Vincent Bal, shadowologist and filmmaker from Belgium. Photo © Courtesy of the artist
1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
Since I was a kid, I have been drawing little comics strips, which is quite normal when you grow up in Belgium, the birthplace of Tintin, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke and many more. After high school, I decided to study directing, and went on to write and direct films. My love for drawing kept coming in handy to make storyboards, but I never imagined I would do it professionally one day.
It all changed one spring day in 2016, when I saw the shadow of a teacup on my desk, which looked a bit like an elephant. I gave the shadow creature eyes and legs, took a picture and shared it on social media. People seemed to like it, so I decided to make 100 of these shadow doodles, and I haven’t stopped since…
In my images I always use the shadow of an everyday object and add a little drawing to turn it into something else. I gave this technique the very serious name ‘Shadowology’. So far, it had been an incredible journey, more than 1 million people follow me on social media and I have had exhibitions in Paris, London, Taiwan and Korea.
2.What does your work aim to say?
My work never starts from a message I want to convey, but I guess the main point is the use of imagination. How our imagination has the power to see the world in a new light. Besides that, humour is very important in my work. Sometimes people write me how I make them smile every day, and I think that’s a nice thing to contribute to this world.
3.Where do you find inspiration for your art?
When I was a film student, I read a quote from Picasso who says ‘I don’t search, I find’. At the time, as I was struggling with writing scripts, I always found Picasso to be a very pretentious guy, but I think I understand what he means now.
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