Category: Community

Behind the Project: Michael Roulier

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Michael Roulier is a photographer specializing in food and cosmetic visuals, having published more than 30 books in collaboration with three star Michelin culinary chefs. His project on Behance, Michael Roulier, contains photographs featured to help create a book for Anne Sophie Pic, a three star Michelin chef herself.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I was commissioned by Hachette, a French Publishing company to create a “sumptuous” book about Anne Sophie Pic, a French 3 star Michelin chef, a woman in a man’s world; an exception. Hachette knew very well that I would have to be left completely free on the creative part to accept a three weeks time project.

I had already worked with Anne Sophie, so we knew each other quite well. At this level, being a chef, means above all being an artist. This project was supposed to be her published food “manifesto.” The text was written by Stéphane Davet, a journalist specialized in rock & roll, but equally passionate about food.

The 48 images we had to do, like a true photography book, would appear naked, unadorned, and apart from the text.

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The difficulty with a project like that is dealing with the “ego” of everybody. The main artist remained Anne Sophie Pic. My job was to find a concept, translate her poetic world, and at the same time give (with humbleness) my own artistic vision of her food creations. When all the cursors are at the right position, it works.

There is something very pure in the personality of Anne Sophie; she is at the same time very fragile and very strong. The idea of a “white book” imposed itself from the beginning; Her mind is white and beautiful. The leading concept was to make it become almost “surreal”. We played with shades of grey, giving an aerial feeling to the plates; they where likes “frames” for creation.

Then would start the real work: composition.

We had asked Anne Sophie’s team to bring everything in a kit, so that we could start constructing the images with our own inspiration. We had previously spoken on the phone about making mandalas, but I found it too restrictive and wanted to leave everything pretty open.

Sometimes, by the time we had found the composition, the food was “gone,” so we would shoot it with an iPhone to keep a trace for later. The kitchen was kind enough to re-start everything (and it can be a huge job!) and bring it freshly prepared, so that we could recompose and finalize the shot with a high pixel digital back.

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Being a 3 star Michelin chef means that you have very precise ideas about the way you are going to compose food for your clients; Anne Sophie gave us complete freedom to visually revisit her dishes: I think that she wanted us to surprise her. When the job was finished she told me that we had inspired her a lot for the future, it was the biggest compliment she could have given us.

She had a little booklet on her desk, like an artist’s notebook, and we often looked at it to understand better what inspired her when conceiving her food creations.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
This project was quite technical. Achieving an interesting result on a white background without having the feeling of something simplistic was a bit of a challenge, but I had a clear vision of what the outcome could look like.

Leaving my studio in Paris (and all my usual tools) and going to her hometown in Valence was quiet an adventure because it was impossible to reproduce the quality of food preparation & techniques her team achieved, even with the best food-stylists.

Actually that was the difficult part: doing a technical job in an uncontrolled environment.

When we arrived there with my team, Emmanuel Turiot, the food stylist I work with, and Thomas Naggabo my assistant, they showed us around and asked us where we would like to be installed. I was lucky enough to discover in Anne Shopie’s private office a huge glass wall that separated her office from her secretary. That wall was going to be the magic tool: we covered it with tracing paper from top to bottom, and there we had a huge gorgeous soft light: we could play with hot spots behind and control things pretty well.

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Bringing a food stylist with me was essential to create an interface with the kitchen (an army of 35 cooks dedicated to their goddess Anne Sophie Pic); they speak the same language. The way I like to work is like being in an experimental lab: we have to try, restart all over and over again until we reach satisfaction. Emmanuel Turiot facilitated the relationship we had with all the cooks behind the door, who could not always understand why we wanted them to restart the whole process again.

What sparked your desire to work with food? 
I started working in the luxury business 20 years ago. Cosmetics, fashion accessories etc… I stumbled on food by chance 10 years ago, and loved it because Art directors had no idea of how to deal with it, or actually didn’t really like working on this subject. So there was an incredible freedom for my creativity. I could become a Photographer again!

Today, there is a new generation of Art directors who actually specialize in the food business: it became a trend. I love working with them. We mutually inspire each other.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
Not really, it’s now an old story. We are working on new projects. We are already different people.

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Behind the Project: Cinema

In this series, we look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Franck Bohbot is a photographer and visual artist, mainly focusing his artistic research on public spaces and urban landscapes. Each one of Franck’s series features certain photographic intentions — through their enigmatic atmosphere, documentary-style approach, and timeless feel. We were fortunate enough to delve deeper into one of his projects on Behance, Cinema.

