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Folio illustration agency, established London 1976
 

In the Studio: Xavier Casalta

France

A graduate of visual communication, Xavier has been working as a freelance hand lettering and illustrator for the past couple of years. With a handcrafted, very stippling, technique he will create his illustrations out of millions of handmade dots.

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What influenced you in the direction of your distinct stippling style?

I found this technique while I was studying and discovered a video from the artist Miguel Endara, in which he shows his creation process. Loved it, and I decided to give it a try!

What are your favourite pens to draw with?

I only use one pen, an Isograph 0.10mm from rOtring.

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

I would say the computer, which allows me to listen to music all day and keep the concentration high. Then my architect desk that allows me to be really comfortable when I draw. I wouldn't be able to spend 10/12 hours a day doing my dots if I wasn't comfortable as I am here. And finally I would say the light. I use a really strong light bulb that is twice more efficient than daylight. I can draw at night without having any trouble with my eyes, which is really important I guess!

What do you do when you first approach a drawing?

I think a lot, certainly a few weeks, before I finally decide to start sketching. I need to be sure of what I'll create as I often spend months on the same piece.

What is the longest you have spent inking on a single illustration?

It was the "Into the wild" piece, which took almost 400 hours of inking.

Which project to date has tested your style and working method?

(Not sure that I totally understood this question) I think the one I'm currently working on. It is about creating four pieces that will represent the four seasons. Each piece will take around 400/500 hours of inking. I'm trying to get a high quality render for this project and will certainly be the biggest project I ever did.

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

I would say CJ Hendry. I'm in love with her work!

You predominately work in black and white, have you tried experimenting with colour and other working methods?

Not really. I did try the colors with my "Watercolor alphabet". But it was more an experimentation than anything else.

What is your favourite project to date?

I think "The Creative Alphabet" was great as I had the chance to experiment many different styles of letters. As the letters were quite small, I only spent 2/3 days on each one and my days were always different.

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