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Portrait of Monsieur Z

Portrait of Monsieur Z

Monsieur Z's sexy figures have taken the illustration world by the storm.
Monsieur Z is not only a world-renowned illustrator but also has a great sense of humour! Read his interview to find out what he thinks about good graphic art and what a Jeff Koons balloon dog means to him.

How did you become an Illustrator?

I studied drawing at the Graphic superior Arts school,  Estienne in Paris. After a few years in advertising agencies, I became an illustrator, mainly for advertising, then for animation, fashion, and magazines look-maker…..

What was the first ad or artwork that inspired you?

I’ve always been fascinated by images, whether they are adds or not. Seminal to my initial inspiration were discovering the illustrations of Norman Rockwell, buying my first bleu jean’s, my first album covers inspired me too (B52….), and also Comix.

Can you outline your creative background?

I first worked in advertising agency as Artistic Director and then in 1996 – 1997, I became freelance. I did a lot of graphic design initially, then dove into the illustration landscape few years later, creating my own chic and stylish aesthetic, widely diffused thanks to the magazine Wallpaper.

Where do you find your inspiration? What captures your attention in everyday life, graphics or art?

All, but my intuition is my guide.

What is the process you go through to build your imagery?

Drawing every morning on a small notebook, as you might jogging, then put it in color using my computer. The secret is to train every day.

How do you describe your style?

Modern, colorful, clean, graphic, pop and elegant ….. I do not know (hahaha)

How do you define good graphic art?

Modern, colorful, clean, graphic, pop and elegant (haha I kidding). Simple, and attractive…

What does your studio look like?

White modern space in a mid century modern house with a beautiful view of the sea (yes I live near the sea, in the French Riviera, I am lucky I know!!)

What do you think about the role of illustration in the artworld?

We are the poor parents of Art, but I sincerely believe that today the greatest artists in the world are Illustrators,(Lou Romano, Kevin Dart , Taddeo Usugi, jason brooks, david Downton……)

Whose portrait would you most like to do?

Michelle Obama, Katy Perry, Robbie Williams or You? (Haha)

What artist would you like to collaborate with (from the past or present)?

I love the look of Raphael Saadiq, I would adore to do a video with him …..

What project are you most proud of?

My last!

Which blogs and magazines do you read?

Other illustrators or animator blogs, various fashion magazines like: Vogue, AD, Wallpaper, Bazaar, Dazed …. i-D

What is the last exhibition you went to?

Matisse In Nice.

If you could own any artwork in the world, which one would it be?

A Jeff Koons ballon dog.

What would you be if not an artist?

Good question. I really don’t know…..

What are you currently working on?

I am doing advertising, today I am work for L’oreal, because I am worth it; and tomorrow for auction houses in Paris.

Any plans for the future?

A cartoon feature film. (yes, like Pixar). I have been working on it for over 3 years; the feature will be in 2014 if all goes well.