Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guy Billout - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #208

photo credit: Talisman Brolin - all rights reserved by the New York Botanical Gardens





Guy Billout is a French artist, illustrator and author who was born in Decize, France in 1941. He has a very clean style and most of his works contain some type of ironic detail. At first glance his illustrations appear to be normal scenes until you start looking at the details and find the little twist he has included. He has been writing columns and illustrating articles for the Atlantic Monthly for years as well as creating artwork for publications such as Playboy, Glamour, Le Monde, The New York Times, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Newsweek and The Washington Post. A long time faculty member of the illustration department at Parsons -The New School for Design, Guy is also the illustrator of many picture books. Some of these books include, “Bus 24”, “By Camel or By Car: A Look at Transportation”, “Something’s Not Quite Right”, “The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea” and his most recent, “Journey”. You can see many more examples of his work here at his website.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Pilot Razor Point.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Directly on paper, with the above tool.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On Photoshop.

What type of paper do you use?
Brightest copy paper.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Procrastination in many forms, like reading, day dreaming, chores that can wait, etc.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Silence, when working on concepts, the radio when executing (mostly public radio in the US and in France).

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Tintin & Milou, and Spirou et Fantasio.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Anything by Jean Giraud/Moebius.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
An illustrated book showing the moon swallowing a thief; copy lost.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Trained as a graphic designer for advertising in Ecole des Arts Apliqués de Beaune, in France.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Mostly a great invention.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My grand-mother, and an art teacher, when I was 12.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
A travel diary.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I teach concepts in illustration; still learning the difficult art of motivating young artists.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
What about having fun?

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Children's books, but not seriously.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Grumpy.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Radio operator (I was trained as a Morse operator) on a ship, like Tintin in "Land of Black Gold".

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Tragicomic.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Seek pleasure.

Who is your favorite artist?
My first heroes in art-school were Savignac, André François, and Ronald Searle.



Thanks again Guy!

Another tip of the hat goes out to Mike Rhode at the
ComicsDC blog for suggesting Guy.

3 comments:

Mike Rhode said...

Yay! Thanks, David. Boy, I love Billout's work.

P.L. Frederick said...

Awesome, awesome illustrations and concepts. Just awesome.

Also, the part about having fun. I like his style.

mr.gash said...

My interview following Guy Billout, one of the first illustrators I ever truly admired, is an honor.