After a long break, it's time for me to introduce new artists on the site and, because I am the one and only to decide who may or not appear here, I am pleased to welcome Antoine from Headbang Design to open this new season. With clients such as Pentagram, Sasquatch, The Sword, Lonely Kamel, Blues Pills or Truckfighters, this frenchy proves art has no boundaries...
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview,
first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
I’m listening to something like 7 to 9 hours of music each working day, so I’m always in search of something new.
I have a deezer account with hundreds of favorite artists, and my office is overloaded with CDs and LPs…
The core is stoner and doom music – any cool band I can find, from Kyuss to Electric Wizard, Om, Clutch
and every other classic in these styles, to really underrated gems that no one knows. I’m also listening a bit of
classical music, pop artist such as Alt-J or even Phil Collins, all rock/blues legends
(Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Clapton, Bb. King…) there’s only too much to name, but if you come to visit me, chances are
You will hear a lot of guitar and drums, often stoner and doom music.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I’m a freelance illustrator from France. I’m freelancer since I started working six years ago. I’m also
a Photoshop teacher and writer for magazines (photography, graphic design).
Headbang Design, my “music illustration studio” is only a small part of my working activities.
When did you start drawing?
During childhood as most illustrators. I started watercolor a 8 and my first ‘good’ oil painting has been made a 12.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I’ve been trained a bit in “courses” from 9 to 12 years old, there was a kind man showing us
how to improve our paintings… Then I studied graphic design for 3 years after high school,
just before moving to freelance. Then I became a drawing and Photoshop teacher in a French school, and I have
to admit that I learned a lot while trying to teach what I already knew! Some embarrassing questions or suggestions
from students helped me to move on and work harder on my drawings.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I’m living from my array of graphic skills. That’s to say I’m not living 100% from drawings commissioned by musical
clients, but I also write articles for magazines, about drawing, Photoshop and graphic design, and I also work on
graphic designs for various clients – not only on drawings, but also logo, website, I also keep creating tutorials
for a DVD editor called Elephorm… So I’m living from my skills, call it “art” if you want.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
I wrote more than 120 articles for graphic design magazines such as Advanced Creation, Photoshop Mag, 3D mag…
But I don’t work much with musical fanzines.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
What are the principal steps in your work ?
The only true direct influence that I have is Alphonse Mucha – I regularly get inspiration
and visual gimmicks from is work. I also look a lot to other illustrators’ work, but I never try to do the same thing.
I just try and get the mood and look I’m after, I can get some tricks from other illustrators, but in the end I only stick to
fundamentals – composition, colors, and maybe perspective if there’s any. The main steps are researching
(ideas and images for inspiration and/or drawing reference), sketching, final drawing and/or inking, then coloring.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
I mostly do everything on computer, with a Cintiq tablet – wich is a big 24’’ screen I’m directly drawing onto.
It feels really similar as a drawing table, but I use Photoshop instead of pen and paper.
It’s really close to traditional drawing, but with the additional magic of Photoshop. I love it.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
I’d love to say that I work 60 hours on a poster, but the fact is that it’s not the best job to get a good revenue,
so I try not to spend more than 10 hours on a poster. Most of the time the poster is done in something
between 5 to 7 hours. I know how to manage my time, so it all depends on budget.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
No problem at all. I have a distinctive style for Headbang Design, and another style for my other commissions.
In fact I consider I have no style at all. The only thing I couldn’t create is a photo-real illustration, because I’m not
as good as I’d like to be.
For which band have you already worked for?
I work a lot for festivals and promoters, so I don’t have so many direct contacts with bands. I had the chance to chat
and get cool e-mail from bands such as Blues Pills, Sasquatch, Freedom Hawk, Mothership,
House Harkonnen, Wo Fat…
But not that much – I only started Headbang Design one year ago. The fact is that cool promoters and festivals
gave me the opportunity to create posters for many bands – Pentagram, The Sword, Orange Goblin, Karma to Burn,
Valley of the sun, Truckfighters, Kamchatka, Gas Giant, Lonely Kamel, Glowsun…mostly stoner bands, as it’s really my passion.
The sad thing is that I don’t have much contacts with these bands, even if some are really kind and let me know
they loved the artwork – but most just don’t care about the posters ah ah.
For which band would you love to work?
I’d love to have some direct contact with The Sword, it’s a band that I love since many years.
I’d love to create anything for Clutch, Electric Wizard, Sleep. But I also love to create cool stuff for
bands I only discovered, small bands, unnoticed bands…it’s also a great pleasure.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Absolutely. I contact a lot of bands that I love to get commissions from them. But some bands also contact me directly,
generally smaller bands just after I created something for a huge band. After I created the Pentagram poster
for one of their show in Dallas, TX, I had a lot of new clients from Texas who contacted me – remember
I’m living in Tours, a 160,000 people city in the center of France, so it’s unusual.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
I don’t think there’s any hard part. For me poster creation is a refuge, like holidays, a great breath of fresh air
between two boring commissions for “regular clients”. The hardest thing over the years will be to have new ideas,
to try and avoid repetition, but at the moment this issue doesn’t exist.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
No, I don’t think so. The only artist I feel close to is Jo Riou, a friend of mine who’s working with me
on Freak Valley and DesertFest festivals. We appreciate each other’s work, we hang out sometimes,
we share our booth to sell posters. We both are “stoner illustrators”, and there are others but
we don’t know them in person.
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
The best place to see my artwork on a regular basis is my facebook page. Http://www.facebook.com/headbangdesign
I also have a website for Headbang Design, but it’s just too boring to update, so I gave up trying for the moment.
If you want a chance to get signed posters, have a beer and chat with me, you need to come to
Freak Valley (Netphen Germany) in June, or DesertFest Berlin in April.
The best praise you received lately?
Kamchatka’s singer told me my work inspired him to create more music, or something like that.
I love his work and his band, so it’s been a real honor. Lonely Kamel asked me to create the cover art for Shit City,
unfortunately I never did so, because of impossible deadlines, and they commissioned it to Vance Kelly,
a great illustrator. It’s one of my worst deceptions to date with Headbang design,
but I’m also proud to know they like my work, and I was proud to get the album title before my friends ah ah. Too bad.
What can we wish you for the future?
Keep on living from my passions, keep on going to cools shows to sell my posters.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!