Cyril Brenner-Loegel (Ideo) creates his digital artwork as part of the Pencil 2.0 series. Photo by Yoki S. Jeong
Click here for more images by Yoki S. Jeong of Yoki Photography.
Adding to Jeju’s ever-growing French artist community is Ideo (a.k.a. Cyril Brenner-Loegel), an artist and designer every bit as zestful as the caricatures he draws live at local festivals and markets.
He most recently exhibited at the Jeju Fringe Festival, where his versatile digital designs took the title Pencil 2.0.
The title reflects the fact that, although he now draws digitally with a stylus pen, he feels the same emotions, uses the same muscles, and expresses the same artist’s soul as when he uses a humble lead pencil.
▲ Photo by Yoki S. Jeong
“Like the player who can switch from an old guitar to an electric guitar, it's not the media that is drawing, but the person, the feelings, and the hand with the brain,” he says.
His clients also benefit, as they not only walk away with a sleek print, but have a free high-resolution copy sent by email.
Ideo got the idea from American artist Jon Casey, who charges for the privilege. Ideo prefers to give his away for free so his work can be plastered on T-shirts, mugs, or however the client desires. I suggest it is a smart move.
“The genius is my wife," says artist Ideo. Photo by Yoki S. Jeong
“The genius is my wife. I say behind every great male artist there is a great wife, or muse, if you will,” he chuckled.
Indeed, his eccentric style, going from cute, cuddly creatures to gritty, distorted celebrity portraits, is well suited to the digital medium. He’s one part Pixar saccharinity, one part George Carlin wit.
Finding such balance has taken some time, and while his art has helped him embrace the power of cute, he has also retained an edginess that lurks behind, and often within, his artwork.
He certainly looks the part too. His dark glasses, black t-shirt, goatee, and metal ear stud making him look like a veteran metal rocker. Yet his face lights up like a giddy 10-year-old when the topic turns to Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki or Monsters, Inc.
Such influences can be seen in his horned and spotted multi-colored monsters which inhabit deep mystical forests. His celebrity portraits, however, have the exaggerated depths and proportions of a bad acid trip.
▲ Photo by Yoki S. Jeong
Extremes are thematic not only within his artistic style; he took a hiatus from his art a few years after going, as he puts it, “mad at the pen.” His passion was rekindled in 2008 and he attended Bobby Chiu’s digital design workshop.
The Toronto-based artist co-founded Imaginism Studios and is regarded as one of the leading animators worldwide.
“Bobby can motivate anyone,” says Ideo, and surely enough he soon picked up speed with a 2011 French-language children’s story book, Les Créatures de Jérémie, or "Jeremiah’s Creatures."
Jeremiah, the main character, creates a voracious monster with a magical pencil. As his creation then starts destroying his kitchen, Jeremiah seeks to tame him and eventually teaches him some manners.
One could say Ideo went through his own taming, albeit through his artwork. He confesses that he used to be aggressive and in his state of flow during his work he now finds a place of calm. This is why he loves his craft.
“To be inside the work relieves stress. It’s the best part,” he reflects.
▲ Image by Ideo
And what’s the worst part? Failure, he says, which is to miss the mark completely.“Failure is not drawing an unflattering picture. It is a portrait that doesn’t look like the person you’re drawing,” he explains.
Don’t worry about making the subject look goofy, he says, as the key to success is in capturing their essence.
“I remember drawing a portrait of a dad and daughter together. It wasn’t a flattering picture. Their faces were all misshapen. When I showed them the photo, I was scared the dad was going to punch me in the face. Suddenly, after an instant, he exclaimed, ‘Wow, it looks just like you, honey!’”
And just because Ideo doesn’t make you look attractive, doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you; the devil is in the detail, he says.
▲ Dokkaebi by Cyril Brenner-Loegel
“If I’m a ‘hate fan,’ then I draw the picture like it’s them on a bad day,” he says. You can especially see this in his drawings of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, with his face pinched and spittle ejecting from his dumb mouth.
He looks forward to doing a picture book of the mythical Korean “Dokkaebi” for his next project. The Dokkaebi is a mischievous forest monster that plays pranks by casting spells on locals with its club.
Ideo’s goal is to put a more sympathetic spin on the Dokkaebi, however. In his version, in spite of their devious selves, they will end up helping elderly people in need or fisherman at stormy sea. And of course, he will make them really cute.
For the latest news from Ideo and to hear about his next digital drawing class, connect with ‘ArtOfIdeo’ on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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