For many illustrators, it can be a struggle to find a balance between consistently delivering a signature style while simultaneously meeting the clients commissioning needs. For Maxime Mouysset however, this seems easy. His high turnover of commissions individually embody an editorial story while staying true to his signature style. Though the style varies from piece to piece, on the whole, Maxime’s body of work possesses a strong oeuvre that feels unequivocally Maxime, despite the fact that each commission is for a different client.
The Paris-based illustrator uses his working experience in advertising and graphic design to inform his current practice. Predominantly working in editorial illustration, Maxime’s style of digital drawing suits a variety of themes which shows across his assorted portfolio. He tackles stories of sport, food and architecture, bringing his assertive visual presence to each narrative. With a minimal colour palette, Maxime’s illustrations are exemplified through thick black lines that highlight the story at hand.
“I try to find the border between poignant narration and detail,” Maxime tells It’s Nice That. “Each one of my images tells a short story through the movement, composition, colour and shadow.” In one commission for The Parisianer, Maxime depicts the stressful impacts of traffic congestion in the capital. He demonstrates a strong sense of visual wit through the pun-like illustration, executing the image with graphic simplicity for maximum communication. In another commission for Le Fooding, Maxime pays closer attention to the viewer’s perspective that follows a Deliveroo-style rider across the suburban hills lined by shadowed trees.
During his studies, Maxime constantly drew with a technical Rotring pen, often used for the finest of details in architectural drawings. After an experimental dabble in painting, animation, printmaking and graphic design, he finally returned back to the reliability of the well-defined black line but possessed a more “open-minded” approach to his work. “Even though I’m not the best animator”, adds Maxime, “my drawings are influenced by its techniques and movement”. Many of Maxime’s illustrations could easily be a mid-action frame of an animatic. Exaggerated shadows and Maxime’s atmospheric use of lighting augment this mid-motion feel. And, unsurprisingly influenced by illustrators such as Crumb and McCall as well as Chris Ware, Maxime has developed the highly desirable skill of telling a story in one picture alone.
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