BANG & OLUFSEN - THE ART OF SOUND
The cult Danish brand Bang & Olufsen commissioned me to revist their range of Beoplay headphones.
Here is the Q&A :
Can you tell us a little about your brief from B&O and how you responded to it?
I found that it was very interesting to have to create three visuals with different atmospheres and to seek to characterize them with characters who would convey the sensations that we feel when we are immersed in the experience of sound and music.
I drew from my memories of sounds experience I had during my trips in Japan.
What different characteristics did you want to highlight in the three different headphone models?
For each headphones I wanted to highlight the sensations, the feelings that the sound can give you and reflect them through the expressions and attitudes of the characters, whether it's the cheerfulness that can be experienced while playing video games, the intensity that music can make us feel during a trip or the appeasement and disconnection with reality when the sound immerses us.
How would you describe your style?
A mix between Manga, American Comics, «Ligne Claire », Space Age and Op Art.
There is a vibrancy and strong use of colour in your work – do you think this translates well for the world of music?
Music has always been a big part in my life, Since I’m a kid I’ve always been captivated by album artworks, who made them etc … and I think my work is heavily influenced by music. I made a couple of album artworks and I love working with bands and musicians, to capture their own universes and translate them with my drawing style.
Are there any particular artists who have influenced your work?
Lot of artist influenced my work to name a few :
Suehiro Maruo, Shigeo Ito, Yoshikazu Ebisu, Jack Kirby, Osamu Tezuka, Koichi Sato, Masamune Shirow, Alex Toth, Tiger Tateishi, Joost Swarte, Rumiko Takahashi, Guy Billout, Tadanori Yokoo, Katsuhiro Otomo.
What’s the best advice anyone has given , ou?
I think it is my grandfather implicitly, how he lived. He taught me to be happy by being satisfied with little and to know how to cherish every moment of life while keeping my freedom no matter what.
What music do you like to listen to yourself while you work?
I love listening to music while I’m working mostly ambiant music, instrumental stuff.
Are there specific music genres that you find are better for getting yourself ‘into the zone’?
I would say Avant Garde, Minimal, experimental music, one specific album by Steve Reich « Music for 18 musicians. Also Shoegaze, I saw live My Bloody Valentine a couple of times, and the wall of sound they manage to create on stage takes me away every time.
Can you talk us through some of the tracks you included in your playlist?
Test Pattern is a Japanese band from the 80’s produced by Hosono, this one is one of my favorite track of their album.
Babylon is a cover of Oneothrix Point Never by Alex G that I love to listen I think that the mix of their two very different universes creates something really special. There is another song in the playlist by Alex G «Snot » that I love.
IAO is a downtempo Experimental band from the 80/90’s, I love listening to this track while I’m working.
Strawberry Switchblade is one of my favorite Ethereal band I found the record in Japan during my last trip.
I love this song by Rick Cuevas, he was part of a really great Los Angeles band in the 80’s called Zru Vogue, their record is a Post-Punk classic.
Surfing and 2814 are two of my favorite Vaporwave bands, I find that both capture in their own way the romantic feeling of urban loneliness.
The track of Flipper’s Guitar a 90’s band from the Shibuya, Tokyo is a beautiful tribute to My Bloody Valentine, It's a song I listen to very often. I put in this playlist another track of Shoegaze that I love, a classic by Slowdive.
Dean Blunt ’s Black Metal II latest album is one of the records released this year that I liked the most, this album is more pop than his previous ones, I find that he is an artist who manages to reinvent himself all the time while keeping a very clear artistic line since the beginning.
The Broadcast and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band are songs that that I listen to very often, I find them beautiful, romantic and inspiring when I I’m working.
I've been listening to a lot of Ryuichi Sakamoto's music lately, this track is part of an album that I particularly like which is both pop and very experimental, a mix that he is one of the only ones to manage create so wonderfully.
What values do you think you share with B&O (ie in terms of attitude towards creativity, craftsmanship, material etc)?
I've always liked B&O products, their design, their materials, their aesthetics. I think what brings me the closest to the B&O universe are the proportions of their design, it was a real pleasure to draw the headphones and integrate them into the characters.
Which do you prefer – the process of creating your art or arriving at the end result?
I think I like both, I love to draw, but if I had to choose one over the other I would choose arriving at the end result, it's very satisfying, and I like the idea that the visuals can live their own life independently.
When and where are you happiest?
During my trips in Japan.