Alexy PréfontaineDigital Art & Photography
How did it all begin? How did you build this online following?
It all began in 2014 when I discover a few mobile apps that could let me edit images with the only use of my iPhone. At first, I was just fooling around, doing some not-so-serious and not-so-good artworks for my band. Then, I really started developing an interest for editing and I discovered a whole community of mobile artists on Instagram. That’s pretty much where it all started. Afterward, I slowly moved on Photoshop, started to use my own photography as a complement to what I was doing and also dived in the world of 3D by getting familiar with Cinema 4D.
As for my online following, I’d say I built it by using the right hashtags and being featured by some big accounts. This really helps to bring new people to discover my work. There are also some special times where someone with a really big following shares your work. As an example, about two years ago, a popular singer from a European country that I forgot shared one of my artworks and it broug
What do you want to communicate with your work?
I try my best to evoke a concept within my pieces, or at least create awe-inspiring images. Sometimes I want to share my thoughts or ideas with my followers, sometimes I want people to be able to wander into the worlds I create and just pause for a second while they’re looking at my work.
Do you struggle to balance art with sustainability and do you find that distraction conflicting to your work?
At this moment, I can’t afford living off my art. I still need to have a full-time job and try to work on my projects during my spare time. This is something difficult to do because I need to cut time from my sleep, but I know it’s worth doing it.
What were you doing before this?
Before dabbling into digital art, I never had prior interests in visual arts before. I used to draw little comics when I was young, but not more than that. I was and I am still in an indie rock band though, since 2011. We actually just released our debut EP called Life in a Bubble (our band is called Alpha & the Van, for anyone who’d like to hear our stuff). Thus, I have to balance music and visual arts in my daily schedule, which can be really hard sometimes.
Do you work 100% digital?
I use photography sometimes but I own a digital camera so I would say I’m mostly using digital mediums in order to create my work.
You have a distinctive color palette, any particular reason?
Yes. I’d say that until the end of 2016, I was a bit against Instagram feeds that would have a specific color palette. I thought that one restricts herself/himself by always using the same colors. Then I changed my mind. I thought that it could actually be a nice idea to try that. I chose to go with a palette consisting of blue, pink, purple and orange. Since I started to find my own color palette, it really helped me to refine my style and grow my own visual identity. I might change it in a near future, who knows, but right now I feel like I am satisfied with what I do more than ever before.
I saw you collaborated with Dorian
Legret, how did that come about? What other creatives do you want to create with?
I knew Dorian for several months before working on our very first collaboration back in January. He’s right now one of my good ‘’Internet friends’’ and he inspires me a lot. For our second collaboration (Premier Regard), Dorian actually told me to send him some shots of mine so we could work on something new. He edited my original shot first then sent it back to me so I could refine it. It was such an easy process so I really look forward to collaborating again with him soon.
Oh boy, that’s a tough question. There are SO many artists that I really like right now. I always love discovering talented people. It inspires me a lot and drives me to create and become better every day. Here’s a list of the creatives I’d like to create with if I ever reach their skill level.
beeple_crap (one can dream, right?)
How do you differentiate yourself from other artists?
I’d say that my main strength is to create a strong mood in most of my pieces. Carefully using colours, contrasts, and scale, I always try to be true to myself and craft something original.
Who inspires you?
As I said above, I am inspired by lots of different artists. The list above is a good representation of the artists who inspire me the most, but here are a few that I could add! (I already worked with some of them in the past)
(I surely forgot a great bunch of names)
Let’s talk product collaborations. Is there any particular brand, fashion designers, products you would be interested in working with?
I never really thought of product collaborations before, but I know that Nike often collaborates with artists to showcase their products. I think working for them could be really nice. I’d also love working on something for Adobe, that would be insane! Other than that, if ever a company approaches me to work with them, I’m pretty sure I’d be glad to participate if I like what they are offering.
Has the internet & social media contributed to your successes? How so?
Well, I have no other choice than saying yes! I mostly show my work to the rest of the world using social platforms like Instagram, Behance and Facebook. It therefore brought me many opportunities already throughout my journey. Thanks to how easy it is to connect with people on these platforms, I met so many awesome people from around the world and even had the chance to meet some of them in person.
Another important factor to build a successful project is to work really hard. Nothing will happen if you’re lazy. The internet offers you a potential audience, so the way to go is to keep working on your art and trying to get it out there the best you can. We, as artists, are lucky to benefit from these platforms and tools that are available to us so we must take the best out of them!
What are your top 3 tips for those looking to get their name out there?
Keep learning: try to expand your skill set. Learn other mediums. Try to combine them afterwards. It is crucial to know that there will always be something to learn you will always have to improve yourself in many ways.
Be consistent: I think the key to get noticed by people is to be consistent. It is something I noticed with my work too. Whenever I’m less active on my Instagram, let’s say when I’m on vacation, I clearly see how everything becomes stagnant on my page. I don’t think it is ‘’necessary’’ to post every day, but it is surely the best way to be consistent. Quality is crucial, but quantity is also important on social medias.
Connect with people: it is important to build a network. Try to find people who inspire you. Follow their work, comment on their posts, send them a message if you want too. Sometimes you’ll build great friendships with other artists that will become valuable over time.
What’s your ideal day like?
An ideal day for me is when I have the whole day to myself and I can learn something new to improve myself or create an artwork from start to finish. Sometimes I prefer having a good time with my friends and family!
What’s your favorite sound, smell, and sound?
Favorite sound: the sound you hear in a calm forest when there’s a small breeze outside.
Favorite smell: those smells that bring me back to a blurry childhood memory.
What’s next for you?
Right now I can’t tell what’s next for me. It’s still blurry to me haha! At this moment, I need to finish my bachelor degree in graphic design unless something big happens. I’d say my main goal is to be able to freelance and find a sustainability with my art.
I’d love to work in the music industry and create visuals for artists that I like. Until that day I just plan on creating artworks more often and refining my skills by learning more about 3D.
Thanks a lot for this interview, it’s always fun to think and reflect on myself and my projects like that. If anyone reading this is also creating digital art or just interested in that field, feel free to contact me via my Instagram page, it will be a pleasure for me to reply if you have any questions!
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