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Alx Factory's Illustrated FML

Asssiiiiiibooonangaaaaaaaaaa ! Why ? Why not. It's time once again to check out the deranged mind of another artist. OK, I only said that as a weak joke, but you have to admit that some artists are a bit odd. Van Gogh and his missing ear. Salvador Dali sending a pot of semen to his dad along with a note saying "we're even". Oh and the woman who tried to restore that Jesus painting, she was obviously off her rocker. But this week, we're getting to know someone quite respectable, I promise. 

ALX FACTORY'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"Everything is summed up in 4 steps: the milk, the white chocolate, the small buns and all 3 at the same time."

Self portrait Alexandre by Alx

 

This week we're welcoming Alexandre, AKA Alx Factory. Strange name, I know, it reminds me of Andy Warhol's famous Factory, and the wonderful Velvet Underground, a band I love with all my heart. He's 29 ("I failed the entrance exam for the 27 club"), lives in Honfleur, France, and has a blog which is here, which is full of his very stylish stuff. He's done a great illustrated FML for us, check it out. 

If you remember from previous weeks, I'm shit at drawing. Here's proof. It's a drawing of Beyoncé on live TV eating a fig roll. So Alx's art boggles my mind. I'm guessing it's done with computers and stuff. Anyway, let's crack on and get to know the guy.

After high school and three months at university, he went to art school. Something tells me that the three months at university were a mistake, due to a broken GPS or a hostage situation. Once he got his diploma, he went to Brussels to study comics. He got another diploma there, and then launched himself into illustrating, and is currently working as a freelancer as a lot of illustrators seem to do.

What's he into? "The creation process! All the time spent creating a world beyond the image and losing myself inside of it until it is finished. Then, going on to another image, and so on. With regards to the job itself, without hesitation, the uncertainty of the future. Not knowing where I'll be in six months or what my contracts will be, and saying to myself that everything is possible." Wow, it's pretty rare to hear someone be happy with the things are going right now. I'm usually quite scared of not knowing where I'm going. That's why I take lots of drugs.

Alx's news right now is mainly about a 5 page article for the British magazine Photoshop Advanced. "It's an illustrated tutorial. It's not a huge deal, especially for my bank manager, but I've at least got the impression that I've passed a massive psychological turning point!" He says he has loads of projects, but won't tell me any of them, even under the threat of torture. I was even going to sing him my version of that sexist nimrod Robin Thicke's godawful "Blurred Lines" to try and get him to comply, but I didn't, no one deserves that.

Amongst his heroes, he cites Walter Sobchak, suggesting he should be president. As for his inspirations: "Banal response alert! Everything is a source of inspiration! To tell you the truth, I find out my inspiration sources at the same time that everyone else does, once I've finished an image. That's how I realize that certain movies, certain records or certain chance encounters have made an impression on me more than I thought. Sometimes, I realize after several hours of work that a picture that I was proud of was in fact way too influenced to be honest, and then I get depressed for the rest of the evening." 

He does end up by giving me the name of someone who influenced him, who gave him the impetus to draw in the first place, and thank God it's not Jesus Christ: "An illustrator/graphics designer neighbor who fascinated me when I was 10 years old. Him and his workshop which smelled good of cigarettes, jazz and oil-based paint. He had his own goals, his own work hours, his workshop. It was my definition of happiness, even though he worked like mad."

He tells me about the things he likes, and says he enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel at the movies, and Mysterious Skin by Gregg Araki gave him "a big slap in the face" (I concur, it's a great movie), as well as Morse by Tomas Alfredson. Music that gets him going is stuff like Hooded Fang, Warpaing, Pantera, Ghost B.C., and Die Antwoord (I really don't understand why so many people like them). "Drawing gives you a lot of time to listen to music, it must be hard to like drawing if you don't like music."

We end up this interview with his own FML-like anecdote: "I didn't want to take part in the annual school carnival. Officially, it was mandatory, so I had a brilliant plan: I wouldn't bring a costume! But I hadn't thought about my maths teacher, who had her heart set on seeing me in the parade so she set about making me a costume representing "the night", a garbage bag to be worn like a sweater and some charcoal for my face. I was thus good to go all around town with a smile!" Since then, he reckons he has a phobia of garbage bags, charcoal and math teachers.

