Tuesday 3 October 2023

Micro-interview with Cécile Matthey

We’re joined by our co-editor and in-house illustrator Cécile Matthey, artist of “Out of Bounds” in TFF #66.

TFF: How did you go about illustrating “Out of Bounds”?

Cécile Matthey: The first illustration (above) is a wink to 80s posters, that showed impossibly kitsch beaches at sunset. I had some in my teenager room at the time! I thought it could match the atmosphere of the story, that takes place in a virtual world full of perfect spots. Perfect spots that are not entirely finished: at some point in the story, the protagonists escape through a “breach” at the bottom of a pool. This striking moment is the theme of the second illustration.

TFF: Pastels are not the most obvious choice to illustrate a VR world, and yet your illustrations are very effective. Would you like to tell us more about  representing “techno” landcapes with analogue tools?

CM: Analogue tools are very versatile. There are so many ways to use them and mix them that you can achieve all kinds of effects. It can even be a creative challenge to use a medium that looks a little unusual in the first place, like pastels.    

TFF: Do you have a lucky pen or pencil?

CM: I inherited a few brushes from my maternal grandfather, who died when I was eleven. They can't be used because they are full of dried oil-paint, but I keep them as a decoration on my desk. I have fond memories of him. He worked as an engraver but was also a talented sculptor and painter. He gave me some taste, and surely some gift, for the fine arts.

TFF: If you could acquire the ability to speak with one type of animal, which would you choose?

CM: Other than elephants… maybe cats. A few years ago, as I was walking in the street, I saw a cat sitting by a window. I tried to catch their attention, but they kept their eyes intensely fixed on something behind me, higher than me. I turned around, but I saw nothing, of course… Today I'm still wondering what it was. I would have loved to ask them!

Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at http://press.futurefire.net/2023/07/new-issue-202366.html.

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