Fichtre, a particular Swiss style

Swiss artist, illustrator, and teacher at the Valais art school, Fichtre begins all his projects with sketches on paper. Between his personal and professional work, Fichtre has a particular style that you cannot miss!


Did you always know you wanted to become an artist/illustrator?

I always knew or at least wanted but it took a while before I asserted myself. It wasn’t until around  27 years old that I really decided to become an illustrator. Before that I was interested, I went to ECAL (Art school in Lausanne) and then immediately found work in an agency as a graphic designer, I did illustrations for websites. After a few years, I wasn’t very happy with what I was doing, there was something wrong with the energies. I was already doing the illustration on the side for myself and had a lot of fun doing it. At one point it became a lot of work for me alone. My work for others didn’t necessarily nourish me, and that’s why I focused on finding my style and asserting Fichtre.


How do you get inspired to produce your works?

On one hand, the works are my creations, they can come from simple ideas, illustrations, or strokes of paint. My inspiration comes from the artist that I am, there are things in contemporary art, and there is what I live. I relate a lot of things and my inspiration to my personal experiences. On the other hand, there is what I do for clients and therefore mandates. I’ll call it applied art instead, there’s one command I’m responding to. I am an illustrator artist so I come up with my vision and also my desires. What will inspire me for a mandate is that I will understand what the client wants and asks for, and try to enter their world to which I then put my artistic touch – these are two worlds that come together.


What is your artistic process? Is everything drawn by hand?

I often have a sketchbook with me, either a small notebook or a larger one. I also have an iPad, which I got only two years ago because I’m quite a fan of paper. This iPad allows me to do certain things faster so that I have a colorful final preview when I draw. I need skits, draw, and sometimes it’s just text, other than scribble – it doesn’t have to work, but it’s my way of doing research. It has to do with the tools I use: pencils, pen, and paint. My favorites are the gray pencil, Posca (liquid gouache pen), and Pentel (brush pen for making mistakes). With the Pentel I let myself lose control, that there are errors and that’s what will give a kind of grain to my style. I’m not yet mixing digital and raw material, but why not? I will experiment afterward even if my style is quite defined.

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