So, thanks Alexandre for taking part in this week's illustrated FML section, it was a pleasure to have you with us. It's now time to go outside in the sunshine and live life in three dimensions. Before you do so, remember to go check out his illustrated FML. And remember to be excellent to each other. Talk to your neighbors in the street, in the fields, remember that other people are just as neurotic as you are, so don't be afraid. Make some friends. Be friendly. Be good. Have a great weekend.

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

#1441 - Illustrated FML - On 03/28/2014 at 5:37am by Alan - 5 comments

Landvaettr's Illustrated FML

Here we go again! Yes, it's illustrated FML time again. This time, we're travelling to Paris, France, home of le croissant, le Citroën car and le rude waiters who tell you, "Oh you silly man, you can't have red wine with fish, nom de Dieu, were you born in a barn?" Here we go for a trip round the mind of a man with a strange nickname, here we go for a chat with...

LANDVAETTR'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"Why do ducks have webbed feet? To put out fires. Why do elephants have flat feet? To put out ducks on fire.

Self-portrait Landvaetrr by Landvaetrr

This week, it's Landvaettr's turn. I don't know why he's called that, it's not his real name. I'm not at liberty to divulge his real name, probably because he's a teacher and doesn't want his students to know his real identity. He's 26 years old and as I said, he lives in Paris. As all good illustrators, he has a wonderful blog for you to check out. He's made an illustrated FML for us, and it's quite fantastic. He's also answered some of my stupid questions in a patient and polite manner.

So, who is this guy, and what does he want? "I'm a high school teacher, I teach plastic arts. As for my spare time, I'm usually at home drawing, trying to finish my projects, trying to have some sort of a social life, or wasting my time playing video games." Hmmm, sounds like the members of the FML team. Except for me. I have an amazing social life, I hang out with the rich and famous, I jet-set around the world... OK, no one will believe that. Landvaettr claims that he loves the money that his job earns. Well, we all do. Who doesn't? It allows us to buy wooly hats and electric blankets. "I don't have much expenses, so I'm really raking it in!" he says. He also says what a lot of illustrators seem to say in that he lacks time to get things done. Drawing seems to take up a lot of their time, which is weird because the cat I drew last week only took me a few minutes.
Speaking of projects, he's got a small "minimalist" comic on the go called "Small Stories of Asgard", which you can check out on his blog. He's also working on a retro platform game for the Gameboy, as well as a table-top role playing game. He says he also wants to go into medieval reconstitutions, since now he's got the cash required to buy the equipment. Lucky guy.

He admires Ripley, the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies, but he says, "the only thing I'll never understand about her is why she goes back to save a cat, risking her life in the first movie." I have two cats, and I'd probably do the same. Well, maybe not the cat that screeches in the middle of the night for absolutely no reason, because she's losing her marbles a bit. Cat Alzheimer's: it's a real thing.

For work, he's usually in front of his computer, even if he's using a traditional pencil and paper. He started drawing as a kid, and even though he's aware of the cliché, states that he "never stopped" as an adult. He's inspired by a bit of everything, comics, illustrations, music, "the girl next door's butt, etc." He name-checks authors and film makers such as Tolkien, J. Howe, Allan Lee, J.B. Monge, Miyazaki, Zemeckis, Besson, Gotlib, Moebius... The list goes on.

He enjoys Jaffa cakes, because he thinks they are posh. He really liked Breaking Bad and the last Daft Punk album. He's really passionate about scandinavian stuff. Mythology, mainly. He mentions a book called "Yggdrasill, the religion of the ancient scandinavians" by Régis Boyer", and I don't think it's a joke. He likes video games such as Chivalry by Torn Banner Studios. So what about artists and illustrators? He mentions the french artists Boulet, Tarmasz, Yohan Sacré and A.F.P. He also mentions that his main fear is the fear of dying. "That would piss me off". Well, that's normal... Isn't it?

It's on that particularly joyful note that the interview trails off into the distance. To take us back into the light, here's a song that always puts a spring into anyone's step (unless you're clinically dead inside). And why not have a .gif of a laughing duck? Until next week, remember, life is what you make it. Be excellent to each other, and get a cat if you're lonely, they're bundles of fun.

