“I still don’t know where I am going,” says illustrator Yvan Guillo on the evolution of his practice since we last wrote about him more than two years ago. “One page at a time, there is no goal. To consistently find fun in my work, I rely on improvisation and surprise,” explains the comics artist otherwise known as Samplerman. Though he’s currently working on quite a few bigger ideas which involve longer projects, it hasn’t stopped him churning out an impressive amount of hypnotic work that we can’t seem to stop looking at.
“I always have this quote in mind,” Yvan tells It’s Nice That which he thinks derives from Man Ray. It goes something like “there is no progress in art,” and so Yvan doesn’t measure his work in terms of “progress” by traditional standards. He does, however, strive towards producing increasingly de-pixillated and cleanly-cut collages for high quality print. By contrast, one thing that has unfortunately deteriorated recently is Yvan’s vision. After spending hour after hour staring at the screen, the illustrator’s middle-aged vision has regressed to the extent that he now wears glasses – designers and illustrators beware!
For Yvan, his creative process is intuitive and iterative. He respects commissioned projects for their unexpectedness, allowing him to work on projects that he wouldn’t have considered otherwise. But similarly to many other artists, “personal work is more like an unlimited journey through space and time, visually intoxicating in a good way with a remix of images” to work with.
Recently, Yvan took part in a one-week residency with the likes of Anna Haifisch, Tara Booth, Anders Nilsen and Simon Roussin – to name a few. All members of the alternative comics scene, the residency is an ongoing reoccurrence hosted by ChiFouMi, offering a chance for artists to create experimental narratives as a collective. “We left aside our personal projects, gathered around a big table with tools and made a collaborative comic for the fun of it,” explains Yvan. The residency marks a “really refreshing and exciting moment” for the illustrator, gathering with like-minded people “all speaking and practising the language of comics, which is not my usual social environment” he adds.
Tight deadlines spark a wave of creativity in Yvan as opposed to a feeling of daunting dread. In the past, he’s had a lot of fun drawing comics within a strict 24-hour period. It’s no wonder the illustrator produces as much as can be seen on his Instagram channel, sharing some of his favourites with us so you can peruse the ridiculously detailed illustrations at your leisure.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.