France-based 2D animator Eric Lefaure has amassed an impressive social media following for his ornate and graphic 2D animations. “I started to study animation in 2007 after watching Orgesticulanismus by Mathieu Labaye,” Eric tells It’s Nice That. The influence of Mathieu Labaye is clear in Eric’s work, as he attributes the short movie to being the moment which “convinced me that 2D animation was the limitless tool I needed for my drawings,” he says. He brushes off having a distinct style, admitting it “hasn’t evolved much over the years”. However Eric does stick to the same patterns of details, curves, and compositions he’s mastered since 2007, and has found to be his niche. “I can’t describe it, I just know that this is what I need to do”.
His process for these animations stem from a sensation found in his youth. “It all comes from a very powerful dream I was having again and again as a child,” he explains. “All I’m doing now is looking for that sensation again, and the logical part of my brain can't do anything about it”. So, Eric uses a combination of semi-conscious maps and automatic drawing (the art of drawing without thinking and letting the hand wander over the page) to hopefully conjure up visuals in his head. “When I have a vague idea about a new loop, I draw keyframes and use them as a structure for improvised rough animation,” Eric explains. “Then it's time for the long road: days of cleaning and and inbetweening”.
Most of Eric’s animations evoke something of a classic anime vibe, akin to the famous Evangelion franchise. “I can’t deny the influence,” Eric says. It’s part of the reason why so many have flocked to his animations on social media. “But I guess it also has a lot to do with the fact that everybody is going to see something different in my animations, as abstraction leaves a lot of room for suggestability,” he says. Now, with a dedicated and large audience, Eric has found success in NFTs, the controversial new way for artists to sell their work online. “This is game-changing,” he says. “As long as it can give me some free time to work more on my own stuff and push it further, I'll be glad”.
Eric Lefaure: 055 (Copyright © Eric Lefaure, 2020)