2/13/2016

Interview with artist Senyphine (2016)

Short Introduction

The female french freelance ilustrator cover & concept artist Senyphine works on a wide variety of fields. She is active in the character design as well as in environmental art, kid's art, comic strips, tattoo design and album covers. Her paintings speak of a very own language and breathe a own atmosphere. That's why I wanted to take a closer look upon the person behind the paintings and here is some nice look behind the scenes and explanation on her diverse portfolio of art.

A portrait of Senyphine, (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission

Contact Data

If you would like to get in touch with Senyphine please use one of the links given below:

Website : http://www.senyphine.com
Facebook fan page  : https://www.facebook.com/senyphine
DeviantArt : http://senyphine.deviantart.com
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/senyphine
Twitter : https://twitter.com/senyphine
Pinterest : https://fr.pinterest.com/senyphine

The Interview

Heavy Metal Underdogs: How did you start with painting? Was there something in your life that gave a initial start to this?

Senyphine: For as long as I can remember, I always drew and I never stopped drawing. Painting is cathartic for me. It helps me to turn bad feelings such as anguish or stress into a drawing. Very early and still today, I was fond of comic books, halloween / vampire legends and animation movies (Miyazaki, Tim Burton) and all of this influenced me a lot. Before living from my art, I worked in a metal / gothic record store and I naturally started to collaborate with musicians to design CD Artwork. The initial start was the album « Dusk and a embrace » from Cradle Of Filth. It was not a painting but I really liked the atmosphere that emerged from it. Also I admired ( and I still do) the work of Travis Smith ( Katatonia, Amorphis…)

This is the cover of the album The Great Promenade of Fools & Ghosts of the  Alternative / Musical Mischief / Psychedelic Punk Cabaret band MARQUIS OF VAUDEVILLE, from Dallas, TEXAS (USA) released in 2012. (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission


How do you go along when it comes to creating a new picture?

Working for a variety of projects, the process is always different. If it is a commissioned work, I have the initial idea given by the client (the universe, history, the structure of the project). I started with rough sketch and I modified it according to the feedbacks in order to closely fit to the project. It is a real collaboration.
If it is a personal work, It is quite different as I have only an idea or just a feeling as a starting point. The details or the colors can change till the very end as I do not plan anything when I paint.

Having looked through your artist booklet (portfolio) on DeviantArt (the link opens a new browser window that directly displays the portfolio) seems that besides cover for music you also set a focus on computer games and illustrations for books for children. How did it all come together? Do you maybe also play computer games from time to time?

You are right, I work on a variety of projects and mostly on book cover and children’s book.   I have sometimes the opportunity to illustrate computer game but I don’t have much time to play to it  ;)  I think that it is a good thing to work on various  projects because you go outside of your conform zone, you push the limits, learn new techniques that you are going to adapt or use on another project. It improves your skill and it is also very helpful to step back on your work.

Picture of the unreleased browser game HEXAL, (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission


Which painting techniques do you prefer? It seems to me as if you prefer a very fine and detailed look upon pictures when creating them - there's a lot of dedication to details in your work.

I was first exclusively a traditional artist and then I learned to use digital media. Mixing all the traditional mediums, numerated textures and playing with the layers on Photoshop. I always start to draw, paint (pen, ink, charcoal pen, watercolors, acrylic painting) and finish all the details on Photoshop with a Wacom Cintiq tablet.
It is a way for me to explore all the possibilities of each medium and to get the effect that will better fit to the mood. The colors depend on the atmosphere I want to give to the illustrations. The atmosphere is the most important element of my work because it is the very essence of it. And when I find it, I can focus on all the details of the picture.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Everywhere, I am curious. I get some inspiration from old legends about witches, Halloween, but also by Tim Burton's movie or by the books of Lovecraft and A.E POE, mangos, Comics, DeviantArt (web), street art.…  My travels through Spain, Egypt, Bali, Germany, England, Canada have all influenced my work in the designs of the houses, trees, perspective....For example, the picture "The Raven" has been painted just after my travel to Egypt. The position of the raven (profile) is reminiscent of Egyptian paintings. The shade of the house in the background was directly inspired by the city of Cairo; you can hardly see the houses there because of the pollution all these elements are inspired by the poem of E. A. Poe.

The Raven (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission


Do you favor steampunk or other styles of art?

I have a passion for Leonard De Vinci and its wonderful flying machines and I like Jules Verne too.  So, when I paint personal work I usually design some steampunk  machines and characters. So, let’s say that I favor Steampunk style

The proportions of persons you paint are also often different to those in real life. Do you like the people to focus on the face rather than on other parts of a person or other elements in the picture?

No, I prefer that the people focus on the whole picture and the story / message conveys through it. I like to give a eerie atmosphere to my work, painting dreamlike landcapes or odd characters close to the fairy tales, children’s tales and fantasy litterature. So the caricature is a  good way to twist the reality and to enhance the pose and the facial expression of the character.

This a painting of the musicians of the band MARQUIS OF VAUDEVILLE  in a dandy zombie style included inside the booklet. (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission


Contact Data

If you would like to get in touch with Senyphine please use one of the links given below:

Website : http://www.senyphine.com
Facebook fan page  : https://www.facebook.com/senyphine
DeviantArt : http://senyphine.deviantart.com
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/senyphine
Twitter : https://twitter.com/senyphine
Pinterest : https://fr.pinterest.com/senyphine

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