 

 

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

#1440 - Illustrated FML - On 03/18/2014 at 11:08am by Alan - 6 comments

Kiyan's Illustrated FML

As Rebecca Black once said, "Quick, hide the gear, my Dad might see you." Oh, right, no, she sang, "Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards," or something. That's more or less where we are now, which means it's illustration time here on FML. In keeping in with that jolly, boisterous and boosted spirit, we're once again going over to Belgium, home of many comic book heroes such as the Smurfs, Tintin and Johnny Hallyday. This week, we're getting to know a young man from Brussels... Here we go.

KIYAN'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"I'm against the tyranny of cute kittens, even if no one can resist them (and I'm allergic, yuck)."

Selfportrait Kiyan by Kiyan

 

This week, it's Kiyan's turn to delve into FML's collection of stories to come up with an illustration for us. And what an illustration it is! You can check it out right here. So, who is this guy? As I said, he lives in Brussels, which if I remember correctly is in Belgium. Yes, yes it is. He's 30, and like all good illustrators he has a blog. What does he do for a living then? "I'm an animator in an animation studio. I work on animated TV series. I'm more at ease on 3D animation, but I sometimes work on 2D animation, which I'm doing at the moment. I also draw my little stories on my blog, on webzines and fanzines, and other comic book platforms." When I was a kid, I used to watch a lot of cartoons, especially the Hanna Barbera ones, so this sort of work I can almost understand (as I've said before, I'm terrible at drawing, for proof, go here), and the crazy world of Hong Kong Phooey influenced me a lot when I was growing up, which probably explains a lot about why am I the way I am. But I'd never imagined going into this line of work, but Kiyan did: "Animation is a dream I had as a kid, comic books too. I do the first one professionally, the other as an amateur, but I hope to one day step it up a notch and become a professional comic book creator. In any case, I'm completely happy in what I do, generally. Not a lot of people can say that they have the job of their dreams. If I'd been told as a kid that I'd be creating cartoons when I was older, I wouldn't have believed it!" What Kiyan is telling us is a lot different to what I've been hearing the last few weeks from other illustrators, who seem to have a hard time making ends meet. A refreshing change.

On the other hand, he says he lacks time and a social life. I'd say be careful, it starts out like that, then you end up being 42 years old, with two cats who you talk to about socks and floor polish. It seems that Kiyan is quite busy, so has he got time for other projects? Personally, when I'm very busy, my only projects involve cracking open a bottle of Jack Daniel's (yes, I'm giving free advertising in the hope that I'll be sent a truckload of the stuff as a thank-you) and dancing to New Order records. Sorry, I went off on a tangent about myself again, we're here to talk about Kiyan: "I've got loads of comic book projects in my head, I develop them bit-by-bit, but it takes time. At the moment, every month I post a new story on the 30joursdebd.com website. In the coming weeks I'll be taking over the new versions of the Bohorg webzine and RAV magazine, and also a story to be released with a collective with other authors sometime in the year. I'll keep you posted!"

So, what are his likes and dislikes? We share a perfectly rational hatred and fear of wasps and bees. I mean really, wasps, what do they want? Can't they just piss off, once and for all? "I have a panic-y fear of bees and wasps. I can become insane if there are any too close to me." What he likes: "I must admit that I play a lot of video games (I'm a PC gamer, I don't own any consoles. There. I said it)." I'm not really sure what the difference is, I don't play video games, they annoy the crap out of me, I get all riled up and throw the controller at the TV and throw a hissy fit. As for the artists he likes, he mentions Timtimsia, Tony Sandoval and "Punk Rock Jesus" by Sean Murphy. Musically he told us about Billions of Comrades and Carpenter Brut. Oh and he seems to be addicted to chocolate, in a bad way.

 

That'll do for now. Don't forget to check out the illustrated FML that Kiyan did for us, if you haven't seen it already. I'm going to go back to my hovel and take some cold medication and chill out while listening to some Slowdive who recently reformed for a bunch of concerts. Next week we'll be back with another installment in our series of illustrated FMLs, this time, the cats who paint will be joining us with their take on the story about the man who got his penis stuck in a toaster. Or not. Until then, be excellent to each other.

