Cédric, for how long have you been drawing?
I started drawing quite late, at the age of 19. Before, I desired to be a sport reporter! However, I quickly grew weary of school and felt to divert my attention toward a more hands-on discipline.
I trained in tapestry, then soon realized I felt to study something different. So, I studied drawing. Alongside my studies, I had fun painting murals for my friends and family. Doing so paved the way for my immersion in my current activity!
After my training in various decorative art schools, I experienced an epiphany in a natural reservation near La Rochelle called La Massonne: I realized painting could be a significant act. After that painting became more of an art form for me.
How long did it take you to master drawing?
I think I am still learning! That said, when I started drawing, I felt I was progressing quite rapidly, which was very encouraging. It grew my confidence. My technique has sharpened for sure, over the years. I believe I can say my technique and affinity for drawing matured after about 2 years of practice.
What are your inspirations? How would you define your style?
Painting is a great source of inspiration for me. I like Le Tintoret, a lot. Caravaggio as well — his work is truly sublime! Vermeer and Rembrandt also influenced me. All of these artists have, in a way, shaped my pictorial world.
I’d say my style is realist. I enjoy abstraction every now and again. Still, my painting is mostly figurative.
“I felt the urge to bring natural life into our city […] For us, urbanites, it has to affect us, because the city is like a barricade to the outer world.”
The animal theme is quite present in your work. Can you tell us about that tendency?
I am particularly moved by nature and animals. When I lived in the natural reservation, I felt the urge to bring natural life into our city. I find the emotion that the silence of an animal can convey to be very touching, without words, simply with looks and attitudes…
For us, urbanites, it has to affect us, because the city is like a barricade to the outer world — we try to unsee what’s really around. By integrating them in that environment, we allow for consciousness to emerge and expand, we are reminded that they exist too… We have the possibility to go where they are, why couldn’t they have the right to come into our home as well?
What motivates you everyday?
I feel fulfilled when working on major projects where I can let my creativity go wild! For example, at the moment, I am working on a 260 square foot mural representing an exotic jungle. For that piece, I get help occasionally from a friend and collaborator.
What stimulates me is having projects of that kind: big-scale, more responsibilities, greater creative liberty. Having colleagues and friends collaborate and sharing in creations is also grandly gratifying.
Patience is a key word for your work. How do you move through your pieces?
It is true, it is a key-word! When I was younger, I was very impatient. Painting has taught me the virtue of patience. Little by little, I realized beautiful works result from doing things slowly and giving it the proper amount of time. Today, I do not look at the clock anymore, or maybe only in order to respect the deadlines. In order for a project to go smoothly without frustrations, I now know when to linger or not, in accordance with the decorator.
Do you consider yourself an artist or a craftsman?
Without any doubt, I bit of both! Honestly, the type of order will determine whether I’ll get to be an artisan or a craftsman. For some pieces, I am a craftsman because there are a lot of restrictions and barely any creativity. In others, I am free to paint what I like, even though a theme is generally imposed. In those cases, I feel more like an artist — I get to express my self openly and share my visual world.
Where will we be able to see your work in the future?
I will soon be showcased at the Manufacture Emblem in the 7th district of Paris. The piece represents a scene of wild jungle. I may have a solo exhibition during the year near the La Bourse neighborhood. You can also see my work at the Maison Pierre Frey, a luxury brand of textile.