la camera di valentina

In Bed With Valentina n°1 – Fanasmique

Let’s christen with an excellent artist the serie of interview called “In Bed With Valentina”: discovering and chatting with artist all over socials dealing with sex and eroticism.

Who’s Fanasmique and why a name like this? 

I’m a 28 French girl living in Paris (where I have lived almost all my life). I’m an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer; and I’m also running a small restaurant with my mother (so my days are quite long). I’ve grown in a family which had always support everyone to develop their own artistic skills, and almost everyone is a teacher in something (except my mother). So I’ve been visiting museums and exhibitions at a really young age and my taste in drawing is born quickly.

Fanasmique is a mixed name between my name and an erotic project that I have in mind (but not achieved yet.) And the name of this project was already a combination of two french words (Yeah, I like to mix things) so it ended to this weird “Fanasmique” name, but i like it!

How long have you been drawing?

Well, my answer will probably not be really original : I start drawing since I can hold a pencil in my hand. But I would say that I “truly” start drawing when I was 16. 

Did you attend studies or are you a self-taught? 

It’s a bit of the both. I have firstly learned how to draw by myself, human bodies and proportions at 12 by copying and tracing pictures I liked. Then I discovered digital painting with photoshop and learned how to use it by myself around 16. When I was 19 I wanted to become an history teacher so I started studying history, but all my family was pushing me to follow art studies. I’ve finally listened to them when I realized that big history was not for me, but what I liked was telling stories. So I passed a competitive exam for a public art school specialized in graphism, illustration, comics and narration. It helped me a lot to develop and discover my own universe and personal subjects I like to draw on. My project for my diploma was a graphic novel mixing two french books responding to each other: “L’étranger” by Camus, and “Meursault, Contre enquête” by Kamel Daoud.

There are some artistis who inspire you?

I have so many Artists I love and that inspired me. In the well known : Egon Schiele, Dugas, Odilon Redon, Renoir, Klimt, Françoise Petrovitch… My all time favorite painting is “Le chevalier aux fleurs” from George Rochegrosse). In graphicnovels : Brecht Evens, ChloëCruchaudet, Sergio Toppi…  Elodie Durand with “La parenthèse” which is the graphic novel that open my mind to that kind and motivates me to do my own…. Not to mention all the wonderful artists I’ve discovered on instagram and deserve to be known. My list can be endless!

Did you always want to deal with erotic art or did you start from other subjects? 

Eroticism has not always been my subject. Actually, I was more drawing and writing for children or young adults. And then I met a man, fell in love with and my world change haha ! He was writing erotic novels. Firstly I have drawn his book’s covers. I was at a period of my life when I lost all my motivation, envy in creation. I had a lot of fun working on his covers, and then my imagination started running again. I don’t know if it was because of love, or because of the subject. This man always supported me and pushed me in drawing again, he was the one and only I showed my erotic pictures, and talked about my erotic projects. Unfortunately, our relationship didn’t work, so I lost him as the person who could give me feedback on what I was producing. But I liked my pictures, and was proud of it so that’s why I have started an instagram account. I didn’t want to let all my drawings sleep in a drawer. 

Even if my erotic creations are firstly linked to this man, it becomes a project of my own. I started to reflect on how sexual energy can linked two human being, relationship, the power of imagination in sexual desire, taboo in sexuality, and a lot of different issues that are not necessarily obvious on my instagram account for now. Sexuality is something that can be so difficult, beautiful and weird at the same time.

Following your Instagram account it is noticeable two sorts of “narration”: one “mythologic” and yours “Book Of Love”: how are they born?

That’s right, I have two narrative arcs. When I have started erotic illustrations, it was with the mythologic one. Because, my ex novels was a mix between eroticism and fantastic and my first productions was for him. As we were talking about our ideas of creation, I started to draw little erotic comics which were also a mix between fantastic and eroticism, but it asked so much time (that I didn’t and still don’t have) to draw them that I put that project on “stand by” until I find myself in the right place to properly execute it. So I just kept doing solo “mythological” illustrations just to keep my imagination running and working until I worked on these stories again.

The “book of Love” (I like that name) is supposed to be more accessible, so people can project themselves more easily. I was thinking about an alternative support as “mainstream porn” to let the imagination flourished, and maybe offer a feminine point of view. I’m not saying that what I’m doing is revolutionary. Anyway, I think it’s fun to draw different positions and human bodies linking together. Also, i’m not paying too much time on these kinds of illustrations so it was a way to produce at least one drawing a day and forcing me to create daily and keep practicing. 

Which techniques and tools do you use for your work?

It depends. For Book of Love I use ink, and then I work the contrasts on photoshop. I would say that it reflects the most my universe, because I usually use only red and blue in my productions, and ink and watercolors are my favorite tools. For the mythological ones I can use acrylics, pencil, ink, digital painting, sometimes all these different techniques together. It was also a way to get out of my comfort zone, trying colors and technics I am not accustomed to.

How important became social networks to make your art known? 

It’s not that much important. Starting an instagram account was more a way for me to be regular in production, and maybe have some feedbacks on what I was drawing. As I have said, I was only showing my pictures to my ex. I was afraid about my friends or my family judgement if I showed them that kind of illustrations, so I was feeling freer to post it anonymously on social media. It help me realized people liked what I was drawing : it rises my motivation to keep going and my self-confidence. I’ve finally said what kind of art I’m doing now to my friends and they are all really supportive. My best reward is when I see couples tagging each other under my drawing, or when one my friends told me they sent one of my drawing to his/her partner. I don’t really know where social medias can lead me, but for now I think it’s a beautiful tool to gather different people in this journey. And I have to say that instagram community is really kindly, and it pushes me to improve myself.

People of your illustrations are real models or just images of your fantasy?

No, they are not real models. I sometimes use reference pictures when I have a position idea for “book of love” drawing, but struggle a lot to put the right proportions. Even though I draw the same type of people, but it’s because it’s part of a bigger project. Then this project will be over, I’ll try to put more diverse bodies type and couples in these kind of illustrations  (as I know representation is important).

For mythological pictures it’s really only my imagination.

Do you have future projects to reveal us in advance?

I have future projects, but I don’t really like to talk about it when they’re not finished (I’m a bit superstitious about that kind of things). All I can say is : what you’re seeing on my instagram account is only the tip of the iceberg. For example, As I have said the illustrations for the “book of love” are part of a bigger project, and I have drawn around 120 illustrations of that type. I am finalizing this project and waiting to see what the future will hold for it. Soon I will have more time to work again on some “mythologic” pictures, and my next series will be about the divinatory tarot.

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