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Folio illustration agency, established London 1976
 

In the Studio: Bruno Mangyoku

Paris, France

Bruno Mangyoku’s striking visuals beautifully depict engaging illustrations suitable for editorial and publishing clients.

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Who and what keeps you inspired?

As a movie freak, my first reaction before I start drawing is: how to convey the appropriate intention through framing (in a cinematographic way). My initial training course is animation director, and as such, I love storyboarding. I'm deeply influenced by movie directors who take special care about framing. This goes from Stanley Kubrick to Yasujiro Ozu, Bong Joon Ho, Takeshi Kitano... More recently, I was really impressed by Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher. My other focus is 'posing' (to speak like a cartoon animator). I try to put an extra effort on character silhouettes, and how their look and attitude are relevant depending on the image's theme. To that extent, my inspiration comes from amazing artists such as Katsuhiro Otomo for his sense of power and dynamism, Daniel Clowes for his amazing skill at drawing faces and emotions, and French comic book artists like Blutch, Jake Raynal, and Christophe Blain.

Pick three things that are most valuable to you in your studio and explain to us why you have chosen those and what story there is behind them.

I'm not abnormally attached to objects. In that sense, my workspace is quite uninteresting. I don't have any fetish. So to elegantly circumvent the question, I'll say that my most valuable 'things' in my studio are my friends. I have the amazing chance to work alongside people that are dear to me.

How would you convey your illustration in five words?

Dynamic, staged, cinematic, vivid, and character focused.

Describe a typical day for you.

I arrive in my workshop around 10/10:30. I start browsing my mail, losing precious minutes on Facebook, and then, onto work! I eat lunch around 2pm, smoke a cigarette on the studio's rooftop terrace while having heated debates with my friends on various subjects, then continue my work until 7pm, with a couple of time outs playing videogames.

What are the initial stages you take when creating an illustration?

As I said earlier, I start focusing on the framing of the image, trying to reach the optimal point of view for the desired idea. I then work in black&white, and go fairly early into details, as I'm not the 'paint-with-large-strokes' kind of guy. When I come up with an idea, the drawing flows quite naturally afterwards. The tricky part is the color palette. This is the most arduous step for me, and takes most of my time.

You’re skilled in both still and moving image, which project to date, has tested your style and working method?

Every illustration I make is a test of my skills. Nothing is taken for granted, and I don't have an easy recipe, despite desperately looking for one!

If you could pick any artist/illustrator to make a collaborative piece, who would it be?

I have the great chance to be the teammate of my wonderfully skilled friend and genius illustrator Tom Haugomat, with whom I've already directed multiple animated short films and commercials. We have many projects together, including a videogame, and another movie (perhaps a feature film? Who knows?). I'd also love to collaborate with another friend of mine, Stephen Vuillemin, another genius illustrator, whose talent is unprecedented IMHO. I'm putting this guy alongside my first influences.

You predominately work in digital and vector, have you tried experimenting with styles and other working methods?

It's been a while since I've created a fully traditionally drawn/painted picture, but as a matter fact, I did experiment with gouache and acrylic for the purpose of a series of personal illustrations. This was a lot of fun to make, but also very painstaking. Not long ago I also experimented screen printing, and this was an amazing process to try. I'm thinking about trying again soon.

If you aren’t illustrating, what are you doing in your free time?

I have many interests in life besides my illustration career. First and foremost, I'm trying my best not to be a crappy dad to my 2 year old, and a lousy companion to my partner in life and mother to my daughter. I love smoking tons of cigarettes and drinking apple juice while my friends are around drinking beer. And I love videogames. I'm currently wasting precious hours on Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4 and Hearthstone (which I'm terrible at)

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