Digital artist and 3D creative image extraordinaire Benoit Challand is our May featured artist, whose unique, bold and ultimately fun style, and playful use of colour and texture, caught our eye. We spoke to him to learn more about this multidisciplinary designer whose created campaign artwork for the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Nissan and Ray-Ban.
ADOBE STOCK: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?
Hi, my name is Benoit but everybody call me Ben. I’m 30 years old and working as freelancer since 2009. I’m working in a super nice place in front of the Rhône river in the center of Lyon, in France. I’m sharing the place with 20 other mates, some that I have known for over 10 years. We party together, organize some events, eat lots of Japanese food, share news and technical skills and our days revolved around the daily Fifa tournament. That’s my work environment. Everyday I pick up my son at 6:30pm after school and I’m starting to work again at home around 9pm until… usually late – all lone workers will know what I’m talking about.
AS: So how did you get started in digital art professionally?
I started to work in Paris as digital art director for a web company for 2 years, and at the same time I was practicing 3D in my spare time. From web to motion design and then to 3D I’ve always looked for something new and challenging. In 2012 I decided to make a split in my life and moved to Madrid to work mainly in 3D still images. This is where I found what I really wanted and loved to make. At the beginning of 2014 when my son was born, me and my wife decided to move back to Lyon – until now.
AS: What are your perceptions of stock images, and do you think the perception is changing?
Stock images are essential for pre-production layout. When you have to sketch something really fast with lighting or texture references stock image are really important to me. Also in the post production phase, I use stock image to add complex and organic shapes to add realism to illustrations.
With Adobe Stock integrated in Photoshop CC directly, yes I think it’s a real game changer. You can pick out content, plug it on your layout and see if it fits or not, and for free – that is making the workflow a lot easier.
AS: How would you describe your style?
I’m trying to not have a specific style, it’s boring.
I’m convinced that I can’t evolve just doing the same thing in always the same style. I’m always searching new ideas, challenging myself on stuff I’m not familiar with, to evolve and to discover new things. I love the moment when you accidentally create something unexpected and the light up in your mind says “I got something”.
But after several years I figured that unconsciously my work turns into 3 different parts: Illustrations, Set design and Typography.
Illustration is the kind of work meaning FUN to me. When I’m working on too serious things I love to create on the side unexpected and crazy worlds such as my Octopus Kingdom piece.
Set design is more highlighting product usually in a refined way. You cannot do what you want, there is a specific brand identity and aesthetic to follow. Maison Orcia or the Jean Paul Gaultier assets are good examples of what I love to do in set design.
Typography is something I treat more like lettering, I mean a type created for a specific format. I’m not designing characters, I’m just playing around with letting I use to draw.
AS: Where do you find your inspiration?
I find lots of inspirations on course on the web. But also in exhibitions, street culture, food, fashion or even comics.
I don’t have a daily routine searching inspiration, ideas come as they want.
There are people that give me inspiration by there work like Moebius, Le Corbusier, Vasarely, Andy Goldsworthy, Jack Slater or the DMV Crew.
AS: What are you excited to work on in 2017?
I really want to work on character design. I made some test that you can find on my instagram account.
AS: What music do you currently listen to whilst working (if any!)?
There is always music at my workplace – as we are 20 in all the 4 rooms; I let you imagine the mess sometimes. When I want to focus on my work I listen to catchy songs, and if you ask me to recommend one album to work with that would definitely be “Communion” from Scratch Massive – a must to have.
I can’t imagine working without music – it is an essential part of my workflow.