Hot on the heels of Laurent Durieux’s highly successful solo show at Mondo Gallery, igotbirds.com was able to score a short interview with a true modern master of Film Poster Illustration. We would like to thank Laurent and his brother Jack for their participation with the following interview. And now…A Conversation With Laurent Durieux!!
igotbirds: Laurent, could you give our readers a bit of background information about yourself? How did you first become interested in art and illustration?
Laurent Durieux: Well, I’ve been interested in Art and drawing from as far as I can remember. Ever since I was a kid, like so many children of my age, only I had the chance to have very encouraging parents who have always supported me in my decisions and choices. My older brother Tom, and my father as a matter of fact, both went to a very good Art school in Brussels and so that was it. I had to follow my father and brothers paths. I got introduced to the work of Jean “Moebius” Giraud through the Heavy Metal magazine (Métal Hurlant) and that day I decided that it’s really what I wanted to do. To be a comic book artist. So, for many years, I have put all my time and energy in doing the only thing I was good at, drawing. To the point I was offered a contract by one of the major comic book publishing company in France. I had to decline though when I saw what was in that shitty contract. That was bad then, it’s even worse today…So I changed path and decided I would become a Graphic Designer and Illustrator, which would enable me to make a more substantial living, and that’s what I did.
igotbirds: What draws you to illustrate for Film Posters? Do you have a favorite illustration you have created based on a film?
Laurent Durieux: I see myself as a story teller, and the love of comics has never left me. I’ve always loved telling stories in my images…I know of so many comic artists who in some point in their career have switched to cinema, and it’s all very logical, There is not really any big difference between telling a story on paper or on film, the hard part is raising the money to produce a movie. A few people in the States know this but I actually directed a short Canal+ produced CGI animated movie a few years ago titled “HellVille” which I had written and designed, which turned out to be a very big disappointment, probably due to the fact that this 4 minutes short had been done by students in about 8 weeks…but that’s another story…the favourite illustration I have created for a film? It’s hard to choose, they are all sort of my babies, but if I had to, it would either be “Iron Giant” because it’s the first one I did for Mondo, and “Metropolis” because the good folks at Dark Hall Mansion are the first to have trusted me and given me the opportunity to work for the US fan base.
igotbirds: What decisions do you make as an artist when illustrating a poster for a film?
Laurent Durieux: Well first I need to somehow relate to the movie, I’m not comfortable working on a movie I don’t actually like or a genre I’m not really into, like horror movies or zombie stuff, you know. I’m sort of an old school guy. Then I see if I can add something to the movie poster that hasn’t already been done before. A different take on it, though this is not always possible, at least be original graphically and most importantly faithful to the movie as well. As far as decisions I would make as an artist, in the drawing and composition sense of it, there is just too many decisions to enumerate them all here, I make a decision every second for the whole of 3 weeks I work on an image. I’m sure it’s like that for every artist.
igotbirds: You’ve just had a massively successful solo show at Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas. Were you at all surprised by the overwhelming amount of fans here in the United States?
Laurent Durieux: Oh yes, you bet! This was unbelievable to see these people spending the night in the freezing cold just to be able to secure a few posters. In the same time, I’m not naive, I am aware that many of these people are there not so much for me but more for the Mondo poster phenomenon, you know a lot of those posters that were sold on the opening day had been flipped on eBay that very night, and we’re talking dozens of them. Nevertheless, it was a real pleasure to meet the fans the next day at the signing sessions, people drove or flew from so far it left me speechless. I want to thank all these people for that!
igotbirds: Can you give us a hint about any upcoming projects you may be working on?
Laurent Durieux: I have so many exciting projects scheduled for this year, that it is actually already fully booked. I have given a hint of the very next project I’m working on, but you’ll have to check my Facebook page for that!
You can find more of the works of Laurent Durieux by clicking on the following links:
Once again, our sincere thanks to Laurent and Jack for making this interview possible!