Sunday, April 22, 2012
Ones to Watch: Jacques Marcotte
Posted by Maxine Harris
Name: Jacques Marcotte
Occupation: Graphic designer/illustrator
Inspiration: Alex Gross, Jeff Soto, Mark Ryden
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like the illustrations of French Canadian, Jacques Marcotte. They are both cute and disturbing in equal measure. Take ‘Eightball Demon’ - a slumped Donnie-Darko style bunny, dragon wings, and an Eightball as a face – it takes all those notions of “cute bunny”, and turns them completely upside down. They are transformative pieces in that what we might take in at a glance is not the same thing as when we take a closer look. ‘I like the way they can look cute one moment, funny in another but in the end they are also very scary. I think life in general is a bit like this, beautiful on the outside but very frightening on the inside. We live in an era where everything has to look beautiful, solid and perfect even if it ugly, fragile and imperfect. We don't want the truth’.
Jacques goes on to explain ‘Just look at our car industry or the shopping mall, great on the outside, very useful, but, in actuality, it is killing the planet. I try to represent emptiness, temptation, and selflessness in my creation. That’s why I like the shape of a skull. It creates a really powerful emptiness halo around the character, like no soul could live there. [It’s the] same thing for the characters with tentacles and a melting/organic form. I think it a beautiful way to represent the disinterest of humanity in change - nothing is solid - everything is in a kind of laziness, rooted in this
never-changing life style’.
It is evident that Jacques’ illustrations are layered with meaning, an artistic response to the commerciality and pseudo-reality represented by today’s media. Inspired by ‘the way we, humans act in life’, Jacques illustrations hark back to a time of artistic rebellion, a time when art represented more than the aesthetic presented on the page. He describes himself as ‘passionate, [a] dreamer, spontaneous’, and in this is created illustrative originality and depth of meaning.
Asked on his way of working, Jacques gave somewhat of an interesting reply: ‘I talk to a mighty unicorn for about a minute or two, then drink a good cup of tea and let the inspiration flow by itself. I don't start with exactly the idea or subject I want to create. I prefer the spontaneity to the moment. I think the subconscious is very rich and it a way for me to let what it inside out. All of my illustration or digital work is begun by putting on some music then opening my Painter software. I just let the pen go, draw a variety of circular lines and try to focus on what I see, what are the shapes that are appearing, what I want to express, the color I feel. Then slowly the art or illustration is shaped up on the screen’.
By the year 2022, Jacques would like to create a short animation – ‘I think it could be a very different way of creating, expressing and feeling than a static illustration. I would love to do this, maybe in the years to come.’
You can buy Jacques’ work from: Society6.com