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Behind “Monsieur B” we find Benoit. He lives in Narbonne in Aude [France]. He is a tattoo artist and a illustrator. In life, his passions are drawing and… that’s enough for him ;-).
OJL : Hello Mr. B.
Monsieur B : Hello.
OJL : Four quick questions before getting to the heart of the matter. As you live in Narbonne, can you tell us what your favourite café is there ?
Monsieur B : “Le Rive Gauche”, a friendly place that exudes good humour, no matter the time of day.
OJL : And what is your favourite park or place ?
Monsieur B : I like “La Clape”. A corner of scrubland classified between the city and the sea. I love the smell of pine trees and there are often magnificent panoramas on which we can take the time to peacefully marvel.
OJL : Next, what was the last book you read ? And the last song you listened to ?
Monsieur B : _Regarding to the book : Probably “Empire of the Ants” by Bernard Werber.
_Regarding to the song: I listen to music almost all day, so the last song now will no longer be valid in 3 minutes (laughs). I often alternate between neo metal and film soundtracks… For you, given the theme of your magazine, I recommend “Chevaliers of Sangreal” by Hans Zimmer. This song was used in the famous film “The Da Vinci Code”.
OJL : Good choice (wink). Finally, do you have a quote and/or proverb that you like ?
Monsieur B : “The Sun never sees his shadow” by Leonardo da Vinci. It is a sentence that everyone can understand and interpret. I find this sentence motivating. Basically, for me, this means that if you surround yourself with positivity you can get out of the ambient gloom.
OJL : Let’s talk a little about you now. How could you introduce yourself ?
Monsieur B : I am a technician who likes to draw… I do not consider myself as an artist and do not really like this designation. This is why all my drawings are figurative and leave little room for abstraction.
I worked for 13 years as a graphic designer and a artistic director in a communications agency. Then I decided to focus more on drawing by becoming a tattoo artist. On the other side, I have a communications agency focused on illustration.
OJL : Who are the artists who shaped you ? Who struck you down ?
Monsieur B : As a child, I drew a lot of manga or characters from cartoons. As a teenager, my mentor who became my friend, advised me to study anatomy to better understand the basics. He changed my vision of drawing and always pushed me to work to improve.
But the artist who had the more impact on me is Leonardo da Vinci, who revolutionized anatomy and who had an extraordinary versatility : drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, engineering… Impossible to not feel inspired by this legend.
OJL : How did you choose your pseudonym ?
Monsieur B : My initials are B.B. and I wanted people to identify the fact that I am French. “Monsieur B” was the natural choice, I didn’t want anything too eccentric in any case (laughs).
OJL : Let’s talk a little about your work now. How would you describe your style ?
Monsieur B : I love experimenting and I get bored very quickly so I don’t have a predefined style or overall consistency.
OJL : What inspires you ?
Monsieur B : I draw what inspires me and set no limits as to the subject. Even if I am very influenced by the culture of the 80s and 90s with superheroes in particular, I force myself to draw on very diverse inspirations.
OJL : What techniques do you use ?
Monsieur B : In terms of technique, I obviously like working with pencil, which remains the basis of everything and already allows you to explore many styles. I also work with charcoal, dry pastel, alcohol markers, coloured pencil, Indian ink, watercolour… in short.
Recently I started digital drawing on a tablet, which allows me to explore another facet of illustration. The result is quickly satisfactory but I constantly need to return to the unique sensation of the pencil scratching on the paper (laughs).
OJL : Do you have an anecdote about the creation of one of your products ? Or one of your sales ? Even if you have no idea, at worst, as a tattoo artist you definitely have this in store (wink).
Monsieur B : When I started tattooing, I was not aware of the therapeutic role of this practice for certain people. And that’s something that really struck me. Particularly with a client for whom it was her first piece. I had the feeling of releasing her from a weight of her past.
OJL : Last question. You definitely have friends who are doing amazing things ! If you want to promote them a little, now is the time !
Monsieur B : I would like to promote two persons :
OJL : Bravo for what you do. May Our Lady protects you.
Monsieur B : Thank you.