Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Interview with Ephameron

q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

a)My artists' name is Ephameron, I'm 28 years old and I live and work in Antwerp, Belgium. I've studied fine arts and illustrative design and now I'm an independent artist. I contribute to a lot of group and solo expos all over the world which allows me to travel, and I also organize shows and underground book fairs myself and sometimes publish a magazine.

q)How would you describe your work?

a)I love to capture moments and feelings into a piece. I guess it's all quite feminine, colourwise and themewise. I like to do portraits of the people I love or make a drawing of something that inspires me. It's really very impulsive and I work rather fast, once I get started... Which doesn't mean it's easy :)

q) Did somebody encourage you to become an artist?

a)My parents are both art historians so there were always loads of art books lying around in the house. At school, I had good grades for the art classes, as long as it didn't involve drawing straight lines or painting between the lines so the teachers encouraged me to go to night classes. Afterwards, I knew I wanted to continue to art college and that's what I did!

q) What is your favorite medium?

a)A 2B pencil with a sheet of plain white 80g paper - the ones you use for your printer. I also love to do collages and paintings, but I have to be in the mood for it and need a lot of time to settle down into it. When I'm at home, I'm always running all over the place organising things so I get the most work done when I visit my boyfriend in France and have nothing to do all day but draw and paint. And answer questions for online interviews, hehe.

q) Can you describe your process, from the seed of an idea to a complete work?

a)I never think a lot about what I want to do or what I want to express. When I make an illustration for a magazine, I have a general idea in my head and just make loads of drawings from which I take the best ones to work with. When I create works for myself or for an exhibition, it's less difficult in one way, because you're free to make whatever you want, but more difficult as well because there's no boundaries. If you know what I mean?
After I've chosen a sketch to work from, either I continue on the computer and make a digital composition, or I sit down with paint and brushes, scissors and all kinds of scraps of paper to make a collage or painting, playing with colours and layers until I'm satisfied by what it looks like.

q) Generally speaking, where do your ideas come from?

a)From life. I'll be walking around town and suddenly see a person or a view and know that's what I want to do next. I also browse the internet a lot in search of images to work from, to combine different elements from different photographs into the perfect drawing.

q) How long does it take to complete a piece?

a)I usually take a whole day to make loads of drawings, choose which ones I like most and then take another 3 or 4 hours the next day to finish a digital or painted piece, sometimes I make two of them in one day. Sometimes it's longer, sometimes it's shorter... Depends on the complexity of the image and whether I'm inspired or not. Sometimes the materials don't cooperate and I have to start all over again...

q) Who are your favorite artists…and who are some artists you are currently looking/listening to?

a)I love different kinds of artists in different art areas. I like Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Léon Spilliaert but also love comic book artists like Dave McKean, José Muñoz and Nicolas De Crécy. There's a bunch of Flemish children's book illustrators like Gerda Dendooven, Isabelle Vandenabeele and Goele Dewanckel I adore as well, and many others. From the American illustrative art movement there's a.o. Evan Hecox, Cody Hudson and Jim Houser that are brilliant.

q) Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

a)L.J. Beaubourg in Paris represents my art in France. I'll be showing there in February 2008. As for expositions in Antwerp, I'll have one at Lucy in January 2008 and one at Mekanik in February, after that I'll be going to Amble in Philadelphia in April and to Extrabold in Luxembourg in June. In between, there will be more smaller projects too, for which I send in works.

q) Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

a)I have my iPod on "random discs" all day to make sure I don't have to get up to go change the cd! I'm too lazy for that. Making a choice also prevents you from listening to the cd's that are at the bottom of your stack, it's too hard. I think I even prefer working without music to changing discs all day... As far as rituals go, I need to know I'll have all the time in the world ahead of me to get started, and stay away from my computer! Being online all the time and having to write back to everyone is really distracting. And I have to be fed properly :)

q) What is your favorite a) taste, b) sound, c) sight, d) smell, and e) tactile sensation?

a) taste: cinnamon apple crumble and Belgian fries (but not together, hehe)b) sound: slow, sad musicc) sight: the Pyla dune near Bordeaux, very early in the morning when you're the only one aroundd) smell: lily-of-the-valley flowers blooming in the gardene) tactile sensation: nothing beats the sunshine

q) Do you have goals that you are trying to reach as an artist, what is your 'drive'? What would you like to accomplish in your 'profession'?

a)I would love to be able to live off my art, do shows all over the world, visit places without having to worry about the monthly bills coming in. In the far future, I'd like to buy a lovely house and settle down while still creating art, teaching, making books and magazines,... For the moment, I'm really happy with the way things are going now, minus the financial problems :) One of the goals I'm trying to reach is to make people realise that fine arts aren't only conceptual. That there's loads of young people out there expressing themselves by drawing and making illustrations and who are the next generation of pop artists, but they're not discovered yet. It looks like we're headed in the good direction though!

q) When have you started using the internet and what role does this form of communication play for you, personally, for your art, and for your business?

a)I think I started chatting and emailing when I got out of high school. I used to sneak into the local university during summer and use their computers. My fine arts graduation project was a website, which won me a price in Belgium and gave me my first big break, so I think the internet has been immensely important to my career. Being able to communicate with everyone, finding information, showing my art on the internet,... I don't think I could live without it.

q) What do you obsess over?

a)Insects. Being late for trains. Getting my 8 hours of sleep every night. Loving someone and being loved back.

q) Do you have prefered working hours? Do you pay attention to the time of the day or maybe specific lighting?

a)Somehow, I'm only able to create by day. On a perfect schedule, I'd use the mornings to work on the computer, the afternoons to draw and paint and the evenings to hang out with friends. When the sun's out, I'm more productive than ever, even though it can be distracting because I'd want to go outside. Days inside when it's raining are nice too...

q) Do you do commissioned works?

a)Yes. I make illustrations for magazines, big wall pieces, designs for merchandise,... I love to do it because it opens up more possibilities with more people in other places.

q) Any tips for emerging artists?

a)Have a website! When you're sure of the quality of your art, make lists of all your favourite artists, magazines, galleries and contact them. Don't be sad when they don't get back to you, just work even harder. Organize your own exhibitions with friends, print magazines and invite other artists to collaborate. Networking is so important... It's what keeps us all going. Meeting people that are in the same frame of mind is so inspiring.

q)…Your contacts


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