1 Grisfx or François-Xavier Grislain is a French artist currently living and working in Belgium. His art caught our attention. Check out his story.
2 IHLET: We’re interested to knowing more about how did you became interested in comics and why you decided to start doing it.
Grisfx: The story began when I was 14 years old. I was reading a lot of manga books (Dragonball and Naruto essentially) so I started copying all the covers and some pages during a year at college. Before that I didn’t draw a lot, I was doing it just for art class. During school I had bad marks at normal classes, but good at art class, so I decided to try my luck in an art school at 15, in Belgium, with the idea to be mangaka. Since then, I discovered a lot of different comics, and my vision of comics book has changed. At the age of 18 I finished my first cycle of art school so I went to an art academy in Tournai, in the section “comic-book”.
3 IHLET: Would you like to share some of your experiences?
Grisfx: I have published in some comics collective, like Le Cheval de Quatre (3 numbers), Georges (3 numbers), Lazer Artzine (2 numbers), Tetaris (1 number), Appendix (for the 10 years of a Belgium comics book publisher) and some others. Also, I self-published two books, short comics in black and white, which are sold out, but I think I will publish a new version or a collection with this work and other works. I made plenty exhibitions in lot of pubs in the north of France and Belgium, but the most important was at Angoulême, at the french comics book festival, for a big exhibition on the independent Belgian comics book. Meanwhile, some of my comics and research were published on a website called Grandpapier with lot of other comics book authors. Once a year they do a ‘24 hours of Comics Book Challenge’, during which you make a 24 page comic book in 24 hours. It’s very funny and cool experience.
4 IHLET: How do you choose your subjects? What inspires you?
Grisfx: I watch lots of movies. I like Larry Clark, Harmony Korine, Wes Anderson, Neil Blomkamp… I don’t read a lot of comics, maybe two per month. My favorite authors of comics are Gipi, Christophe Blain, Ruppert & Mulot, and lot of independent belgian artists. Sometimes I watch TV just to find ideas and bullshit for my stories. I’m trying to talk about good and bad things in life. During my traveling in this world I have had the chance to hear a lot of stories based on life experience, that often I transport into my mind which adapts the content to my vision of living. Quite often, I draw with my friends while hanging out, they are a good influence (Pierre Dheur, Monsieur Pimpant, Brice Dumas, and other, you can find their link on my website)
5 IHLET: What other interests you have besides drawing comics?
Grisfx: I began to make music at 20 years old, but it takes me a lot of time, and I draw less sometimes because of this. I always listen to music when I draw, so the groups that really inspire me are Nosaj Thing, Flying Lotus, Boards of Canada, Shlohmo, Marvin Gaye, and Donny Hathaway. I make a kind of hip hop ambient. I have two bands project, one with B.A.R.T, a belgian friend who raps in english and the second one called PIEGRIS with Andreea, my girlfriend.
6 IHLET: Any future plans or projects that you would like to share?
Grisfx: Now I’m beginning work on a 200 page comic book, normally it will be published in 2013 (I don’t know when) and I will be still publishing in different collective of short comics. I’m also working on a new album called ‘Cloud Tape’ which it will be out in December. I have created an independent music label, Kus Mn Kloot Record with guys from all around the world. At the moment we have 10 albums (and 2 of mine), we try to post one album per month, they are all in free listening, and free download. I am also involved in a music collective called SoundCheck Collective. Their first compilation is out since the 1st of December in free download. The label was created in 2011 by electronic music addicts. Soundcheck Collective makes every effort to promote all the new “Beats and Bass” movement which is growing every day on the web. Blog, Party, Mixes, Compilations and more.