Interview with the French illustrator and cartoonist, Antoine Maillard.
When were you born and where do you come from?
I was born on November 7th, 1989. I grew up in Troyes (north-east of France).
I lived five years in Angoulême where I studied art. Now I’m in Strasbourg.
What do your days look like?
I try to get up early.
Most of the time, if there is no work to do in emergency, I try to have some hours in the day to go out, walk downtown to draw, listen people at the café, write or make story board, go to library, bookshop or museum to find some influences. Otherwise, I stay in my bedroom, I work here. I usually work on my projects or on illustration assignments. I don’t count my hours on the drawing table. If it’s possible, I try to stop working at less at 7 pm. Also, I try to work each day on different things. I don’t like spend an entire month on the same drawing or comics every day. Usually, I ‘m trying to work on 3 different projects with different finalisation degrees. When I’m starting to be bored by one I continue to work on another etc. Manage the rhythm of work is important for me, I can be very slow for certain types of work, so it’s a way to stay efficient and secure.
What’s your process to choose and draw a scene like this one [see above]
I have started this drawing initially as a research for a comics project. The action takes place in french suburb so I have drawn scenes to understand the elements who define this typical environement. I have made this drawing after other observation sketches of my hometown’s neightborhood, and photo references of it. In this process of sketchbook, I try to simplify as much as possible my drawing, just keep the most interesting graphic and color elements to recognize the space and the ambiance. I work this one with color pencils. I like the textured flat colors that can be used with it.
Give me 3 artists you like and your favorite recipe.
I will just consider recent influences to make the choice easier. I read a lot the Simon Hanselmann’s comics Megg Mog and Owl recently.
Otherwise, I discovered this year some paintings of Charles Sheeler, a 20th century american painter. I am very inspired by movies in my works too, the work of Greg Araki was very inspiring lately.
-A recipe? Like a cooking recipe? Sometimes I put cumin and milk in my scramble eggs, it’s a kind of recipe?
Héhé, yes absolutely! Now, can you tell me which tools did you used for the piece above?
This piece was made with watercolors. I do some gouache in the same way sometimes. I like transparency in waterbased color, even if I’m not using all the potencial of it.
and for this one?
It’s color pencils again. It’s Strasbourg viewed from the flat of some friends . Like most of my sketches, I try to do the drawing directly with the colors, without rough sketch. I like the errors that occur in this way of execution. It’s leading you often to find graphic solutions and new ways of thinking the drawing process.
What are your plans for the future?
Currently I have just finished my studies, I’m graduated. I would like continue to work as an illustrator for press and newspapers. I use some « months of vacation » since my graduation to finish the script of my first comics book and achieve another project of animated gif comics.
What are you going to do just after having answered to this final question?
I go back to Strasbourg tomorow so I guess I’m going to put all my mess in a bag.
Merci beaucoup Antoine!
Tell us when we could see a bit more about this first comics book!