Graphic Designer Freddy Bernard (hailing from the French West Indies and currently residing in France) has made an impression on social media sites like Tumblr and Instagram with his humanizations of characters from Disney's classic film, "The Lion King". With an impressive and believable depiction of these beloved characters, Freddy showcases his outstanding talent and love for the timeless source material he was compelled to reimagine.
Inspired by comic books and Disney films, the artist has created an interesting aesthetic that juxtaposes the elements found in contemporary comic books with his own personal energy and style.
Freddy was kind enough to share some information about his inspirations and goals as an artist.
Prox: Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and what sparked your interest in art?
Freddy: Hello, I am a Graphic Designer from the French West Indies currently living in France.
My interest in art started at a very young age because of Walt Disney films and comic books. I was impressed by the idea that someone could create an entire world with just the tip of a pencil and being the awkward kid (a loner), I use to spend my time drawing and it just became a part me.
Prox: Who were some artists (painting, film, music, etc) that influenced you growing up? What are some elements from other artists that you like to incorporate into your own pieces?
Freddy: As I said before, Disney's The Little Mermaid was a huge influence, but many more influences came from video games and movies. The Final Fantasy series and the vibrant colors of 80’s and 90’s movies had a big impact as well.
Prox: What were some of your greatest challenges as you developed your talents and aesthetic?
Freddy: It was to have my own style and the ability to be realistic, but not so much so that I lose the fantasy.
Prox: The Lion King portraits in which you depicted what you think Scar and Simba would look like as humans have gained some serious attention in the internet art community. How did you come up with this idea and do you plan on continuing this series with other films?
Freddy: I always wondered how they would have looked in human form and if Disney would ever make a live action version of it. I started imagining what they would look like beginning with Scar and primarily focusing on the movie, but taking note of the Broadway cast. I really wanted to capture the deadly way Scar looks. I am planning on finishing the Lion King cast (working on the Hyenas now).
And sure, I would try this with other movies or other non-human characters.
Prox: What are some of your favorite pieces that you’ve done so far?
Freddy: I am very critical of myself so I would say none but if I had to pick one, i'd say the human Simba.
Prox: To you, what does art do for us as a species? Why do you think art seems to be so relatable and resonant with so many people regardless of race, background, gender, etc?
Freddy: Art is like a safe zone, it makes us remember that we are all the same and we can all wonder and dream. I think it's also the fact that a piece of art (music, painting, and other mediums) will always bring forth memories and emotions.
Prox: What is your dream and ultimate goal as an artist? What would you like to be able to do with your creations? Do you just want to be rich and famous or is there more to it?
Freddy: To be a character designer for movies and video games would be the best, but for now my goal is to start working a graphic novel. I always wanted to do one, but was never good enough, so I will keep working at it.
Prox: Who are some of your favorite contemporary artists?
Freddy: Yoshitaka Amano, Ashley Wood, and David LaChapelle are some of my favorites.
Prox: Favorite hobbies?
Freddy: Playing video games online with friends and cooking. Most of my other hobbies are related to my art or work and studying tutorials. I also like reading articles on graphic design, the arts, and sketching.
Prox: Tips for aspiring artists?
Freddy: Keep working, keep practicing. Don't get lost in what people want, but do what you want and how you want it.
Prox: Information on upcoming releases and projects?
Freddy: Right now, I am working on an artbook with my friend. I can't say too much about it, but can show you the piece I am working on now.
You can learn more about Freddie and follow him, here.
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