An Interview with Pierre Paul Pariseau
Pierre-Paul Pariseau (@pariseau) is a Montreal-based illustrator who meshes vibrant colors with a wide array of textures to create thought-provoking and often obscure pieces of art.
Interviewer Chelsea Kantola (@chelsea) is Ello’s Community Manager. When she’s not in the office, she’s probably doing yoga, shredding the slopes, spending time with her dog, or planning her next big adventure.
Chelsea: Your style is extremely unique. When did you begin to develop it? Was there anything in particular that inspired you along the way?
Pierre: At the beginning, I was doing more traditional photomontages from cutouts, with scissors and glue. Then came the computer, but as time went by I wanted to have more possibilities to change colours and modify the cutouts. Around 2005 I started to experiment more with Photoshop in a need to enhance my style. Using the software, playing with ideas, forms, colors, compositions and contrasts I have found a simple, efficient and aesthetic way to reach this goal. All this with flexibility, keeping an unifying logic. With this new way of working, I enjoy the extra freedom it gives me and I believe it has an impact on my inspiration. At the same time, this freedom helps me serve my clients in a more efficient way. In fact the experimentation process has no beginning and no end, with an open mind it is a continuous flow. It takes different directions depending on your needs. People usually associate my work with Pop art, Pop Surrealism. This is because of the colours and compositions you find in most of my images. At least I can say that I never intended to be Pop but always (almost) was surreal. This change in my style allowed me to last as an illustrator but also had opened the doors of galleries and other exhibition venues to my personal work. This is something new because I had stopped exhibiting for many years. I am now more involved in that aspect of my career.
My big influence at the beginning of my career was the surrealist artists like Dali, Magritte, and others. Everything that was surrealist, in painting but also in literature, in poetry and in movies. Photomontage pioneers also like John Heartfield, Max Ernst, Jacques Prévert. Rapidly although I became inspired by a lot of things coming my way, in my surroundings, to a point that it is difficult to name anything in particular.
Everything can inspire me now. I listen, observe, look; I am interested in cultural and social lives. This enriches my visual vocabulary and allows me to better translate my ideas and emotions.
Chelsea: I am very intrigued by the vibrant colors and textures of the scenes you create. What media are your favorite and what do you most commonly use?
Pierre: My images are a mix of collage (cut-outs from magazines, books, etc...), acrylic paint, watercolour, pen and digital transformation in Photoshop.
I scan each cutout and apply, in Photoshop, a high contrast of black and white to them (which take away their colors). To achieve the perfect contrast, I sometimes have to do it in parts on the same piece. Then I make each item transparent. It is on a similar shape, underneath, that I put the "vibrant" colour taken from Photoshop.
Textures are created by scanning a sheet of paper with acrylic paint or water colour and then using the filters in Photoshop.
Chelsea: Each piece of artwork that you do tells a story. What is your favorite piece and why?
Pierre: The last one that I have done is often the one that I prefer because I'm still in the thrill, the pleasure of creating it. In general it is impossible to tell which one I prefer, they each have something that makes me come back to them.
Chelsea: What has been your most rewarding accomplishment as an artist thus far?
Pierre: To last as an artist, to be able to reinvent myself throughout my career.
Chelsea: What is it about Ello that enticed you to start posting your work here?
Pierre: The beauty, the diversity and the quality of the posts.