Friday, August 28, 2009

Veronique Joffre talks about her Sketchtravel experience.

Sketchtravel/Interview. Round 1.

TODAY, Veronique Joffre.

Veronique, How did you get the Sketchbook ?

Sylvain has been invited long before me to take part in this project, then the Totoro Forest Project arrived, he was also invited to participate and he could suggest others names to the organizers, to allow them finding new artists.. That’s how I was invited to join this awesome project and that’s mostly how I got in touch with Dice, one of the instigators of both adventures.
Then Gérald went to see the Totoro exhibition and discovered my work, and both of them offered me to create the Sketchtravel’s 2009 greetings card and above all they gave me the ticket to board the Sketchtravel!
So that’s how it happened, I’d like to thank both of them, and Sylvain, my dear land clearer!

- What do you think about this collective intiative ?

It’s a wonderful project. The charitable aim first, gives a very special dimension to the adventure, I mean it’s so great to think that for once, we won’t draw for ourself or for a commission, but just by having fun, by making what we prefer doing, we’re going to help, to participate in a good deed and, it does no harm just this once, to be really helpful! And concerning the collective work, symbolically very strong, it’s really exciting to be a part of this amazing team of artists, to build a book together, an object, a collective piece. And it really makes us want to meet for real, all together!
I would like to pay homage to Gérald who, with an incredible motivation and an amazing pep, brings this beautiful project to fruition.

- Which artists did you discover thank to Sketchtravel ?

There are a lot of artists that I didn’t know at all and of whom I’m very happy to have discovered the work. Scott Campbell is one of them, I find his world both very fresh and graphic, I especially like the serie of pictures “Slice Home” he did for an exhibition at Nucleus gallery, it’s a pleasure for eyes, full of ideas, humor and poetry! His contribution on Sketchtravel is very creative, his game principle is really original and it’s for me the one who made the best use of the sketchbook’s format. I also discovered Yoko Tanji’s universe, a very delicate work, full of subtelty.
Then there were also the ones I knew by their famous names (living with an animator, it’s not surprising!) like Lou Romano, Enrico Casarosa, and Ronnie Del Carmen, I really enjoyed their contributions, each one showing a very strong universe, very personal, three big names and now for me three amazing worlds I like to explore...
Finally, I had also heard a lot about Aurélien Prédal and Maylis Vallade, both of them are some Sylvain’s friends that I unfortunately didn’t meet yet. I really liked their contribution, with Maylis’s picture, very soft and elaborate, and Aurelien’s collage on the opposite page, which is one of my favorite contributions, which surprises by its look of “small paper sculpture”, allowing a new dimension to the sketchbook, which becomes like an herbarium with this little coloured creature glued on it!
A very beautiful duet!

- Which artist did give you the Sketchbook and to whom did you give it to them ?

It’s Mister Gerald Guerlais who handed it in to us, at his home, around a good meal cooked lovingly by Sophie, and it’s still in his hands we gave it back, between two trains at Gare du Lyon.

- What did you think about when you had the sketchbook in the hands ?
“Here it is, this such desired paper traveller..!”

- Which tools and technique did you use ?

I used a mix of collages (with painted, old or silk papers), torn up or cut, with patches of oil pastels and coloured pencils. That’s the technique I usually use for my illustrations.

- Did you already know what you would draw first ?

No, I really didn’t! At the beginning, Sylvain and I were supposed to share our page, so we had though about mixing our graphic universes, but nothing very definite.
And finally, we were allowed to make each one page, without sharing, but we wanted to keep our idea to make our contributions meet, to create a real dialogue between both. So we found a principle wich both makes our drawings communicate and allow each of us to have fun doing our own page! (you’ll discover the principle soon!)
This collective contribution, wich came very naturally by the link between us, is also perfectly well fitted to the spirit of this project.

- Which contribution do you especially like until yet and why ?

The page wich as the first discovery of the sketchbook touched me the most is the Quentin Blakes’s one. I’ve been deeply moved by the spontaneity and the sincerity wich rise from his drawing. Among the other pictures, more mastered, more contained and demonstrative, his contribution appeared for me like a huge breath of fresh air, he comes with few lines of ink and patches of watercolors and makes us smile, touches us. This mix of spontaneity and mastery is the thing I like the most to see in a picture, he didn’t try to do well, he did and that’s all. We can directly feel him, feel his gesture, feel he had fun like a child and he doesn’t hide himself behind a graphical facade. Quentin Blake is maybe the most senior member of the team, but he’s by far the one who gives the most of life. It’s simple, true, beautiful, funny and poetic. Many thanks to this great master.

- Which Sketchtravel's artist would you love to work with ?

With lot of them, or even all of them! But if a genius would accord me to a wish, I’d confess I’d love to collaborate with Dice Tsutsumi. Even if I didn’t get the chance to meet him yet, it’s a person who both humanly and artistically really touches me.
Otherwise, to meet them, share moments and talk with them about their work because I admire it : Quentin Blake, Tadahiro Uesugi, Lou Romano, Enrico Casarosa, Ronnie Del Carmen, Rébecca Dautremer, Scott Campbell... Then of course, the one I share my life with, the one I already collaborate every day with, Sylvain Marc. We often think about making a real project together, maybe a short movie wich would mix our both universes... There’s only time missing!

- What are you currently working on and what are you projects ?

Few French children books I’ve illustrated will bring out in September or a bit later : La chèvre de monsieur Seguin (Lito), Comptines et berceuses (collectif, Milan) et Contes du Monde (collectif, Amaterra). Then the Tree House exhibition at Nucleus gallery I had taken part to finished a few days ago. And I really would like to do my own book projet, story and pictures..