What was your inspiration for this project?
For The Cinema Series, my principal inspiration was to honor the Art of Cinema by showing the atmosphere of movie theaters specifically in the state of California. Entering a Cinema instead of watching movies on your smartphone or computer gives a real emotion to the public. I think because of the new media, we are losing step by step, the pleasure to going to your local Cinema.

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In my hunt, I wanted all the Theatres to be still running. Most are still showing movies and few became auditoriums for concerts or operas. I have always been curious about how Hollywood was built. This phenomenal movie industry was created in the desert in Los Angeles, and for me the state of California represents the American Dream.

Most of the founders of the Hollywood movie studios were immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late 1920s. Some of them like Adolph Zukor ( Co-founder of the Paramount Studios with Jesse L.Lasky) decided to build the Paramount Empire as well as their studios. He decided for example to build an incredible movie palace temple for The Paramount Theatre in Oakland (designed by Timothy L. Pflueger of the architectural firm J.R Miller and T.L Pflueger). I found it interesting that such places were built for watching a movie. It is an important reason why I wanted to spotlight some classic movie palaces of California.

Shooting the architecture of the movie theaters in California is to talk about the city of L.A and its history or the surrounding small town, which has its own past. The history of California is being represented by interiors empty of people but still running, where people used to go and still go every day.

“To be honest, what I tell artists and photographers is just to find your own style with passion. Work is the key. Get your own art to be you, even if at the beginning nobody understands. Just follow your instinct, with references or master in your mind.”

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Can you describe your process in creating this project?
It was a long pre-shoot, before coming to California. My wife and I organized every shoot, for the whole trip, 2 months before travelling from New York to San Francisco. It was difficult at times to find good Theaters that would be in the “Series” and to approach them. So we decided to look at all the cities in California where historical theaters were located. I wanted to included Lobby, Indie Screen, and contemporary movie Theaters. As Stephen Shore said, everything deserved to be photographed. I really like this philosophy, as it is what I do when looking for a theme. An opera or a basketball court in the street deserves to be shot in the same meticulous way.  But when working on a subject such as the Cinema series, I had to make the selection, so I carefully chose the places.

In terms of lighting, I used lusters, lamps, neon, projector screen, or the small amount of available light that I had. I had to improvise sometimes. With the medium of photography I was able to light some walls that were in the dark. Even the public does not see the auditorium as it is in the photograph. That is what I was looking for. Light up those movie theaters by showing the architecture and give them an atmosphere of greatness.

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Every shot was made using a medium format camera. I wanted the photographs to be sharp in term of detail and color, with a great depth of field and the ability to produce large color scale photograph.

I find it interesting to photograph what I have in front of me. When I was in Paris, I focused on Swimming Pools of Paris. I then moved to New York, so I decided to photograph the basketball courts. The soul of basketball is in New York, more here than in Paris or Tokyo. From there I decided to go to California and the subject Movie Theatres and Cinemas had been on my mind since I started the Theaters Series in Paris. I visited and shot the “Max Linder” Cinema. And in the next future it would be another subject in another city.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
Not too much. Color is essential to me, so I took a little bit more time in postproduction for Cinema. I wanted to personally appropriate the places and to respect the work of the architects at the same time. So I have to be very meticulous in all the steps, framing, line, composition, light and color.

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Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
For the moment the project is done because I decided to focus on California. I have 3 other movies theaters to photograph there. I will move forward for Cinema Part 2 (not now), in another city, state, or country. Every finished project needs a break. I think this series deserves a parallel version in different places of the world.

Announcing Portfolio Review Week #6: November 3-10, 2014


Portfolio Review Week #6: November 3-10, 2014

We first launched Portfolio Review Week in 2012 with the goal of bringing together creatives to share their work and develop their craft. In the five Portfolio Reviews since then, we’ve been amazed by the stories, photos, and videos of creatives coming together in their communities across 80 countries.

Portfolio Review Week #6 will be held November 3-10, 2014. We’re looking forward to a week of incredible events put together by first time and veteran hosts worldwide!

Be a leader in your local creative community by hosting a Portfolio Review
If you’re willing to devote some time and energy to planning, promoting and executing a Behance Portfolio Review — you’re in!  Get started by filling out this form.

Just want to attend? Check meetup.com/behancereviews in the coming weeks for events near you!

