"An important moment is still the first encouraging returns of artists who are references to me, who drove me off the feeling of illegitimacy to some extent."
French oil painter and digital artist Squizzato creates captivating designs through the innovative freedom of pop-constructivism.
Tell us a little about your career. How did you choose pop-constructivism?
I chose “pop-constructivism” to give full freedom to my work, and avoid being set into a specific category like the art world often ends up locking you into. It is also a way of saying that my creation is marked by a legacy (constructivist theories, but also Dadaism, Cubism, Bauhaus …) and also by current pop-culture. It is a bridge between the past and the present, both in the media used (from oil painting to 3D image), and in the themes used (contemporary loneliness, globalized world duality, expiration of an exacerbated capitalism …)
I have always appreciated the work of artists who are in permanent experimentation of the artistic techniques as well as in the domains of their application. Thus, Paul Klee was a painter, a man of music, theater and science. I can also mention Jim Flora, who was an illustrator, and author of children’s books, artistic director for jazz labels including the legendary Blue Note, and a wonderful painter.
What inspires you? Describe your creative process.
I’m obviously inspired by meetings with other creators, not only those who “draw”, but also photographers and musicians. Internet is both a great discovery tool, but also a trap where we shouldn’t lose its uniqueness (and time). The most essential thing is the energy that the artist is able to devote to the development of his own universe.
My creative process is often the same: first an idea, a kind of “flash” I materialize by a sentence or a sketch on a Post-it. I try to avoid starting right away, I let it mature by doing sometimes some research or other sketches, and if after a few days this idea is still as exciting, I start working on it. I work with series & themes that reflect my concerns, it allows me to channel my work, to avoid going in all directions, and to work on several projects simultaneously to avoid boredom, routine.
We love Two lovers, one bench. Can you tell us more about it?
This is a fairly spontaneous drawing, done in ink. I had no particular idea in the beginning, I let myself be guided by shapes that intertwine, the idea of duality recurring in my work – the same split character, two characters – I use here red for all joints and contact areas.
The name came at the end, as an evidence. Surely the best creations come from the unconscious (mind).
What is your favorite tool and why?
My favorite tool changes according to my use. These days, I use oil painting with a knife for my concrete architecture series “Concrete Utopia”, and tempera / watercolor ink mixtures. I learn to suit my needs, it’s my “do-it-yourself” culture. I have a fairly anti-academic vision of things: why clutter up the mind with theories that inhibit or dilute creativity?
I have a list of tools I plan to test or develop in the future: it goes from dry pastel 3D printing to laser cutting. I’m waiting for the right time, the right project, the right encounter.
"Because the doubt is part of everyday life, it is even its best engine."
What was the most defining moment in your career as an artist?
My artistic career is very recent, although I have a big experience in the corporate world as artistic director. I don’t have enough perspective to judge the recent events. An important moment is still the first encouraging returns of artists who are references to me, who drove me off the feeling of illegitimacy to some extent. Because the doubt is part of everyday life, it is even it’s best engine.
What advice would you give to someone starting a career as an illustrator?
– To get closer to the artists that inspire them, to contact them, meet them, or offer them collaboration.
– To organize a daily life that will maintain the desire and creative energy. Even if we choose to create in a collective workshop or join a community, we are still alone. We must accept the void, and face our fears and doubts.
– Avoid giving in to fads, don’t try to “do like.” It’s a long journey that begins, take the time to go around things or else beware of the flash in the pan.
Imagine not having any limits or restrictions. What would be your dream project?
It’s not an easy question because I often work with my own restrictions, constraints, and I love it. In general, I also realize the projects I dream of … in the purest sense of the word.
Well, I would like to do projects on much larger formats (so frescoes) and hybridize more digital and traditional creation. The 3D glasses, optical art … I’m getting there slowly.