The illustration work of Pascal Blanchet may trick you into thinking it was created in the 1960s with its effortless vintage style. Blanchet is a graphic novelist and illustrator born in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. His work is reminiscent of mid-century jazz record cover art, which he says is a source of inspiration from his childhood. His work is compositionally beautiful, and each piece tends to use strong shapes and colors with hints of texture that add just the right amount of depth and detail to his work. Blanchet is a very versatile illustrator because he can work in perspective, add wonderful lighting, or create something flat and still be interesting.
In a recent interview with Blanchet, he told me a little more about his process, inspiration, and the reasons he is an illustrator. The interview is as follows:
1. How do you approach a new design? What is your creative process?
“Most of the time, I approach a subject/topic (article, editorial, poster, book cover etc) with the same process: what is this about? I always try to “reduce” it to the most simple and comprehensive way to make the topic understood easily and efficiently. I do not have any weird artist rituals. Some days it goes well, others not; when it’s not, better make it a laundry day.”
2. What influences your style of work? Where do you gain inspiration?
“Curiously enough, illustration itself isn’t my main inspiration. When it comes to illustration, I’m not the curious type. I have little knowledge about it. I think the biggest contact I had with illustration, was in my childhood with old 78rpm and long playing record sleeves. I’ve always been afraid to look at the work of others. To me, music is the total way to find inspiration. I’m a huge fan of mid-century music (jazz), architecture and cinema.”
3. What medium do you use for your work? Or do you use multiple mediums?
“My main medium is Adobe Illustrator mixed with hand drawing and sometimes silkscreening.”
4. Why are you an illustrator?
“Because drawing is what I know to do, and because if I don’t draw, I turn crazy.”
5. Your illustrations are always beautifully designed compositions, did you take any design courses to help you accomplish this?
“I’m a self-taught illustrator. My dad taught me technical drawing and perspective at a really early age, but that was my only art courses (didn’t fit really well in a school).”
6. If you had one bit of advice to share with aspiring illustrators, what would it be?
“Having a hard head and making it for the good reason: because you need it to breathe. Also, illustration has taken an overly “hipsterized” twist recently; don’t make illustration because it’s cool and because it will take you to fame and wealth, it’s not.”
Go see more of his work at his new website here.