which enables him to write such original and one-of-a-kind stories - featuring his adorable creations. Although he uses a lot of pencils, he is also skilled at using colours, especially soft, earthy colours, which is not always the case when one is too accustomed with black-and-white tones. His creatures are so unique and original that sometimes I wish I could jump into the worlds he's created.

P.S: This interview was held in French so I hope I translated it all right. Yohan, if you're reading this, please let me know if you find any errors. My apologies in advance.

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