Instagram: @monsieurmathieulabrecque Tumblr: mathieulabrecque.tumblr.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I was born in Lévis near Québec City, Canada. I’ve recently moved to Montreal to find an environment better suited to my creative needs.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I think the playfulness of my illustrations makes them really compelling for readers. The initial impact created by geometrical shapes, saturated colors and the rhythm of composition then gives way to a deeper reading.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?It all starts with a pencil, because I think it’s the best way to address any conceptual issue; it’s direct and fast. A light table (a converted kid's school desk in my case) and many sheets of paper (8.5 x 11 printer paper) in order to combine drawings and move them around easily while I work. You also get this light from under the table that keeps you awake just like a computer screen. And finally, Photoshop enables me to add and correct colors endlessly without the mess of paint. I also edit my drawings with it a lot.
4. What is your artistic process like?I’m equally obsessed with narrativity, composition and a medium's exclusive characteristics. That said, I never start with something too constructed in mind. The result of the shapes and lines that I draw and add on to is just as important as my original intent. Ideas come from hard work, as shapes interact with each other and take form on paper. The elements of a composition have to be light and simple so they can be moved easily and constantly, in order to put them in relation in different ways until something unexpected appears. It’s a sophisticated process, but I have fun with it as I’m driven by its narrative and poetic potential!
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?Cinematographer Robert Bresson, music, comics and other illustrators I follow on Instagram. Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the work of illustrator Tibor Karpati. There is something very touching and powerful in his tiny scale work.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?When I’m not drawing, I’m playing and writing music. My creative process is very similar in both practices. To be honest, it’s very time consuming. Art structures my life. I look for it and think about it constantly.
7. Where did you study?I studied graphic design at University Laval, in Québec City.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?Doing more freelance work, commissioned work for newspapers and magazines, children's books, murals, working with textiles, basically, any exciting collaborative project where I can have a role. I would like my screen prints to take a more abstract direction.
9. What about in ten?I will need more than ten years to achieve all that!
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?Durable work that people will be able to enjoy long after I’m gone.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Vegan food! Seitan, tempeh, hummus, beans, peanut butter!
12. Favourite book?If someone asked me for recommendations, I would probably say Dostoievski's The Idiot and Chester Brown's Paying For It to introduce them to comic books.
13. Favourite genre of music?I’ve been listening to a lot of Japanese rock and pop lately. Otherwise i would say rock/post-punk. I’m writing this interview while listening to The Jesus Lizard.
14. What are your hobbies?Playing music, going to shows.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I just had an existential crisis thinking about it.