Mix some impeccably pleasing patterns, unusual proportions and add a 90s twist: these are the illustrations of Jeremy Combot. A self-taught artist based in France, Jeremy's work conveys an energy that you don't often come across. Quirky and sleek, his characters are drawn with chic poised faces and bright, colourful clothes that make you want to hop on the next plane to Paris. We had a chat with Jeremy to discuss his work:
How did you develop your style? What influences or inspires you?
As far as I can remember, I always used my coloured pens as a tool of expression. Being a kid of the 90’s, I always felt influenced by this decade, which is for me a great emergence of pop culture, especially through music videos, movies, sitcoms and the supermodel apogee. Today, I still feel inspired by pop culture in all its forms.
I also really love being inspired by the world cultures, the eclecticism of beauty and aesthetic criteria. Right now, I am really into Egyptian and Greek patterns, tomorrow I might be more into Mexican or Peruvian codes!
What is your creative process when you're starting a new piece?
Because I am a very traditional artist, most of the illustrations that I create are a work of patience. The first stage is built around research in my inspiration books (where I collect tons of images from magazines), my Pinterest, blogs and websites. I start to sketch a global look, a pose, an ambiance. Then, I go into details: I add accessories, a haircut, garnishments and patterns in particular. I always take care to ensure getting a graphic harmony. I really enjoy mixing different patterns and textures which don’t seem to fit at first sight, but which create a final coherent aesthetic. Most of the time, my sketches are so full of notes, superpositions, colors and lines and I have troubles finding the original idea!
The second step is about starting the work on a bigger format, mostly A3. I start with the face, quite detailed, and the hair. Then, I draw the curves of the body with special attention on the hands. When I feel satisfied, I ink everything with the thinnest pen that I can get. It's a work of precision.
The third stage is the longest: colors and patterns. I mix all my colors inks to catch the perfect shades. I used to add shadows to give to the face a stronger personality.
Finally, I use my computer to work on background and do any retouching.
What is your main goal with your art?
The main goal with my art is aesthetic matter. I like, through colors, patterns and looks, to express a unique style and incite emotion. I also would like to convey, through strong and independent characters, a certain freedom of expression. My illustrations express joy and fun. I love this link between trend and kitsch.
What superpower would you have and why?
Maybe the one of traveling through time and space. Cultural history is very important to me, especially French history, very rich and fascinating. As I speak, I could be in the 18th century at Versailles, playing cards with Marie-Antoinette, or in the 40’s, drinking and smoking with Juliette Greco, Boris Vian and all the intellectuals of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Jeremy Combot is a young French fashion illustrator living by the sea. He is a self taught artist, guided by passion. His work could be described as a mixture of crazy colors, Fashion, 90's and Pop culture. Being a kid of the 90's, he is inspired by this period which he combines with modern trends. He is inspired by the Fashion world, in his own way and his work explores this link between beauty/trend and ugliness/kitsch. All of Jeremy's illustrations are handmade using inks, ProMarkers, very thin pens and watercolor, sometimes with the addition of collage or graphic lines on Photoshop. Jeremy doesn't live through his characters, he invents them from A to Z. Every line, every strand, every volume, every pattern that he draws on the paper is a step into their intimacy.