Once upon a time I very unexpectedly received a gift from our friends at Hero Gallery Complex. It was a screen print for How to Train Your Dragon by Patrick Connan. I had seen some of Patrick’s work online, but never in person. This print was beautiful. I did something I rarely do. I immediately framed it and made room on my wall. Perfect. I also researched this wonderful artist and quickly made several purchases, including an original Boba Fett sketch!
And then of course I used the power of running a website to reach out to Mr. Connan for an interview. You’ll never guess what happened next… well if you guessed an interview you’re right!
Nerdlocker (NL): Tell us about yourself.
Patrick Connan (PC): Well, I’m Patrick, 30. Husband and father. Art Director for a movie poster agency in the city of Love and Croissants by day, and Illustrator by night. Crom is my God, and I have a massive crush on Carrie Fisher.
NL: Where do you find inspiration and what are some of your influences?
PC: Basically everything is a source of inspiration. Could be a book, a movie, a comic book, a tv series, an advertisement, anything really. I love to read art books, see the process, watch movie featurettes, making-of, behind the scenes, etc…
NL: Where did you get your training and how do you continue to perfect your skills?
PC: I went to the ‘Beaux-Arts’ school for one year, then an artistic preparatory class, and I obtained my BTEC Higher National Diploma of Art two years later.
During those two years I was also working in an advertising agency as an assistant junior art director. I then worked as a graphic designer, and now as an art director in a Paris agency specializing in movie posters. I discovered the world of alternative movie posters about 4 or 5 years ago I believe. I was looking everyday at the french website Geek-Art.net, following the work of some great artists like Olly Moss, Ken Taylor, Tyler Stout, and Matt Ferguson. And then one day, I was a bit bored creating art only for my clients and not for myself, so I decided to create Barbarian Factory (my secret identity in a way). I’m finally free to do what I want, when I want, and how I want, without anyone else’s input. These days, I’m continuing to improve my illustration skills, trying to be better each new day.
NL: What is your dream property that you’d like to make a poster for?
PC: I’d love to make an officially licensed print or series of prints for Star Wars. I’m a huge fan and that would be a dream job. But, on a more personal note, I’d be down to make a poster for Conan the Barbarian, Galaxy Quest or The Thirteenth Warrior (I must be the only one but that is a great film).
NL: What is the Nerd culture like in France?
PC: Much like America, just 10 years behind, haha!
NL: Is Zinedine Zidane the best soccer midfielder you have ever seen? Is he registered as a national treasure yet?
PC: I don’t care about soccer, period, haha.
NL: I’ll ignore that. But seriously, how you can you be a proper Frenchman and not love soccer? Your country has won the World Cup. I love soccer and my country can barely qualify for it. Sorry, I’m showing my other nerdy side.
Anywho, what’s your favorite nerd related snack? (like what do you munch on while playing video games, reading comic books, watching movies, writing, etc…)
PC: I don’t eat snacks much, but when it’s lunchtime I can’t say no to a huge slice of toasted country bread with dark chocolate on it. Yummy!
NL: Clearly Jean Reno would win in any fight because he’s thee French badass, so let’s analyze some beautiful French women. Who would win in a battle royale cat fight, Emmanuelle Beart, Juliette Binoche, Julie Deply, Marion Cotillard, Eva Green or Sophie Marceau? Why?
PC: Hahahahaha… Jean Reno is clearly one of our Real Badasses!!!! I’d vote Sophie Marceau. We recently did a movie poster (at my day job) with her. She is now 50 years old, and she is still HOT. No photoshop was needed. She practices Pilates every day and it shows!
NL: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
PC: I’ve always wanted to fly. That’s pretty common I know, but would that not be fucking awesome?
NL: Who are some of your favorites artists?
