Beats & Faces

It was through Dorian Concept’s MySpace page, that I first stumbled, completely unaware, across Alice Dufay’s work. Much later, when I used her illustration for the Swede:art Podcast,  I became familiar with her work . And her great series of beatmakers from around the world, Beats & Faces, hand-drawn by Alice. Soon after, we got together for this little interview.

Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Alice Dufay, I’m an illustrator. I studied at “Ecole de beaux arts”, Art school in Caen (France). When I finished my studies i taught fine art for 6 years.

At the same time, I worked at home, making drawings, collage, textile creations for different people and supports (flyers, vinyl, book cover). Last year, I wrote and draw my first comic book  “Le temps s’écoule à la vitesse d’un escargot“. The second one is meant to be ready in 2010. Nowaday, I work in an art gallery called Oh! with 4 other illustrators and designer

Was there a moment that made you decide you’re gonna be an illustrator?
Well, I think I’m the kind of artist who is into everything. I really enjoy to work with different materials and media. When I finished Art school, I thought I wanted to be a cartoon movie maker. Actually, I didn’t really decide to be an illustrator. I think it went that way because of the proposition I had and people I met.

Who were your biggest influences and which contemporary designers do you admire?
Daily life, cinema and music. I enjoy the colours and freshness of Basquiat and Cody Hudson‘s work, I also like Martin Arnold‘s videos and his vision of the classic American cinema of the 50’s, Julien Pacaud‘s collage or Wolfgang Laib‘s minimalism.

Can you explain the concept of your Beats & Faces series and how it started?
Beats & Faces is a common project with my boyfriend Pierre (aka Fulgeance). We both wanted to put forward the new hip hop scene, new producers, new art.
I draw portraits of the beatmakers, designers , DJs, VJs that we like. There will be an exhibition soon, the first one will take place in Nice (French Riviera) and the second one in Kanazawa (Japan).

What role does music have in your life?
Music is a part of my daily life. I never had opportunity to learn music when I was a little girl, but I’ve always been into it anyway. I love to draw for musicians and I try to transcribe their universe. I really need to listen to music while I work, it inspires me and it really helps me to be creative. And, when it’s possible, I even act as myself as a DJ … or more as a selector!

Are there any other projects to look out for?
Sometimes, I make funny dolls – for example I made a Peter Digital Orchestra doll with his MPC 2000. I made the covers for Souleance, a partnership between the talented producer Fulgeance and DJ Soulist of What The Funk. I made the artwork for Fulgeance’s Smartbanging EP and I also worked, this time with collage, on the 1000Name‘s EP on Eklektik Records.

The pictures seen in this post only show a small fraction of the Beats & Faces series. Alice’s page on Flickr is probably the most convenient way to see them all, you can also visit the project’s own MySpace page. For everything else, you best stop by her blog or the previously mentioned Oh! website.

A second part to this post should follow soon, then focusing on the music behind the faces.