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Bastien Grivet: art director interview

Bastien Grivet

Art Director

Swiss art director Bastien Grivets latest artwork was created as a response to The Handmaids Tale find out more about the project and Bastiens AAA-production work

Bastien's 3dtotal profile

Adam

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Bastien

I’m a Swiss art director, concept artist, and composer based in the South of France. I’m at the head of my studio with my wife, Jessica Rossier, and our job is to create various universes for AAA productions around the world. From our little studio located in Montbazin, we were in charge of designing the environments of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Shadow of War, and Elder Scrolls Online cinematics, and the upcoming Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse.

Adam

What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea come from?

Bastien

For most of my personal artworks, I didn't start with a particular idea. But for several months I’ve really tried to think of what I really want to say or show. I put some good music in my ears (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky) and waited for an idea or an image to appear in my head. For my latest image, I did it after I watched The Handmaid’s Tale. I was really moved by the story of a particular character, who is persecuted for being a lesbian. At the same time, I had this image of huge wrecks in a sort of ship graveyard, manly symbols of a past made of war and conflict… I thought mixing those two inspiring things could be great.

Photoshop and Cinema 4D.
Here is a statement of what I defend, a poem to all my friends who have ever been persecuted or misjudged. Hate never wins, we always kiss on the ruins of bad memories. I love you all.

An artwork created entirely in Procreate on my iPad Pro 12.9"

Photoshop and Cinema 4D.
This one comes right from my "morgue". This dark place where all unfinished PSD files lie waiting (sometimes for years) for a new spark of inspiration. This one waited "only" four months but I'm happy that I finally found the spark for this scene

Adam

What challenges did the image present? Did you learn something new?

Bastien

The challenge was to bring the right emotion, not too obvious, not too shy, finding a perfect balance of what I want to tell and how to represent it in a beautiful and epic silence. Technically I didn’t learn a lot, it was a bit of a comfort zone, but breaking the wall of really meaning something with my artwork was new, I had never gone so far, so it was really exciting.

Adam

Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?

Bastien

Yes! I’m a proud user of Procreate on my iPad Pro 12”. I have waited for a good tool to take outside and paint freely in my favorite coffeehouse or transport. I saw what Cintiq could do but I really wanted to have something light, with a good battery autonomy, and when Apple said "Hey artists… sorry, we forgot you for so long, here is something new for you.” I knew it was the right tool for me. And now I enjoy painting outside with the ability to undo!

Adam

How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

Bastien

You must understand the importance of personal artworks. First, nobody tells you what to do, it comes right from your heart and head and it’s one of the best feelings when a very important studio hires you for your own ideas or style. In order to eat, you’ll have to work for someone, so it’s also a way to keep a kind of freedom for your creativity. I try, once per month, to create a personal artwork. I don’t force myself, I must avoid that, but I never wait more than two weeks before having an idea that screams in my head louder and louder.

Photoshop - Here is the first lady of my new project called 'River Angel'

Another artwork created entirely in Procreate.

Adam

Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?

Bastien

Instagram. I like it a lot. For me it’s a good way to find inspiration. And I follow tons of hashtags on a lot of various subjects: artists I love, a lot of photographers, nature, food, custom motorcycles, and a lot of naked people too. And that’s only the top of the iceberg.

Adam

How important is the recognition of your peers?

Bastien

When I started, it was really important. But with time, after meeting a lot of my favorite artists, you see that a small part of them are… not necessarily what you thought they were, but I'm okay with that! People are what they are. But now I concentrate on seeking recognition from people I know well and know they are exceptional human beings. On my side, I'm really trying to be the person I would dream to meet.

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Bastien

Now? Experimenting, with a lot of ideas and themes. For example, right now I’m into the world of erotic nude. I was lucky enough to meet a famous erotic photographer, we became friends, and we have worked together on some illustration projects. The next one is for an upcoming art book called “Hardcover” with a tons of incredible artists; be warned, it’s gonna be super hot.

Each Autumn, I create one or two artworks based on a story of my own: A girl who loves to invent things and ride her motorcycle.

Photoshop. "I'm watching you my friend. As quick as you're going, I'll find you again..."

Photoshop. A Tron-ish style scene inspired by the colors of the movie NERVE

Adam

Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Bastien

My absolute “coup de cœur” goes to past traditional artists such Alexandre Calame, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Frederic Edwin Church. All the guys from the Hudson River School, of course, but also some actual painters such as Alberto Mielgo (he was my Art Director on Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse), Andrew Tischler, and James Gurney. I couldn’t name them all. I really love all those people’s works because it represents a kind of Everest for me, a mountain full of ambushes but worth reaching a never-ending summit.

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Bastien

Tough question. A lot of naked people (maybe I said it too much?), a mobile videogame made in collaboration with the studio 1492 from Montpellier, a lot of projects stills under NDA that I am really looking forward to showing you, and… I don’t know, I will surprise myself!

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