Faunesque, graphic feng-shui
Securely attached to the purest sources, Phil Constentinesco aka Faunesque makes Mother Nature his muse. He upholsters fragrant flower characters, insects and weeds to create poetry. More sensitive than he seems, he pours onto paper the wealth of his incredible imaginary, refining his lines in a microcosm belonging only to him. His art is a pleasure on the eye and an escape from a world made of concrete and bitumen.
Included in the next collection “L’Echappée” this man unveils his relationship with this tender Flora and Fauna love.
Hey man! What is the story hidden behind Faunesque? Can you tell me a little about your beautiful artistic life and career?
Hi ! I will soon be 32 years old, I live and work in Paris as an illustrator and freelance motion designer . I did a BTS (diploma) in visual communication at LISAA (art school) in Strasbourg before I started freelancing . I came to Paris in late 2006 to work for MTV France on the channel graphics. I stayed there for 1 and a half years and I have continued freelancing since . I have mainly worked in motion design, but for 3 years I have tried to develop illustration.
Your username speaks for itself . The flora and fauna fill and refine your works. Where does the attraction for these endless plants and delicate wildlife that devour your illustrations come from?
I am strongly influenced by the books I read (Rick Bass, Pete Fromm, David Vann , Jack London … ) which always take place in a forest , the untouched and wild nature . I also think that living in the city makes you want to go back to basics ! It’s a bit like a garden that I do not have if you like.
Your drawings are so generous and detailed that we say “Good grief, where does it start? ” Is this a well-established technique or an instinct that controls everything?
Basically, I define a general form. An animal or an object that I just “fill” thereafter. At the beginning I filled entirely , now it is more like vegetation that partially covers the initial shape. Once the image is drawn / traced, I move directly on to the vegetation, without any preparatory sketches. I have a store of pictures, plants, flowers and leaves amongst others ” in hand” .
What are your sources of inspiration?
I spend a lot of time on Tumblr for nature and decoration, but also on the sites of illustrators I like for example James Jean , Dan Park, Stephanie Brown, Nimit Malavia , Adam Haynes, Shan Jiang, Ben Ashton- Bell … I won’t quote all of them , there are so many! I look at and buy a lot of photo books and I also like – ( http://spitae.tumblr.com/ ) .
You’re one of the founders of Zurich29 which is a kind of animation studio. Can you tell me more about this organisation?
I cofounded Zurich29 a year after my studies with a friend who was leaving LISAA.. We called it that because we were working in my apartment at 29 rue de Zurich in Strasbourg. We thought that if our collective / studio became something we would remember where it all started! In the beginning we met up again in Paris at MTV when working on the Premium Idol and Pulse channels. We mainly work on motion design, but in recent years we have regularly worked separately.
Would you rather work with digital or paper? Or would you say that one does not go without the other?
I like both ! It makes a change to work with paper and pencil, but it’s nice to colour on a tablet too. The sensations are different and I also do things very differently between paper and digital. The key is to vary the pleasures and not to stay stuck in a routine.
You are one of the artists represented in Olow’s new spring/summer clothing collection called « L’échappée ».. Under what circumstances did all this come together? What were you looking for in this kind of collaboration?
I contacted Mathieu and Valentin a while ago and they ordered several illustrations from me. They gave me a carte blanche on the theme for the illustration for ‘Hit The Road’, but for the most part their ideas were pretty specific on what to represent . After it was free for me to interpret in my way. That was really cool, I’m very happy to have worked with them and I look forward to seeing the results printed on their clothes ! It’s been a long wait , I did these drawings a year ago! In general, also really like the clothes and so it’s interesting for me to illustrate for the kind of clothes I would like to wear. It is also a pleasure to see people wearing gear that I illustrated !
Other projects, desires, ulterior dreams?
To have regular work like this for example would be great! The best situation would be to have exclusive relationships with brands, magazines and publishers… to have a volume of work provided and anticipated for. I like to do an exhibition too! And then a cabin on a lake, that, I would not be able to refuse …
We usually end up with an absurd question. What was your nickname when you were little?
So I don’t have a great memory for that kind of stuff, but I think there were several: Philou Phil de slip, Phlip
Interview by © Julien Catala