Serge Birault is a freelance digital illustrator from France. If you missed out on his EMPTY KINGDOM feature last year, make sure you check it out here. Today, We bring Mr. Birault back to EK for an interview in order to get further acquainted with the man himself, and his pinup-influenced digital illustrations.
(Please mind the grammar. Serge is French, and we here at EK present the artist words as we receive them without altering anything – pure.) =)
Introduce yourself, How long have you been an artist?
Well, I’m not sure to know what is an artist, so I can’t say if I’m an artist or not. I worked in illustration field since more than ten years now.
Do you remember what was the first work you did? Where is it?
Yes, I was 14 years old, it was a very painting on a spanish restaurant’s wall. And it wasn’t a masterpiece 🙂
How has your art changed since then, thematically and aesthetically?
I began to make pin up when I was a teenager, perhaps for hormonal reasons. I suppose I’m still one 🙂
Where are you from? What was it like growing up?
I’m from Strasbourg, in France but I’m living in Toulouse since my early age. I grown up in a very poor area. There were a lot of people from various countries and cultures. I had a happy childhood.
What do you want to achieve through your art?
I don’t have very ambitions. I’m happy when I saw some of my works on a screen or on a wall. I just try to do enjoyable pictures.
Who are some artists that have influenced your work?
My major influences were and are still Hajime Sorayama and Gil Elvgen. I stole all my technique to Sorayama and Elvgren is simply the best pin-up painter ever.
Who are some artists/art blogs that you are currently interested
A lot of people. I’m very curious and I’m like a spong. I spend at least one hour per day to look what the others do. I have to admit my friend David Dunstan influence me a lot. He does more cartoon characters than mine with a very, very clean rendering.
Did you go to school for art or are you self-taught?
I did very long studies of law. Yes, I know, it’s a bit strange. It was very interesting but lawyer wasn’t a job for me.
Tell us about your process from beginning to end.
I do very few sketches because I now able to draw what I have in my mind. I choose the ambiant light than I do the face of the character. I spend a lot of time in faces. I do the body pretty fast after that. I use a lot airbrush (soft round brush) with very low opacity, it’s my only secret weapon.
Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
My friends are my best inspiration and motivation. My favorite model, Maria Gibson is a good friend of mine. I want her to be happy of the pictures I made of her. In this way, I try to do my best.
What’s next for you, whether shows, series or otherwise?
A comic book, several artbooks, a lot of character design, several exhibitions and a teaching. I will be very busy this year.
Would you rather be a werewolf or a vampire and why?
A werewolf without hesitation. In fact, I’m already a werewolf, I’m very lunatic.
If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?
I think I would spend 24 hours without working 🙂