Ashamed to have missed a Friday so shamelessly, I appear once again with a new treat and hopefully a Friday will never be spared a good art interview. *grin* So for today I have Cyril Rolando otherwise known as AquaSixio on DeviantArt in my virtual chair. The man of the hour is French and still an undiscovered diamond, but I wish him some great professional realization.
Harry Markov: First of all thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. Your art has an enchanting and quirky quality, which sets it apart from everything else I have seen so far. So I would like to know what created this bright individual. What attracted you to art? What can you say was the first encounter with the art form to inspire you to become an artist?
Cyril Rolando: In 2003, my brother drew on oekaki board and I was curious to see how it worked. I didn’t know how to draw on traditional support, but I had a good sense for the color setting and intuition for the composition. My beginning was hard, but I am a persevering person and after months people started calling me an « artist » to mark my progress. But I don’t think myself as an artist.
HM: Which artist so far has had an exceptional influence on your work?
CR: It's not an original influence, but Tim Burton and Hayao Miyazaki are both the roots of my own world. I like the absurdity, the creativity and the enchanting universes, where colors bring more emotions than thousand smiles or a million tears. Miyazaki's team is really impressive.
HM: Can you talk a bit about yourself? I attempted a trip to your website, but as I see it is under construction for the time being. Who is Cyril? A freelance artist or perhaps you have a day job and in that case, how does painting fit in your life?
CR: My website is finally done. It gathers my drawings, old and new pieces. I'm uncomfortable speaking about me, but I know accepting to be interviewed, I can't escape from this part. I'm 24, I live in Paris and I started drawing five years ago, when I was a psychology student. I'm a freelance artist, who draws for fun with color and shares his point of view on the world. In my life, I am psychologist and I work with autistic children.
HM: I noticed that you keep varying the number of pieces you keep on your DA profile, which leads me to believe that there is much more of your work hidden somewhere. Will it be revealed soon enough on your website?
CR: Five years of drawings represent around 200 digital pieces. I don't really want to "hide " my works, but many of these pieces are quite... ridiculous (form and content). They aren't hidden, but available on my website. I want to see interesting artworks in my DA gallery, representative of who I am.
HM: Now looking through your art I won’t label you as a fantasy artist, because there is quite the diversity of pieces, but still I have to say that most of what you do is surreal. Do you have affection towards fantasy to draw ideas from and what attracts you to the otherworldly?
CR: I dislike the concept of a label for everything. I think the "fantasy" style don't reflect the soul of my world. On the other side, surreal art is not my cup of tea. It's an interesting question because I've never found a word (English or French) which could describe my "style" but reading "otherworldy" I think now I get it.
HM: Though I think this is kind of racist, I attribute the fact that your work so far as exhibited ideas and viewpoints so different from most artists to you being French. And I mean that in a positive way. What do you use for an inspiration in the country of culture?
CR: Er, hard question. I think I am proud to be French because this country inspires me many symbols (revolution, human rights, romantic love, culture of art, gastronomy...) but I don't want to promote France through my drawings. Overall being French doesn't improve my use of English, unfortunately.
HM: Most of your work involves animals and I have to wonder where this love for the animal kingdom comes from? Also do animals carry some sort of hidden symbols?
CR: Lately, I’m listening to the new song of Joshua called "animals.will.save.the.world". This is the kind of song I would write. I think humans are proud, mistrustful and self-centered. I want to hand over to the animals, to critic or play human roles. They don't carry hidden symbols; this is just a return to innocence, a naive vision of the world. This is a return to childhood, where animals can speak, dreams become reality and imagination rules the world.
HM: Other favorites of mine illustrate a small child with a head piece on its head, which makes it look like an arrow has pierced its head. “The Secret Garden” is personal favorite of mine and over all I am interested who is that child?
CR: Two years ago, I wanted to share parts of my life, point of view on love, sadness, happiness, and discouragement... all these emotions accompanying me everywhere. When I had to stage myself in my drawings, this boy, full of symbols, allowed me to play in the world I used to dream. The arrow represents a kind of pain, but without the arrow I can't travel in this world. It's like a key or a costume to join the fancy-dress ball. So, if you aren’t labeled as „otherworldly " you can't enter!
HM: Most naturally I would like to ask: Which was your favorite piece to paint? And in that line of thought which one gave you the hardest time? What is the hardest aspect in painting for you?
CR: My favorite is "SAVE OUR SOULS"[first one posted on the left], because of the presence of many symbols describing the reality of my life, work, and personal quest. The piece which has given me the hardest time is "MONKEYS ARE SWINGING "[browse the site in year under 2006]. I was unable to fix the mistakes (perspective/anatomic/colors). I felt really discouraged after 38 hours of fighting. I want to see emotions in my pieces, in my opinion this is the hardest aspect in painting, because you could easily get a cliché or kitsch emo pictures.
HM: An exciting moment for me is the art itself. Each piece seems like it’s done digitally and yet there is this hint of brushwork applied. What are the tools you most commonly use and how long usually does it take to create a piece from start to finish?
CR: I feel the same as you, and I am really interested when artists add a step by step of their drawing to reflect the slow evolution. I do add my work-in-progress to show how strange blurred strokes could turn into a face or a tree. I did a lot of tutorials for explaining my approach.
HM: Are there any genres, styles or techniques you would like to experiment with?
CR: I am really impressed by janaschi's works, I will try to understand how she works and try to adjust it to my style / limits.
HM: I also have to wonder what your current projects are. What can we expect?
CR: Any project. I can work as a psychologist in the daytime and being an artist by night. I will keep on drawing illustrations and making tutorials to explain how I work. If a studio wants to work on my world, I would be glad to share my ideas/story/scenario, but it's not the case, for the moment.