PC: Some more modern artists include Laurent Durieux, Ken Taylor, Olly Moss, Jason Edmiston, Nicolas Delort, Mark Englert, Matt Taylor, Richey Beckett, Kevin Tong, Florey, Tom Miatke and Matt Ferguson. For older artists, I’d say Drew Struzan, John Alvin, Moebius, Miyazaki, Norman Rockwell, etc. There are so many, that I can’t name them all, honestly.
NL: What is your game day process, meaning when you start your day with a project, how do you get prepped/psyched?
PC: As I mentioned earlier, I am an art director by day, so since I can’t do any personal stuff at work, that means that I need to wait until I’m back home (once my wife and baby child are asleep) and then I can start my NEW day! Anyway, when I start on a project, if it’s a movie I start to watch it (or rewatch it) to dive into the subject.
Then after that, I do some thumbnails sketches to see what I want to do, find a strong concept, or a composition that would fit the movie. When I’ve found a good one, I’ll do a better sketch (still rough), and once I’m settled on it, I jump onto the computer and finish the detailed work! I also like to know interesting details or fun facts about the movie as well, so I can add special details or easter eggs (I love easter eggs!!!!), and add a “special” aspect to my prints!
NL: Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
PC: Star Wars. Because STAR FUCKING WARS. Do you know that in France it has been translated as STARS WAR, La Guerre des Étoiles? Because it sounded cooler than Les Guerres de L’Étoile. But that’s not the worst. In A New Hope they named Chewbacca,
Chico ‘LE’ Chictaba, and the Millenium Falcon became Le Millenium Condor (both have been fixed since The Empire Strikes Back, though). Darth Vader is now Dark Vador, C-3PO is Z-6PO, etc. We are weird. That’s a fact. Don’t we eat frogs?
NL: What do you do in your free time?
PC: Free time? I don’t understand that question? Is there such a thing?
NL: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.
PC: Do you mean, for instance, the fact that I am secretly in love with Carrie Fisher? I don’t think that’s something secret, though. The whole world must be aware of that. Except Carrie, though. So I don’t really have any “nerdy” secrets.
NL: If you could nerd out with anyone in history, who would you choose?
PC: J.R.R Tolkien, so he could teach me how to speak Elvish himself. It would also be fun to hang out with Nikola Tesla or Leonardo Da Vinci as well.
NL: What is your favorite movie?
PC: Jurassic Park. I LOVE DINOSAURS. I saw it in the theatres when I was 8, and it was a revelation. I was already a huge dinosaur fan. I had actually already wanted to become a Paleontologist before then, but after the Steven Spielberg masterpiece I wanted to BE Alan Grant.
NL: What is your favorite video game?
PC: Metal Gear Solid (the first one). That’s the only video game I’ve finished more than once or twice. Actually I’ve finished it like seven or eight times. Five or six times on the original PlayStation, and twice on the Nintendo GameCube. The Twin Snakes (I LOVED THAT VERSION so much). The other ones are pretty cool too. I’m also a huge fan of God of War, some classic oldies like Street of Rage, Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, etc…
NL: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?
PC: I don’t read a lot of Comic Books (in France we’ve got La Bande-Dessinée with some great names such as Moebius), but I’m fond of Hellboy though. I love Mignola’s minimalistic style, the H.P Lovecraft references/universe and all the characters are awesome as hell.
NL: What are some of your upcoming projects?
PC: I’m working on a bunch of private commissions, some officially licensed properties (I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you afterwards), and some other cool stuff that I can’t talk about as well. However, you might be able to see me in person (I mean in the US) this year. More info about that is coming soon. And finally my good friend Bryan Rose and I are working on something fun and new to give away to people at this year’s MondoCon, like we did this past year. Be Prepared!
NL: Is there a question you’ve always wanted to be asked, but have never found the opportunity?
PC: Do you want to make an officially licensed print for Star Wars?
And there you have it, Mr. Patrick Connan! Please make sure you stop by Patrick’s website to check out more of his work – HERE. If you can, show your support for a great artist and buy something from his show – HERE.
And of course follow Patrick on social media to get up to date with his latest releases!
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