Gégé brown color - Ultrashop - Gnot Guedin - detail 2

More about Gnot Guedin

How did you choose your means of expression?

Through comic strips. They made an impression on me at a young age. Drawing followed on naturally after that. Then comic strips again.

Is this medium secondary to or closely linked to your subject?

No, there are no particular ties. Drawing is inexpensive; it doesn’t necessarily require any collaboration. There are many possible inspirations too; it’s very rich. It is complete and autonomous as a tool. Even if it lacks a living dimension, that can be fulfilled with another activity.

What materials do you use and why?

So as not to have to sharpen my pencil, I use a pencil brush with Indian ink. And for smaller things (comic strips) I use black felt pens. Then in computer graphics, I colour my line, I add a shadow and give it a colour. If the work is for screen-printing, I work with layers. Why do I use these tools? Well they enable me to separate each stage and of course enable me to add other elements or to go back.

How does a work session take shape?

I start with a literature search when the subject is provided, sketches and/or montage, inking and scan. Alternatively: text (written, provided or inspired dialogues). Or (for stand-alone gags like spoof) you get going straight onto old image databases from the 50s photocopied with Tippex and pencils to find ideas. I did that with my brother Dav. We spent many a wonderful afternoon preparing books. We understood each other well and quickly, family works well for that!

Can you explain to me how your work has evolved since starting out?

More experienced and still immature at the end of the day. Ha, ha, ha!

ON A MORE
PERSONAL
NOTE

Do your origins and culture play a role in the works that you produce?

I am originally from Normandy. No I don’t think that influenced me but those close to my family and I did of course. A country or region has only really influenced me in terms of having lived there, but otherwise not really. More by the people in any case! My culture, yes of course that’s influenced me. My culture and that of other people. I love conducting research! More often than not in the past.

Which events have influenced you most?

9/11. Otherwise not much.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Too many to mention! And from a variety of backgrounds. In no specific order: Daniel Clowes, Maupassant, Charles Burns, Boris Vian, Miguel de Cervantès, Gustave Doré, Nicolas de Crécy, Binet, the American way, Tronchet, Blutch (and others), the Pays de la Loire business guide and anything I can get my hands on!

Are there any anecdotes that enable the genesis of your work to be understood?

When I was young I went abroad. In the distance I saw a really great black drawing on a large yellow letterbox. As I progressively approached it I was thrilled; it had a real effect on me, gave me a high. I quickened my pace. Then when I got up really close to it, I realised that it was bird poo smeared over it. I have often thought back to that.

Are current events taken into account in your work or on the contrary do you distance yourself from them?

Current events really annoy me. That is why I sometimes evoke them in my work to calm myself down. And often reveal a thinly disguised reality. Nobody takes the trouble to withhold anymore. Journalists have incidentally become expert at multiple interpretations, and turn any situation to the advantage of the owners of the paper they’re working for and their interests. The way in which the news is treated in our country is insulting and screwed up. So I just note the facts and I interpret it in my own way, I’m big enough to do that now! Anyhow, in other words I have also done a few press cartoons. For circulation and for personal use.

ON A MORE
PHILOSOPHICAL
NOTE

Are your works more of a dialogue, a trace or a denunciation?

A dialogue and where possible a denunciation (see previous question).

Do you wish to make viewers wonder or do you prefer to question them?

Both.

How do you view people, and consequently through your work?

Sweet and merciless.

How would you compare your last work with the next?

A continuum.

Is art poetry or social intervention?

I would like it to be social intervention. Art has gradually lost this role to the benefit of a “market” where self-censorship is even looked upon favourably; it’s a sad state of affairs.

IN
CONCLUSION

How do you view your own work?

With a smile. It’s like a game to me.

What are your current and future projects?

Primarily comic books: Super Saucisse 2; Lachatte (my next Ulule collection).
Oh yes! A book project with my brother to be published by Dernier Cri.

Do you have anything else to add? I’ll let you have the last word…

I don’t think I have made any concessions in my work despite the very strong temptation in the beginning to want to correspond with a broader audience. I remained more niche and just did want I wanted to. Working with my brother from the start helped me in this sense. Teaching then prevented me from seeing my artwork as a day job. I am as a consequence perfectly at one with my creativity today. No far from it. But I’m under no false illusions. And the last word is: Thankyou.

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