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EP 33 – Christian Robert de Massy – Concept Artist, and Illustrator – X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Mummy, Night at the Museum, Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This episode of Syn Studio podcast features concept artist and illustrator Christian Robert de Massy. He has done concept art for many feature movies such as X-men: Apocalypse and Days of Future Past, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mirror Mirror, The Fountain and more. He has also taught at Syn Studio and will be one of the teachers in the Syn Studio diploma program. In this podcast, we discuss what it’s like working in the film industry, his approach to creating art and how he went from being a biologist to a concept artist, all without ever having posted any art online. This podcast is well-suited for anyone wanting to draw for the film industry, regardless of your background.
“I think that that’s a bit what Concept Art comes down to very often; you do what works for you and what’s efficient in representing an idea.”
In This Episode…
Anthony and Stephen discuss with Christian about his background in science and art, and how they shaped the artist he is today.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
[00:50] – X-Men: Apocalypse – the good, the bad and Christian’s tasks as a Concept Artist for interior designs in the movie.
[06:07] – “You sit there 10 hours a day and you draw away” – Christian shares his experiences of working in movies and how working times vary with each movie.
[07:57] – “You do what you are told” – Christian describes how working in movies is different from making games.
[08:53] – How it feels to visit the sets he designs and the workflow that goes into designing them
[13:30] – The Quicksilver sequence, Days of Future Past and how much work can go into brief moments in a movie.
[16:10] – From biology to Concept Art – Christian’s journey on how he became an artist, while travelling through South Africa
[20:46] – Despite not having a presence online, Christian has become a successful Concept Artist. He tells us how it all started.
[24:40] – Movies Christian wishes he had not worked on and the changes he has experienced from Nouvelle France to X-Men Apocalypse
[28:27] – Some of Christian’s biggest inspirations: from architects, to comic artists to painters.
[32:19] – What bugs Christian about the industry, some of his favourite past projects, his work outside of movies and his personal projects in progress
[38:22] – Don’t be too afraid to say no! – Christian explains the importance of fighting the insecurity and learning to say no
[42:48] How important is lighting and the impact it has on his work
[46:25] – How teaching has impacted Christian as an artist and how it encourages him to cut down on his bad habits
[52:16] – How VR (Virtual Reality) will have an impact on movies and on society
[58:46] How travelling has helped Christian’s art, where he is off to next and why he doesn’t want to use the plane
[01:01:41] – The group talks shows, books and the end of humanity
[01:02:31] – Christian’s last bit of parting advice for people trying to break into the industry, and his Wacom tool of choice.
Links you’ll like…
- Meinert Hansen – Concept Artist / Syn Studio Teacher
- André Franquin – Comic artist
- Moebus – Jean Giraud – Comic artist
- Schiele – Painter
- Carl Larsson – Painter
- Rien Poortvliet – Painter
- Tintin – Cartoon character
- Gaston La Gaffe – Cartoon character
- The Secret of Our Success: How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich
- Collapse by Jared Diamond
- Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.