You state that you are not concerned about style. You have really developed a styled language that you use for your work in the past two or so years. Do you feel any pressure to do work within that style ever? Style doesn’t come first. When I start working on something, I don’t think ‘oh I should try to use rounded shapes with this color etc.’, I just experiment different things, different tools (photography, vectors, drawing) and I see what happens. That’s why I don’t feel any pressure of any kind. In the future I would like to learn a 3D software, to use more drawing, to mix more and more techniques.
What has been your favorite project and why? I liked working on “L’Arbre Genialogique,” a comic book I made last year. It wasn’t the first time I created characters, but it was the first time I gave them a personality and feelings. And I must say that was magic, because I had so much fun while I was writing and drawing the story. It’s obviously a very different feeling when I’m doing graphic design. When I started it, I didn’t have a clue about if I was able to find a good story, and after a couple a pages, I got the idea. For each page I tried to come up with something surprising, funny.
What keeps you going and motivated from project to project? Trying to get the extra little thing that makes an image a little bit different from what I’ve done before. I want to surprise myself and to have some fun. The best way to get surprised is to mix techniques, for example, illustration and photography. Since any image ends up on a computer, of course, the temptation is strong to mix different tools. The frontier between illustration, typography and photography is melting more and more. Typography can be treated like photo, I can add a drawing on the photo, it’s 100% freedom. It’s getting very interesting now and it’s very easy. But it’s not new. When one sees an issue of the American magazine Fortune from the 1950’s, there were some fantastic spreads with a mix of graphics and photography, it’s very spectacular, especially because at that time they didn’t have any tools to visualize the final result.
If you could stop doing client work, would you? Or do you find client work is necessary both creatively and finically? I think client work is necessary for me because most of the time I’m obliged to make things that I wouldn’t have made and it’s a good way to learn new skills or new ways of seeing. I guess it’s because I’m also a graphic designer, I’m used to dealing with the client’s wishes. But of course it’s important to work with the right clients, and it’s not so easy to find the right ones.
What projects are you currently working on? Some illustrations for commercials. When I’m finished, I want to make an experimental video with Pleix and my second comic book.
Do you have any hobbies? Paintball, parachute jumping, bunji jumping, sky diving, boxing. No seriously, I spend my free time with friends, traveling and meditating. I also enjoy TV, movies, exhibitions and bookshops.
Have you ever shopped for reptiles? Actually yes! It was a long time ago, at a flea market I found a stuffed lizard, 50 cm length, some legs were broken, so I decided to customize it, to replace the missing parts with metallic or plastic elements and to add a kind of engine on his back. I painted the whole thing in grey. The final result is interesting, it’s like a Robocop lizard.
About Genevieve Gauckler
Born in 1967 in Lyon, France. Graduated the ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) in 1991 in Paris.
Geneviève Gauckler is a Paris based artist who creates numerous lovable characters, blends them into everyday life scenes and turns the fantastical world into reality with her magical power. She has an evident taste for simple, colorful shapes. She’s into everything and constantly amazed, handling and creating images and shapes with dexterity and innocence. Geneviève Gauckler can look back on broad experience in the field of graphic design, illustration and art direction.
Starting with french record label F Communications (Laurent Garnier, St Germain) she later worked with directors Kuntzel & Deygas on promos for Dimitri from Paris, Pierre Henry and Sparks, as well as commercials (e.g. Yves Saint Laurent’s Live Jazz), tittles for French/German cultural TV-channel Arte and some short movies. She has also art-directed the franco-nippon fanzine « Minimix ». In 1999, she was hired by the Internet company boo.com to create their online fashion magazine. While in London, she worked for the design agency Me Company, developing a number of projects for the web.
Since 2001, Geneviève has been focusing on videos (Brigitte Fontaine, some experimental videos with the collective Pleix), art (Mandala Project), illustrations for various magazines (Flaunt, Beaux-Arts Magazine, Le Figaro Japan, IDN, Form) and books (the lattest one is the book « Head, Heart and Hips » about the artists from Big Active in UK), corporate identity (Hip), character design (Pictoplasma), exhibitions (Colette stores in Paris and Tokyo), comic book (L’Arbre Génialogique), animated tittle sequences (German-French Arte Channel). Two books have been published about her work, in Japan by Gas Book and in France by Pyramyd.