Interview with Marc Simonetti: Layers of Storytelling

Marc Simonetti

Breakfast Disruption by Marc Simonetti

Marc Simonetti is a multi-award French concept artist/ illustrator, who worked on movies like Frank Herbert’s Dune and at video game companies including EA and Square Enix. Simonetti is most notable for the creation of the visual ‘Iron Throne’ on the cover of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' by George R. R. Martin. In his work, Simonetti provides complexity, richness, and layering inspired by French artists such as Manet and the masters of Landscape such as Thomas Coleman.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I wouldn't describe it, to be honest.

My style is a part of who am I, how I feel and what I think at a given time. I love some other artists' works, but it would be completely impossible for me to make the same pieces because I can only do with what I am.
That said, it's also a result of my path in art, starting with visiting museums, then working for book covers, video games and movies.

What do you think the importance of Art History is in the NFT space and your work?

Art history has a major importance in all the field of arts. There's a saying that we stand on the shoulders of giants.
To be able to create something just slightly new, I find it crucial to know what has been done before, and make it mine, integrating it to my visual library and think about it. Now NFT can be anyhting : sounds, video, pictures, 3d, anything digital, meaning that it would be interesting to use that freedom and put it to the test.

Who and what are your key influences?

I've got so many of them, in a wide spectrum, from Zdzisław Beksiński, to Jean Giraud « Moebius », from Caravaggio to Alberto Mielgo, Kris Kuski, Jeremy Mann and Phil Hale...

And that's just for the pictural side of things, I'm inspired as well by sculptors, musicians, writers, animators... I love feeding my brain with art !

Could you talk us through the process of making? What’s going on in the image?

I often start with an idea or a feeling, that I try to keep in mind for the whole process. Then I start sculpting in VR, shapes and volumes, trying to create a composition that fits it.

This is a very important step as it will settle all the bases of the picture. Sometimes I start first with a fast drawing, to be sure to organize myself well, Then I render the 3d sculpture, adding materials, textures, lighting, sometimes mist... And then I can paint above this to add the details, or remove the noise, I feel like I'm continuing the sculpting process but in photohsop this time, until everything « clicks » together, and I feel that the piece is complete.

What’s the overall idea/concept that you try to get across in this NFT and also in the rest of your work?

In that NFT, I wanted to express my feeling of losing all my landmarks. These times, I felt like everything I've always taken for granted were not sure anymore, like if the ground wasn't solid. I realised my whole world was a puzzle created in my mind, an acceptance of an arbitrary organisation of my universe. That's why I created this piece, that family is having a breakfast in an incredible setting. I try to convey my feeling toward our world, the relationships between us humans, between us and our enviromnent.

What’s the relationship between the subject and the aesthetic style of your work?

The subject is always there as a subtext. I always try to attract the eyes with a strong composition and then to keep it inside by adding several layers of small stories and details, thus the syle of my work.
I think that this small moment when someone is looking at my pieces, is very precious. This is a small moment of eternity, a moment when that person connects with the subject, or just lose consciousness of what's around, even if that's just for a few seconds.

How did you get into NFTs?

I discovered it seeing the success of my friend Ben Mauro, and then Beeple. I joined the train like a lot of people in February 2021, and I stayed because I found something very precious : an artistic freedom.

How do you see the relationship between NFTs and concept art and the traditional art world developing over the next few years?

Before, I would say that there wasn't any gate between concept art and fine art at all. As a concept artist and Book cover artist, there wasn't that much space for me to hope one day to able to have my work exposed in a gallery. NFTs have legitimized our art as fine art as well, and this is a big deal. It also helped many artists living from their personal art as well.
NFTs really empower the artists. I think they also helped traditional artists gaining a far wider audience. I think that the quality will continue rising, and that we will see many new way of using the huge possibilities of NFTs.

Who are your favourite artists in the NFT space?

I've got so many friends artists tremendously talented that I will forget some....
Emmanuel Shiu, Mari (Madmaraca), Nekro, Clement Mor, Wayne Haag, Paul Reid, Trevor Jones, Raphael Lacoste, Victor Duarte, Marcel Deneuve, James Jean, Zhuk, Rebellicca, Nikolina Petolas, Tony Babel... To name just a few...

What are three words that you think will define the world of NFTs in 2022?

Freedom, positivity, inspiration

What do you want the viewer to take away when looking at this NFT?

I want the viewer to get lost in it for a few moment, and get with it a feeling of eerie, of vertigo, of uncertainty...

Find Marc Simonetti's newest NFT Breakfast Disruption here.

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