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Waterfront Festival

Under Cover Artist: Fabrice Gagos

1 June 19 interview: LeftLion

LeftLion Photography Editor Fabrice Gagos gives us the lowdown on this issue's mush...

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I'm French, and I was born the same year as Dawn of the Dead and Halloween. I grew up in an unremarkable environment, so to make life more interesting I started telling stories. My background is in the comics industry, but I decided to focus on writing when I arrived in the UK, so started a journalism course. For my first assessment I needed some pictures. I had an old camera I didn't know how to use and the results were awful. So, I started learning how to use a camera and discovered photography as a way to tell stories with way less work than drawing or painting.  

Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on in the past...
I once started an independent label focused on horror comics and books, and self-published two artbooks. One gathered my personal works from the past few years, the other was a short horror story featuring monster designs painted both digitally and with acrylic on canvas. Before that, I started my own comic about a bunch of metalheads fighting a mesopotamian curse in a church.

What was the inspiration behind this issue’s cover?
I knew this issue would have a “film” theme, so I asked Ash [Ed] if I could do the cover, and suggested a photograph at Broadway, including film-related people from Nottingham. Although managing to gather very busy people at the same time seemed unlikely, when we met to talk about the project, we came up with the idea of making it a collaborative piece involving LeftLion illustrators.

How does it compare with other projects you’ve created?
It feels logical to mix illustration and photography. I’ve never drawn ‘real people’ before, and the fact that I'm doing this as my first real project since I arrived in the UK is quite symbolic, since I'm also transitioning from painting to photography.

What sort of reaction does your work usually get?
Illustration-wise, people either love it or hate it. I love to play with the macabre, and in France people think you must be a bit deranged to draw horror and gory stuff.

What are some of the obstacles you have to overcome with creating your work?
Starting, staying focused and finishing. That's also why I like photography, it's pretty straightforward. Although you need to interact with people, and I'm full of anxiety, but I'm working on it - I think it's worth the effort.

Fabrice Gagos website

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