François Leroy is a freelance designer and illustrator from Paris, France. He's a member of the Key Stone Design Union as well as an artist at Slashthree. François is also one of the newest artists at DACS. Right out of the gate, François blew us all away with his art work for Episodes. François submitted three beautiful pieces, all of which were chosen for the live exhibition in New York City. So in light of all his hard work, we decided to honor him as the featured artist for Episodes. Below is an interview we him along with all of his submissions for this past exhibition. Be sure to drop by his website and follow him on twitter.
Interview with François Leroy:
DACS: You've amassed quite an impressive portfolio over the years, What has been the driving force motivating you to create this kind of work?
François: Graphic exploration has definitely been one of the biggest motivations in my work. Over the past four years my style has changed a lot. I feel that its important to take the time and reflect carefully about what I'm doing, thats why I've taken the time to explore and experiment with many aspects of graphic design.
DACS: What interested you in the art world initially that brought you to this point?
François: I've always been interested in art but it wasn't until I left school that I really got into digital art. I simply love the pictorial feeling with digital art, being able to put an abstract idea on paper, as well a screen is pretty awesome. But discovering the incredible connection between art and the artist is really what interested initially.
DACS: It seems that you have really cultivated a distinct abstract and typography driven portfolio with a signature color palette throughout your work. Was this something that you strove to create or did this happen naturally?
François: For a long time I've searched for a special feeling in my work, its something I can't explain. I just started to find my own style a couple months ago. I was making a texture for a personal design, and the look and feeling was great to me. It happened naturally, so pursuing that feel is a logical move I think. I've decided to make other works using that same texture (similar to a black and white look) and explore this style as long as I love it.
DACS: A few of the common questions I am sure people would love to know is what inspires you? Where do you get your ideas from?
François: My inspiration comes from everywhere and everything. Most often my inspiration comes from light, contrasted renders of something or strange shapes. My ideas are quite abstract when I start working. Most of the time, improvisation is necessary I think, I'm always keeping a global idea of what I'm doing.
DACS: Are there any people you idolized when you were younger that help cultivate you as an artist? Any people that influence you today?
5 - Subconsciously, maybe, but not that I know of. Of course, I love the work of a lot of people today. Maybe its the same to say that they influenced me, but i don't know.
DACS: How did you find out about DACS?
6 - The first time I found out about DACS was via a news post by the KDU. This sentence really spoke to me : "We are a group of artists with a passion for making a difference in our world". A few months later John Mark Herskind invited me to take part in the exhibition.
DACS: What is a typical work day like for you? Any weird habits that stand out from other people?
François: Naturally it depends but generally as soon as I wake up, near 8 a.m, I go on my computer start drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, checking my mail and eating biscuits. I Turn on my music and It's going to be a really nice working day! When I start a project, most of the time its an exploration of different things. I experiment with many things before I decide on my idea. I can work late as well, it's never too late to do the right thing.
François: I know there are some people who look at your portfolio in admiration with the intent of reaching the same level of skill as you. So the last and (in my opinion) most important question is, what advice would you give them? Any advice on surviving in this industry in general?
François: I think the most important advice I can give is learning to stand back and be honest with yourself when your working on something. I think that when your faced with a piece that isn't going your way, its some times easier to just give up, than it is to continue working. But It's crucial to spend as much time as you need to finish your work. As for surviving in this industry? Simple, do your best, but keep your personal touch.
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