Cyril Rolando is a digital illustrator, known as AquaSixio. He is 28 and he’s been working as a clinical psychologist for 6 years now. Cyril is French and he lives in the southern France. His artistic approach is set between surreal and fantasy style, in one word: Otherworldly. Cyril is a fantastic illustrator and it was a real pleasure for us to take an interview with Cyril Rolando and learn some interesting facts of his biography. Happy reading to you and enjoy viewing of Cyril Rolando illustrations.
AP: Cyril, thank you very much for finding the time to give us an interview. It’s a great honor for us. Hope you’re already in a Christmas mood and preparing for the upcoming winter’s holidays. So tell us what got you started?
Cyril: I started to draw on a computer at the end of 2003, doing oekakies (お絵描き), trying to improve myself on this software and share my work with a community. I was 18. I understood quickly that I was really unable to draw with a manga style. Line-arts bothered me, and without anatomic notions, it was really hard. Some months later, I worked with photo references and tried to perform the realism. I worked with a mouse, so I was quite limited, but I met the color question and I tried to play with contrasts. After the ultra-realism time, I tried to play with the surrealism things, changing the colors, adding fantasy elements or disturbing the physical rules.
AP: What a wonderful start! Do you have any formal education in visual art or were you self-taught?
Cyril: I am a self-taught; it started like a game, a hobby. I never took art course that’s why I have few anatomy/perspective notions. I work relying on my intuition to compensate the lack of knowledge and venture into colors. I’m aware my works don’t come within the scope of a high artistic richness. I don’t want to do beautiful things, but bringing out the difficulty to catch the emotional aspect in tiny, frozen, flat colored rectangles.
AP: Cyril, your illustrations are very beautiful! What genre are your digital illustrations?
Cyril: My characters are often lost children in quest for their truth (and not THE truth). Their stories are quite sad, but the darkness of life is more inspiring than happy and safe people, in my opinion.
I “try” to avoid to go into clichés (emo-fantasy-surreal labels are popular), that’s why I often use animals, attempting to be original to speak about ordinary theme. I think humans are proud, mistrustful and self-centered (and I am a human). I want to hand over to the animals, to critic or play human roles. They don’t carry hidden symbols; this is just a return to innocence, a naive vision of the world. This is a return to childhood, where animals can speak, dreams become reality and imagination rules the world.
To exist, I paint, I use my feeling, my emotions, and sometimes, I don’t know really how I feel, maybe there is no word to translate what I feel. To conclude, I can’t create without using my moods.
AP: How would you describe your artwork?
Cyril: I have fun with a parody version of the reality: an ant carrying the Earth, an Eiffel Tower as a bloom, a lake of Champagne… I think my works like a series of photographs. They tell a story, my story, my way to understand the world or what I could say about its quaintness.
My artworks mark the different times of my life. I want to express myself, like an art therapy, my art therapy. I want to bring out pain, joy and expectations. My inspiration is focused on the global color scheme of the painting. The colors are the main way to translate my feelings. I like to add a lot of details. I am sure sometimes it’s not necessary and makes the composition heavy, but this is an important part of a rebus. More details, more way to read the picture, more chance to be lost and find oneself. There isn’t a unique way to read my picture, you can see what you want, see what you wish to see, see a part of yourself. A mirror of your feelings.
As psychologist, I meet a lot of people who are disconnected with their inside child. They are disenchanted. I am a child, even if I am adult, I try to remember, to play, to dream with this part of myself. With painting I nourish my own quest. What are the adults looking for… money, sex, power and after how to really build your individuality? It’s a part of the human maturation, age means nothing. I can be wrong, but I think to reach the real Happiness, we need to talk and play with this part inside, with an artistic activity or something which talks about you.
AP: I absolutely agree with you, Cyril. There is a quote said by Pablo Picasso which definitely proves your thoughts: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to draw your digital illustrations? Describe us a bit of your creative process.
Cyril: In 2003, I used a mouse and Photoshop 7 until 2005; I bought a Wacom Graphire3 Tablet. Since 2007, I use Photoshop CS2 and since 2012, a Wacom Intuos4M tablet (2012). I don’t know how to draw on a paper, but I think I am just too lazy to try. I make video of my work in progress, to show the process.
AP: Which artists do you use for references?
Cyril: I want to “tell”, not only to “show”. Tim Burton and Hayao Miyazaki are both the roots of my own world. I like the surrealism movement, especially the work of Boris Vian and his Foam of the Daze (l’écume des jours – 1950). I like the absurdity, the creativity and the enchanting universes, where colors bring more emotions than thousand smiles or a million tears. I don’t think my art in the surrealist movement; it’s not a thing I decided. I just paint what I would like to see, a funny reality, otherworldly.
AP: Do you have a dream project? What is it?
Cyril: Since I work as psychologist, I have more distance with my art hobby. The popularity makes me feel as ill at ease as the indifference. I try to remain authentic; I don’t think myself as an artist, but a simple Photoshop user.
I won’t invest myself more in the art universe. I am a psychologist, I really love my job, and it would mean losing a part of me if I only focus on art. Moreover, I lack of practice and I would prefer to start an art school to get more perspective and anatomic notions.
AP: What is the formula for success in your activity? What do you do to reach your goals? Do you participate in the contests, projects, exhibitions etc.?
Cyril: I am quite discreet… I don’t make collaboration, contests, exhibitions… Maybe I am just too shy or simply not interested in this… I just have fun with this hobby, this is my only goal. I submit my “art” to different websites (deviantART, Shadowness, Facebook, etc.) but I don’t need more for the moment. My psychologist job is my main goal in my life.
AP: This is so fantastic that you love your job and I am more than sure you do it very good! Who is one person you would like to see interviewed on AstrumPeople?
Cyril: Only one? No, I can’t, I am really interested by the artists present on deviantART, I find the works of RHADS and Wolp is really fascinating… and also loish and Arcipello. They are just too many! I really like deviantART.
AP: Thank you very much for sharing the references to the pages of those talented artists. We will do our website to take interviews with them. Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
Cyril: My girlfriend is a great support, she draws too, and she helps me sometimes when I am not sure about the anatomy or a perspective. People on Facebook and deviantART give their opinions on a work in progress and sometimes, I consider their suggestions.
AP: Tell us three lessons you believe are really important for every artist?
- Have fun;
- Try to be imperfect;
- Breathe and open your mind to another form of art or activity (sport, cooking…).
Cyril, thank you very much for sharing such amazing and inspiring story on illustrations. We wish you great inspiration, happiness and brilliant success. To learn more about Cyril Rolando illustrations feel free to visit his personal website, deviantART or Facebook page.
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