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

#1439 - Illustrated FML - On 03/14/2014 at 12:02pm by Alan - 6 comments

Grib's Illustrated FML

It's the end of the week, which of course means it's time for another illustrated FML (and just about time for some beer of course). This week we're travelling to Switzerland to talk to Thomas, AKA Grib.

GRIB'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"The best thing is when you've got a huge pack of nice candy while you're watching a great cartoon."

Grib's selfportrait by Thomas

Why Grib? It comes from the French slang for doodling ("gribouillage"). I don't know a lot about art (but I'm going to talk about it anyway) and some of it looks like doodles to me (and some of it doesn't even make it past the doodle stage, yes Jackson Pollock, I'm looking at your stuff), but then again, as I said, I'm not really an art collector. I'm just trying to understand how an idea becomes a piece of art. And I doubt an FML could really become a piece of abstract expressionist art. Or could it? Maybe someone will prove me wrong one day.

Thomas/Grib has created a fine illustrated FML for us, and it's also once again a crossover with our sister website in France. He's also answered a few questions, so we can get to know the person behind the art.

As I said, he's from Switzerland, and most of the time he's an independant illustrator. He also gives drawing classes for adults and children, but as in Matteo's case last week, Thomas seems to also struggle to earn a living from his passion for drawing. He's also taken a second job on as a messenger to be able to get by, "because despite the hours I put in drawing, it earns a lot less money than a steady job!"

You can check out his blog to see what his work is like, and to see where he's going to, work-wise. Speaking of which, where does he come from? The most surprising thing is that he was once almost a car mechanic, something his parents pushed him into so that he would have something to fall back onto if the whole drawing thing didn't pan out. Parents, eh, always the pragmatists. Mine still wonder when I'm going to get a real job... After studying in a Swiss art school, he reckons he's now "trying to survive in the domain". And what about cars? "I never touched a car again!" That's a shame, I know a lot of old wreck owners that would've been interested.

He says that he would quite like a "nice Cintiq". I went on to Google and found out that this is some sort of electronic drawing pad that a lot of illustrators use. His blog and the examples I've used in this article make me think that he doesn't really need it. But then again, maybe if we organized some sort of charity event... I can't chip in, I have no money and I have cats to feed and I want to spend the summer in a caravan by the beach. Sorry Thomas. Speaking of cats, he also has time for them: "You can play with them, cuddle them or mess with them when you want. If you don't have time to take care of them, they can take care of themselves." A bit like babies in that respect. What? Yes, I know, I should never have children.

And what about the blogs, music, movies, books and other stuff he likes? "I like Boulet and Cyril Pedrosa. I prefer to see the Art Books of movies and cartoons, to see the research behind them, etc. The last film that stood out and that I'd go see again is "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". Great music, great images..." As for books, he's into Science Fiction, so not much in common with myself. He doesn't read many comic books either. What sort of cartoonist are you, Thomas?! "I'm very whimsical in my choices, and quite old-school." Oh, that's OK then, so am I!

So, what does a Swiss illustrator do to entertain himself? "Most of my spare time is spent going to the movies, drawing some more, playing video games, some sport (a little bit) and having drinks with friends. Nothing much different than everybody else! The best thing is when you've got a huge pack of nice candy while you're watching a great cartoon." I can understand that, if you replace "candy" with "bourbon" and "cartoon" by "depressing indie movie". And loads of cream and onion Pringles (yes, I'm hoping that by mentioning them, a truck-load will be sent to FML).

Anyway, don't forget to check out the FML Thomas has illustrated for us! As for now we'll leave you on that note, with the image of a weekend whiled away on candy and cartoons (and bourbon), and maybe next week we'll finally get round to the cats that paint. But probably not. We'd like to thank Thomas/Grib for his patience and for taking the time to create the illustration and answer all my questions. If you want to find out more about his work, please check out his blog, it's pretty neat (and he's a very nice person too).

Until next week, do be excellent to each other, remember to brush your teeth, floss if you can and may the strengh of a thousand Lemmys be with you. I'll be back with some more illustrated FMLs as soon as I can find my trousers.

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away. 

