in VISUAL ARTISTS
" Yellow, as the sun that I don't see that much in the region where I live.
Yellow, as the roses that are growing wildly in my mom's garden. "
What are your roots? Where are you from?
I am a 28 years old French guy. I was born in Paris and moved to the west of France near the sea.
I have been working as a fashion illustrator for one year now. I also really like to create greeting cards which I sell in some boutiques in France and Switzerland.
Do you like to dress up to express yourself?
Yes, I do like to express myself through clothes. I can’t say that I have a specific style, just eclectic, very comfortable and colorful. I love vintage stuff and cool patterns/textiles. But my style is not as crazy as my characters’ ones!
Your style is so fresh and inspirational. What inspires you about the 90s and pop culture?
Thank you very much! I am a kid of the 90s and so I grew up with all these influences while watching TV and radio. I remember this decade as very fun and so experimental and like a real explosion of pop culture between the crazy 80s and the sad post 11th September. What I also love about the 90s is this general faux pas, the close link between trends and kitsch.
What do you enjoy depicting in your artwork? Do you draw that subject matter in your line of work?
I really enjoy drawing independent and powerful women, as you can guess. I love adding crazy colored patterns that make a quite unique style. Mixing patterns that are not supposed to fit at first sight. It makes my work very interesting and fun at the end. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to use this style many times; I just sometimes balance extravagance with a more neutral style.
What was your favorite subject so far, either for clients or personal?
I must say that one of my first collaboration with the American magazine The Powder Room was my favorite one. I was asked to work on the theme ‘Bad Girls’ for a new issue – yeah, quite inspirational for me, I know – and I tried to express this subject by showing how free and independent women could be and should be. Personally, I have just finished a huge illustration called ‘The Twins’, representing two sisters, with long dark hair and mysterious looks that I love. By drawing it, I literally invented a whole story about them: two witches living on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and feared as a plague by the locals.
What is your creative process?
It depends. Most of the time I check my inspiration book where I keep every image that I found in tons of magazines and also in my Pinterest. I need to catch a general style in my head if I don’t have any ideas or suggestions. Sometimes, I want to draw a particular outfit that I like, so I look for a story all around that. Then, I sketch the pose, the general aspect with little notes all around. After all this process I start to draw on a bigger paper, sketching again, inking, coloring and using Photoshop at the very end. It’s up to my mood: I can listen to loud music, quiet vinyl, radio or just watching series.
Where do you shop for art materials? What’s your medium of choice?
I try to buy my material in little shops near my area. I really enjoy contributing to the local businesses. And if I can’t find what I need, the Internet is my plan B. I am a very traditional illustrator; I can’t work without quality paper, thin pens and colorful inks. I like the process of it, maybe more than the final result itself, and way more than being hypnotized by my computer.
Could you talk a bit about the process of launching your illustration career?
I don’t have any particular strategy for launching my career, only passion, and patience. I am quite new in this business and I still have millions of things to learn which I do every day. That is why I am actually looking for a nice art agent!
Did you go to an art school?
I went to an audition once, to enter an art school, but it was so terrible that I never tried again! But now I take it as an advantage: I learned by myself and kept this certain liberty of expression that some teachers/mentors can sometimes distort.
Do you draw full-time?
Yes, I do and I love it. After 5 years at University, I found that it was the best moment to try something. And I had to be 100% involved in it.
What other passions do you have?
I love traveling and visiting my friends in fab London!
Do you have a certain routine in your life?
I would say yes, but, of course, it depends on my mood and inspiration. During a normal day, I would dedicate my morning to emails and research. I enjoy listening radio at this process. I usually feed my inspiration notebook/Pinterest and make some sketches. At the end of the day, I like to go out, drink coffee or wine with my friends. I am more productive at night when everyone goes to sleep.
How do you think the use of Instagram has benefited your art practice?
Instagram is a brilliant social media. I love its simplicity. It is a very cool way to share art with a lot of artists all over the world. There are no frontiers anymore! It also helps developing visibility and find collaborators/contracts, and forces me to post regularly. Such a positive app!
Are you actively involved in a community of artists?
Not yet, but, as long as I have fun, I would love to!
Name your top influences (artists or otherwise)?
At the moment, it would be: the Author Françoise Sagan for her ‘Bonjour tristesse’ book – the Artist Patti Smith for her poetic soul – the Designer Delpozo for his use of colors and movements – the Film Director Wes Anderson for his brilliant aesthetic talent – the Actress Angelica Huston for her unique personality.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I can’t even imagine myself in 5 days! Haha! Maybe in London, the city that I love so much. And, of course, still drawing all night long!
And what do you think the future holds for fashion illustrators?
For a long time, fashion illustration has been set aside in favor of fashion photography. But I feel that it's changing today. I think there is a place for both. And, with all this very talented new generation of illustrators, I am sure everything would be fine. Need to stay positive, right?
What moves you?
Terrible animal conditions. Y&R Paris and Surfrider Foundation recently reinterpreted the famous Géricault’s ‘Le Radeau de la Méduse’ artwork by representing dying animals, to denounce the slow death of our seas and oceans. Sadly true.
Your favorite color, why?
Yellow, as the sun that I don’t see that much in the region where I live. Yellow, as the roses that are growing wildly in my mom’s garden.
Your favorite place on Earth:
Your dream place:
Anywhere near the sea.
Stay tuned to Jeremy's latest work at:
Instagram @ jeremycombot_illustration