Interview: Amandine Urruty

Amandine Urruty lives and works in Toulouse, France, creating weird and wonderful characters in a variety of media, known best for her colour pencil work, which offers a “cheerful gallery of deviant portraits, associating grotesque outfits and baroque young ladies with too much make-up”

In the first part of our Pictoplasma interview series, we talk to Amandine to find out more about her ideas, inspirations and working processes…

Interview by Lisa Hassell

Where & when did you first start making art? 

I studied art at the University during eight long years, but at this time I used to do stupid photographies with sausages. I came back to drawing by making posters for my band, in which I used to sing out of tune. Then, the band broke up and I left the University. That was approximately when I began to involve myself more seriously in my new illustrator function and to do my first show in galleries. That was three years ago.

Where do you work? Tell us about your creative process..

My drawings are mainly realized on my bed, with color pencils. My working process is quite painstaking, and leaves nothing to chance. I begin by making lots of small sketches on my notebook, until I find an idea that’s worth being realized. Then, this sketch is refined, and enlarged. I draw the final outlines, and then scan it, in order to choose on Photoshop what the colors will be. All this just because my favourite medium, color pencils, doesn’t allow to make any mistake. Once the colors chosen, I can apply them on the paper and finally work on the chiaroscuro.

What inspires your characters & ideas?

I spend long hours on the Internet searching for all kind of pictures : ugly tattoos, wedding cakes, dogs with dresses, offensive halloween costumes …More or less consciously, I dig in this picture bank (and in my everyday experience) to build my drawings.

Do you look to other artists for inspiration or wider influences?

I try not to take my inspiration from actual illustrators. I rather find my influences in the medieval painting (Bosch, Brueghel…) and in all these randomly found pictures i talked about previously : vintage postcards, film posters, anatomy books and bestiaries.. etc.

Aside from illustration, what are your other passions in life?

Even though my drawing takes most of my time…I also love to sleep as much as possible.

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