#1438 - Illustrated FML - On 03/07/2014 at 8:21am by Alan - 4 comments

Matteor's Illustrated FML

MATTEOR'S ILLUSTRATED FML

"It was like I was eating butter, but on a beach, and that I'd let the lump of butter drop into the sea and..."
 

Matteor by Matteo

 

 

Hello everyone. I know, the illustrations section looks different. We though it might be time for a change. The illustrators will still be new people from France, the USA, from anywhere we can get our hands on, but we've decided to change things around a bit. The sentence at the top is just an out of context sentence, taken from the artist's interview. So don't worry, no, we haven't had a breakdown and started writing random sentences chosen from a book on a shelf. The picture on the right is this week's artist. It's obviously a self-portrait. Well, if that's how he imagines himself, well, does he have issues. No, he doesn't actually, he's rather nice!

So, who is this guy, and what does he want? His name is Matteo, and goes by the special AKA of Matteor. Which means he took his first name and added an R at the end. Clever. He lives in France, near Paris. Oh, I didn't mention this, but this is a crossover with VDM, our French website. This will be happening a lot. He told me all about his life, and he created an illustrated FML for us. He also has a pretty nice blog, full of all sorts of cool stuff, like the picture to the right there (so go and check it out in context, but be warned, it's all in French!). 

He's known since he was 5 years old that he wanted to work in drawing and illustration. Blimey. When I was 5, I just wanted to be Batman or stick pencils up my nose. He currently has an IT diploma, "so I could pursue my studies in something I really like, drawing." He currently has a job which allows him to feed his real passion which is drawing, cartooning and illustration. Of course, his job is illustration. He creates flyers, book covers, logos... but he has his own pursuits

So, where did you come from, where did you go, where did you come from cotton-eye Joe? Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yes. He went to art school called Arc-en-Ciel, which means rainbow in French, for 3 years. It specializes in comics and illustration. "I came out of it with better skills and with greater creativity." Since then he's gone from job to job, illustrating along the way.

So, what does he like? "What I like is the creative process, whether in comics or graphic design. Starting with sketches, looking for ideas, to the finished product. Knowing that I'm satisfied with what I've done after weeks, or months of hard work."

In the same way it works for FML, the internet is his perfect source of direct feedback for his work : "I like to share what I create, on social networking sites as well as with people in the flesh, and see their reactions, and hear their criticisms. Well, we certainly wouldn't want to meet the public, we'd be split into pieces by a baying mob. Slung up! But we applaud his courage. 

And what about his work and personal projets? Matteo tells us that he's an illustrator by trade, so he creates logos and book covers as we said before, but he's also working on a comic book project that he's likely to get published. In that case, if there are any publishers out there who are reading this (hey, if I can lend a hand...). "Its content is based on small strips. The shorter the better." And what about his influences, his passions, his life. He says he really liked the last Daft Punk album, but we won't hold that against him. He enjoys a wide variety of French artists such as Gotlib, Maester, Coyote and Edika. He likes "Macadam Valley" by Ben Dessy. OK, fair enough, but what about his life, what is his thing? "Working on my comic book pages for hours while watching my favorite TV shows in a row, drinking a cold Coca Cola, while a lady gives me a thai massage." Sounds like our usual Saturday afternoon. He also likes to play video games, "even if I rarely play new ones, I prefer retro games. Because things were better before." That doesn't stop him from buying all the latest games consoles, "because I have to have them all." 

That's FML's approach to illustrators. We have to have them all. Even cats that paint we want them all. Having to interview them might be tricky, though. Anyway, we would like to thank Matteor and his wonderful illustrated FML, we really liked it. We hope that you did too. We'll see you all next week for another illustration which probably won't be created by a painting cat, but it'll still be cool anyway. We hope. Until then, be excellent to each other.

What about you? Think you've got talent and want to contribute to the illustrated FML? Send us an email to contact@fmylife.com but only send us your blog's address and a few samples of your work. No need to create an illustrated FML straight away.

#1437 - Illustrated FML - On 03/01/2014 at 12:17am by Alan - 14 comments


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  • Hi gang ! It's Friday once more and time for us to go on a magical mystery tour around the brain of yet another illustrator. This week, things have happened around the world that were so depressing, I don't…

Monday 18 August 2014

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