Picture ParadiseChristophe Alliel is a French comic book artist and illustrator who lives on the beautiful island of Borneo, Malaysia. He enjoys Muay Thai martial arts, surfing (his "vitamin-sea") plus the simple things in life, like beach time with his wife and two boys. We spoke to Chris about how he got started, his influences and how he creates his amazing digital illustrations.
How and when did you get into illustration?
I started my career as a professional comic book artist 15 years ago. Illustration is my way to think outside the layout of a comic page. I love outdoor sketching with my local urban sketcher group. Sketching the buildings, environment, colour, people, food and mood has been a great way to relax from drawing daily comics.
Akihabara Hunters - Sayuri
I have recently spent more time in digital illustration after I purchased an iPad Pro. It's a great way to produce graphics without using traditional tools and I can draw almost everywhere and anytime! It has boosted my productivity too!
Where do you create? Do you have a dedicated studio?
Yes, I rent a small studio 5 minutes away from where I live. I stopped working from home a few years ago for better work-life balance, work-family sphere. I used to work late most nights in the past and somehow socially disconnected. So now I make it a point to achieve a balance.
“I strongly recommend using Twitter to build a strong community and to support each other.”
How do you promote yourself and your art?
Twitter has been an awesome tool to promote my NFT art. I've totally devoted it to the NFT art world. Instagram has been less interesting so far as there's lack of interaction. I strongly recommend using Twitter to build a strong community and to support each other.
Do you sell your art as NFTs?
Yes, I do! I am currently selling my NFTs on two different platforms. The first one is Foundation where I usually upload illustrations that are 1/1 edition. It's a great platform to set up a value on your art. Collectors bid on the art and setup your value with the auction system.
I have also launched a collection on OpenSea, it's called Akihabara Hunters and it features different girls with hunter outfits. I guess this platform helps a lot to sell collections because the cost of minting and listing is free.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Music has a big impact on my daily creation. I use Spotify to discover new artists. I can listen to the same album over and over when I find the right one. Recently, I've spent days with Rival Consoles - an electronic and contemplative artist. It is such an inspiration for the mind.
Late Night - Foundation
My surroundings have an impact on my work too. I live on Borneo Island, a multicultural place with people from different backgrounds. This melting pot offers harmonious and peaceful living, where rich Asian culture blends in with tribal surroundings - colourful and wonderful!
On the visual aspect of my work, I am strongly influenced by Korean movies and Japanese anime. I like stories that are true to their characters and don't lie to their audience, this can be tough on some subjects but at least we get engaged in the drama.
“Supporting each other and sharing knowledge to grow together is the key.”
James Jean, Myasaki, Claire Wendling, Moebius are artists who have inspired me in my daily creation. They all have their own styles and universe.
Do you have any advice for younger artists?
Be patient. The most important thing to get started is to build a community. Be in the community and grow with your fellow artist friends. Supporting each other and sharing knowledge to grow together is the key. Also, always keep in mind that this is not a race!
Many thanks to Christophe for answering our questions. You can follow Chris on Twitter or Instagram and you can see more of his work on Foundation and OpenSea.