One-on-one with Antoine Dupont Issalys

Today Boneshaker presents you Antoine Dupont Issalys who contributed his wonderful art to the second volume of Encounters with the Imaginary ! Checkout Antoine’s website for more beautiful art !

What’s your background?

I pretty much was a very creative child and very quick took a liking to drawing. I’ve studied in graphic design for 3 years in college, but even then I knew that illustration was the thing I really wanted to do. I then took an illustration mentorship … and we’re back to present day! I’m currently a freelance fantasy illustrator with a focus on characters.

Fae of the Thornguard

What got you interested in the arts to begin with?

Always was rather inclined towards drawing, but one day I received old D&D manuals from a relative and the illustrations in it really made me excited about this fantasy world they were depicting. I think it influenced me in my decision of being a fantasy artist. I want to give someone those exciting feelings of fantastical places and characters.

When did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?

I’d say around when I started college. I joined an art community online and started to work on digital painting!

Do you remember the first piece of art you made that you were really proud of? The one that made you say “yes I am an artist!”

I don’t remember a specific piece, but I started getting really pumped when I overcame my fear of doing backgrounds. It was like « Oh,turns out I CAN do that! I just had to sit down and do it »

Jielith of the tempest

Do you ever feel like giving up and doing something else? If so, why and how have you overcome that feeling?

Sometimes it happens! Especially as a beginner in the industry it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong here with all those incredible artists around. But It always passes, because I just can’t see myself doing anything else. I just love art way too much!

What themes/ideas do you pursue?

I’m a fantasy artist through and through. I love the classic fantasy feel but I do try to inject my own identity into my pieces. Some pieces I do are darker than others, but in the end what I want most is to create fantastical worlds, because stimulating imagination and that feeling of escapism is very important to me.

Myriani, Treasure Hunter

What advice would you have given yourself ten years ago?

Something along the lines of “Stop being so afraid of doing the hard stuff. Just grab a pencil and try things. You’ll be surprised of what you can do and you’ll learn so much while feeling much more freedom”

How do you keep your creative spark? What keeps you motivated?

My tip for staying in shape creatively is to keep a sketchbook at hands and to fill it with doodles and idea. I try not to force myself to make the prettiest drawings, but to try to put down the ideas. It can be designs, compositions or story ideas, having them on paper makes me excited to work them into full illustrations later.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

« Loosen up! » for sure. When growing and learning it’s so easy to get caught up in the rules and it can stiffen you which often results in less creative work. Loosening up doesn’t mean skipping out on fundamentals but letting yourself have fun in the process and expressing yourself will help your pieces have more heart.

Shadow-Wisp Fae

Professionally, what’s your goal?

Would love doing illustrations for stuff like tabletop rpgs or other boardgames/card games. With those games where the players use their brains to visualise most of what happens, making art to spark their imagination sounds very rewarding to me!


What does visual storytelling mean to you?

I absolutely love visual storytelling. When you tell a story through an image, it can communicate so many different things through subtle little details, like using hints of a color to evoke mystery in an image. We don’t say that an image is worth a thousand words for nothing. I find it very exciting.

What was your first step towards being a professional?

Beside getting a portfolio ready, I’d say that the most important step I made was to start talking to people and find the courage to seize opportunities. Confidence will go a long way sometimes!

A Friend’s Trust

What’s your main challenge when beginning a new piece of art?

The main obstacle for me in a piece is usually to find a part i’m really excited about painting. That part of an image that makes you thrilled to paint and drives you to finish the image. Once I find that, the painting usually becomes much less tedious.

Would you eat the moon if it were made of spare ribs?

There is only one correct answer to this question and that answer is YES.


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