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Learn more about Portfolio Review Week at behance.net/reviews

A Closer Look with Carl Sutton

Meet Carl Sutton. He is a graphic designer and illustrator living in Wales. His work is an exploration of deconstruction, anatomy, entomology and symmetry and we had the pleasure of getting a closer look into his projects, process and ProSite.

How long have you been working in your creative field?
I’ve been working commercially since I graduated in 2009. Since then I’ve floated between studio and freelance work. These days I work on personal and commercial projects side by side.

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Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
Over the years I’ve slowly seen the gap between commercial and personal work close. I try to take as much opportunity with commercial design as possible. I enjoy the challenge of visual communication through collaboration. Visually interpreting concepts or generating ideas from discussions. I retain a certain visual style throughout all of my work but I’m happy to experiment a little more with commercial projects. Widen the palette and try new things.

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Behind the Project: Cloud City

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Together, Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft are The Makerie Studio, a creative collaboration producing unique three dimensional paper sculptures for both commercial and artistic purposes. They are inspired by forgotten worlds, rare prints, and the beauty of details, allowing them to create unique pieces. Cloud City is their most recent project uploaded to Behance.

What was your inspiration for this project?
The inspiration for Cloud City came from an obsession with Moroccan arches and architecture, something we’d been eyeing up for over two years and really wanted to use for one of our pieces. We’d started drawing up a few intricate designs based on real buildings, but that had us stumped for a while because the buildings were already so beautiful. It was hard to know what to do next, and how to make them our own in some way. But when we distilled what it was that we loved about them – the pattern making, the colours, the structure – we thought it would be lovely to take these very rational details into a dreamier, illogical realm. And that’s how we ended up with floating egg palaces connected by ladders in the sky…

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Behance Member Success Stories: Mart Biemans

In this installment, we’re featuring Mart Biemans, a young digital artist and illustrator from The Netherlands. Since joining in 2008, Mart has been featured in number of the Behance networks and was profiled in Adobe’s New Creatives campaign earlier in 2014.  Below is an excerpt of a testimonial from the artist.

“My life has proven that it is almost impossible to predict your future, even though I’ve had dreams and expectations like every other kid growing up, things turned out completely different than expected. . .

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Most Appreciated Projects: Monthly Roundup

Appreciations are a way to send genuine kudos to another creative professional on Behance. This is our community’s way of curating the network, so that the best projects gain the most exposure. Here’s a look at two of the most appreciated projects on Behance this month:

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League of Legends may have 27 million players per day, but it hasn’t been redesigned since 2009.Martin Vlas took it upon himself and Behancers are going nuts for his new UI design, improving everything from login to character design.

Futurama Fan Art Behance
Redesigns are apparently this month’s theme, as another super-fan has taken it upon himself to give a new look and feel to one of his favorites: Futurama. Check out FUTURAMA 3D part 1 by Russia based Alexey Zakharov.

Portfolio Review Week #5 Superlatives & Stats

One of our favorite things about Portfolio Review Week is seeing the incredibly unique pictures that come out of these global events. We have seen some amazing things, from Behance cupcakes, to live paintings, to homemade photobooth props; our hosts and attendees can get super creative! Because of this, we thought it would be a fun idea to create Portfolio Review #5 Superlatives. 

PRW Superlatives

Spring PRW stats:

Events: 300
Cities: 209
Countries: 80
#BehanceReviews tweets: 3,234
RSVPS: 6,344
Appreciation Coins Awarded: 1,500

Top largest events:
Bogota, Colombia (723)
Lima, Peru (323)
Quito, Ecuador (260)
Trujillo, Peru (151)
New York, USA (130)
London, England (129)
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (128)

June’s #workspacewednesday

For this edition of #workspacewednesday, we wanted to start sharing some photos from our own work spaces here at the Behance office in New York City.  First, some context.

We’re located in Soho, a neighborhood sandwiched between Greenwich Village to the north and Chinatown to the south.  Known as the Soho Cast Iron Historical District, the neighborhood was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1978 and many of the side streets still sport Belgian block roads and cast iron architectural elements.  During the second half of the 20th century, Soho was home to artist lofts and performance spaces.  In the early 2000s. the area changed drastically thanks to retail outposts from Apple, Bloomingdales and many others and in recent years, Soho has been included in Silicon Alley, New York City’s burgeoning tech scene.

As you might notice, we name our rooms.  This one is Victore, named after our friend James Victore.  The Library was “constructed” when we spread our office out to the floor below us.  Originally, we had some bookcases here and there, but we decided that we needed a space where someone could sit and contemplate or learn something new.  Or take a conference call.  We usually take a lot of conference calls.

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