KALTBLUT Magazine meets the fresh face of the fashion illustration world! Florian Meacci. Best known for his painstakingly detailed hand drawn illustrations. Florian talks to us about how he’s progressed though the industry, bagging clients such as H&M and Adidas (arguably most peoples dream bookings), The big brakes that spring boarded him into the limelight and advising budding illustrators how to crack the industry.
KALTBLUT: How would you describe your self and your work?
Florian: I’m a geek who would spend his day at looking pictures for references and try to do his best when he draws with his biro. I don’t like to describe my work. I never what to say except i use a biro pen and watercolour and sometime coloured pencil if it use colour. The best it’s to look at it and make your own idea.
KALTBLUT: Tell us about your journey that led you to this point.
Florian: I studied graphic design at school in France but always dreamed to be an illustrator. I moved to London I started freelancing. After few years of hard work and tussle I finally got my first illustration put on Dolce & Gabanna online magazine Swide. 6 months later I did an other one for them. I think it’s what gave me a few paid job as an illustrator because few month later I got an email from H&M saying they where looking for an illustrator for a new project.
KALTBLUT: Your work is extremely detailed, talk us though the creative process.
Florian: I get the brief, look for references, struggle to fine a good idea and a good composition, get stress because I don’t find any of them. Start to be late. After few crisis I finally succeed in a decent composition, send the sketch to client. Once the client approves this, I’m in heaven and I just have to draw all day. Detail is what I love to do the most. I like fashion because their is so much different textures and details. I can put some details on a picture that only me will see.
KALTBLUT: Did you develop your illustration style or was its something that came naturally?
Florian: It came one day. I started to paint with acrylic but didn’t get far. I started drawing things with biro for a try because I thought it was unusual and carried on.
KALTBLUT: What has been the high light to you career so far?
Florian: To start working with H&M. This has been the start of the real deal. It got me where I am now put some credibility in my portfolio. Plus I love their briefs, I’m free on compositions. They are understanding when I’m running late. They are the best type of client.
But I think the craziest thing that happen back in 2013 it’s when the producer of Lady Gaga; Paul Blair aka DJ white shadow send me an email to tell me he tattooed one of my drawing on his arm. I couldn’t sleep the night after that and I still can’t get my head around it.
KALTBLUT: How did you get the opportunity to work with such big clients like H&M and Adidas?
Florian: For H&M and Adidas luckily they both contacted me. I had to do a try before to work with H&M not for adidas just the sketches from the brief. With H&M every month I need to illustrate a section called I used to do Gossip folks of the part of they website call H&M Life which is their online magazine. Since Last month I illustrate a new section called NEED TO KNOW which is a calendar of whats happening every month. Adidas: approached me for the first collaboration between Rita Ora and Adidas few different illustrators were invented to draw a mini lookbook of 4 pictures of Rita Ora and 2 of her fans in the cloths she create for Adidas. I had the pleasure to draw the first collection: the black collection.
KALTBLUT: Whats the funniest thing a clients asked you to:
Florian: Working for free or publicity or it will be good for my portfolio.That’s pretty funny right?
KALTBLUT: Whats your dream booking?
Florian: Working for big brand is always a big thing but I would love to be publish in a illustration book because I have a lot of them at home and I used to look at them when I was younger and dreamed to be in one one day.
KALTBLUT: Who’s your favourite fashion icon?
Florian: I don’t have any but I think even if Kanye West talks bullshit he has a great style!
KALTBLUT: For all the aspiring illustrators currently out there, what advise would you give them to get into this profession.
Florian: Don’t do that job! Do this job if you like pasta and rice and don’t like to go out. I’m kidding it’s hard but worth it.
I think if it’s you passion and can’t do anything else work hard and do it. It’s not easy there is a lot of competition but it’s cool to wake up and do what you like and enjoy to work and be happy to be paid to do what you love. But think now you need social media. Facebook, twitter, Instagram are really good to show your work which is the most important.
KALTBLUT: What was the last music track you listened too?
Florian: At the moment I listen on repeat Drake: Hotline call.
KALTBLUT: What do you do to let your hair down?
Florian: I read comics and watch anime. Sad knowing I’m 31. I even draw sometime to relax.
KALTBLUT: Whats the best thing about being you?
Florian: Waking up to go to my desk (I work from home) and draw all day and being able to earn money and live from my passion.
KALTBLUT: If you were an animal what would you be?
Florian: A rhino because they are massive and awesome.
KALTBLUT: Where can people buy your work?
Florian: On my website which I’m redoing at the moment so in the couple of days (finally).
Interview by Karl Slater