“The act of living is difficult, beautiful and something to be celebrated” – An interview with artist Gregory Ferrand

The beautiful and dynamic illustrations for each of Theater J’s shows are the work of Gregory Ferrand, an artist based here in Washington, D.C. We corresponded with Gregory over email to glean some additional insights about his artistic process.

Self Portrait by Gregory Ferrand

Self Portrait by Gregory Ferrand

1: What do you try to communicate through your work?
On first glance my paintings, or fine art work, may seem to be mundane and a bit melancholy, but upon further examination you will find that they are depicting everyday moments in life that are generally overlooked in the pursuit of happiness.

Moments that recognize that the act of living is difficult, beautiful and something to be celebrated. Without them, would we really know what happiness was when we were faced with it? Very simply, my paintings tell stories that have existed, do exist and will exist.

2: How did you start as an artist, and how has your style evolved since then?
Drawing has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. I used comic books as a guide to learn how to draw and eventually went to art school. There, for the first time I was exposed to all kinds of mediums but eventually settled on film. After graduating, while living in Buenos Aires, I began to keep illustrated journals. It was then that I realized that I could be the director, producer, cinematographer, actor and editor by creating my own paintings.

I was not trained as a painter so I have been teaching myself as I go, working in acrylic on canvas. When I first began, I painted quickly and loosely, not blending much. Now each painting takes a long time because I use many, many layers.

3: How does your method differ when you create illustrations for specific shows?
The biggest difference in my work process when I create an illustration [for a theater] is that I am collaborating with someone, and that the end result is a digital illustration. Otherwise, I do the same kind of planning I would if I was making a painting: I start with rough sketches, which I send to the art director; I make changes as needed, and then go forward to make the final illustration.

4: Where else can other people see your work?
The best place to see my work is on my website: www.gferrand.com. In November the paintings I am working on now will be on view in my next solo show, A House of Cards, at The Dunes in Columbia Heights.

Step Right Up by Gregory Ferrand.  Acrylic on canvas

Step Right Up by Gregory Ferrand. Acrylic on canvas