In this spotlight, we asked artists Francoise Beuzelin & Falk Haensel to tell us a bit about the background of their cover for this issue of Lightspeed, “Life.”
Will you tell us a little about how this piece came to be?
Francoise Beuzelin: Falk and I met on an oekaki board, and we felt it could be nice to do a collaboration as we enjoyed each other’s work.
Falk Haensel: It was one of my first digital collaborations with another artist. We met us through online art community websites, talked a bit and decided to make a collaboration painting. Good thing about these collaborations is that you never know how the final piece will look like because it’s a very free process. We did not decide what we’ll paint, we did let it develop and the result was this painting in the end.
What is the collaborative process like? How do you decide who does what, and what is the process of creating alongside another person like?
FB: Falk started this collaboration; he just threw in some colors with a face sketch, and from there we shared the steps. He sent me this first step via email, that I edited the way I pleased, sent him my step and so on. We have a golden rule when we collaborate; let the other change whatever they want when it’s their turn; even if the change is really big, it wouldn’t matter. We added elements little by little, editing others until we came with the final piece.
FH: So one starts just a painting but doesn´t paint much. It would be enough if you would just block in some colourshapes into the canvas. Then you send it over and the other person tries to see something in it and continues painting on it a bit and sends it over again. That the way a more clear picture develops. Usually the canvas is much larger in the end than at the beginning and more and more ideas would be added. Like Francois said, we have one rule in these collaborations: “Don’t hesitate to change whatever you want in your step, and don’t be mad about your partner if s/he overpainted something you painted.” It’s always exciting to collaborate in that way with someone. Its exciting to receive each step and see what was changed. It’s a very free process.
Where do you both draw inspiration from?
FB: A lot of things … Anything can be an inspiration really. Music, a random sound, colors, objects … For this piece in particular I was listening a lot to “Un bel dì vedremo” from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
FH: My inspiration is all the experience I find in life, and how its processed in my mind and feelings.
What appeals to you about working with futuristic/science fictional concepts?
FB: It’s usually not really my favorite subject; the piece just turned out to be SF-ish. Ultimately, it is a mix of what we both like, I believe, in terms or subjects and colors.
FH: And to be honest, I think it’s more a coincidence that my paintings have a science fictional concept. I don’t initially think during painting that this will be a SF picture upon completion, but I am always fascinated with the contrast of organic (alive) and mechanic (dead) things on our earth and how they both are somewhat connected. For other paintings I just painted something that was fun for me to paint; they don’t always have a meaning and sometimes, I wouldn’t think of them in a science fiction context. More fantasy.
Also, I connect with the concept “science fiction” more as another possible real alternative earth/reality. My pieces as science fiction are fairly unrealistic, and possibly more fantasy. I would argue that science fiction doesn´t mean for me just robots, but a connection to our reality; otherwise its fantasy.
Any ideas for another collaborative project at this time?
FB: Nothing planned for now; hopefully we will do another one in the future!
FH: And I’d like to do many more collaborations, in a similar way as how I’ve managed to do with some artists so far. It is a nice experience, and each time different and very motivating. Perhaps I will be lucky, and find more time and people who would be willing to collaborate with me.
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