Let’s meet this week’s artist. 33 and from France, Antonin Gallo alias Monsieur To is a freelance “unemployed illustrator.”
“Being unemployed is cool, it allows me to do other stuff, which is great because I work overtime trying to make it in the world of comics and illustration. I get up early and go to bed late. It has been said before but illustrating and comics are a cheap way to create whole universes. Well, theoretically anyway, because I work on an expensive Wacom cintiq. What I need: a bit more of a workload, for sure. Well, a paid workload, because in practice I work a lot.”
Our workaholic’s news of the week is a bunch of responses to job offers, positive ones if possible. And a comic book has just come out, “Etat des lieux”, which is available on Amazon. “A bittersweet story, about an idiot who can’t get over a mistake he made.”
Drawing isn’t always an obvious choice. This is why Antonin has diplomas in science/maths and literature/art. “Highly useless,” he points out, just in case we were wondering. He also has another diploma in art and started some philosophy studies but gave up very quickly due to the coursework being very rigid. He also worked for the national education system.
Projects? “Loads. At the moment I’m on a few comic book projects. One of them is about the lives of teachers, with Marlène writing the script. In it, a new teacher turns up at a high school where the colleagues are zombies, the principal a fire-breathing dragon, and where the pupils welcome the teachers by throwing weapons. Very realistic in fact. I’m also working with Minito, whose style I used for this illustrated FML, on a collection of vertical strips, which mix the absurd, the poetical, the cute and funny. I’d like to pay my respects to Marlène’s colours, without which this series would lose a lot of their attraction. I’m also on a website where I’ve published 2 digital comic books with Marlène (again?), one as a writer, the other as the artist. I’m thinking about two other comic books and working on two others that are published on the Internet and can be read via this profile. Other projects are underway, but need to be looked over, some collaborations, a story about a cherry tree, another with Jean Claude Van Damme, a Rom-Com, an adaptation of a Stefan Zweig novel and I must be forgetting some things. I won’t be slacking in 2013.”
Let’s see how well he does in the second part of the interview.
Cat or dogs?
Cats, definitely, who are elegance incarnate in all circumstances, except when they fall over which makes them exceptionally funny. But I do like dogs though, but at other people’s places. Cats too I suppose.
What are the latest things you enjoyed at the movies, in music, books and comics?
I haven’t been to the movies recently, so I couldn’t say. The last thing I really liked was “Love Actually”, which isn’t recent but I only saw it a year ago. I don’t listen to a lot of music, and only go by track, rarely by artist. And the last track I really liked was a long time ago. The last book that really shook me is “Letter from a stranger” by Stefan Zweig, the only man who could write so well about women. As for comics, I’m a big consumer. So I’d recommend Barrio by Carlos Gimenez, Habibi by Craig Thomson, Undercurrent by Tetsuya Toyoda and I can’t wait for the next volumes of Vinland Saga and Yotsuba&co.
Who are the main artists you appreciate and whose blogs you visit regularly?
There are very few. The one I visit the most is by Marlene, with whom I work. There’s also Jibé’s blog, who you already know. And finally I check out Eliascarpe’s blog, which is about to be updated. As a rule, I’m attracted to people who stand out without having to suck up to better-known artists.
Tell us what you enjoy in life, your passions, pastimes, vices, and everyday pleasures.
I like the smell of freshly ground coffee, misting my glasses with a hot drink. I like taking the time to cook because eating is boring so I might as well try and make the whole process as cool as possible. I like evenings with friends and trolling them about their musical tastes. I like telling stories and I’m a workaholic when it comes to drawing. And when I have the time I like taking the time to finish a video game. I’m getting back into reading after years without. I like bar peanuts with a good beer. I like the first step on fresh snow, and the noise it makes. And I like walking in Paris.
Tell us a crap joke. Possible Joker: if you don’t have a crap joke, we want to know your worst FML.
Do you know the joke about the guy with no thumbs? It’s great. Of course, without the gestures, it’s even worse.
Do you have a phobia? If so, what is it?
I’m afraid of leaving the gas on, the refrigerator open, stuff like that. I used to get up several times a night to check.
That’s all for this week! So what about a video before we go then? Here we go, have the skateboarding dog. See you next week!
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DA. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!