REVISING DIMENSIONS OF THE UNALTERED
Belgium-based artist Christophe Lardot celebrates 6 months of post-it art technique which proved to be original in concept, grace to the format of the medium.
Paper stickers of yellow, sometimes pink colour, the standard 7,5 x 7,5 centimers of choice, represent the canvas of the artist and the exhibition space, as for the moment, is uniquely Facebook. Size doesn’t matter when you want to capture the pristine essence of a subject.
When did you start making art out of block notes and why portraits specifically?
Portrait Post-It was born quite by chance. It was during a very happy period, full of hopes and love, with the desire to make drawings again because I hadn’t been drawing for a few months. I had fallen in love and so, I was in the mood to get back to work. I usually sketch pretty fashionista girls for the “Feminine World” ( press, books, cosmetic) such as Cosmopolitan, Marie-Claire, Marie-France, Pocket girly books covers, L’Oréal, Nivea.
At the time I had no paper on hand, only a stack of “Post-its”. So naturally, I started using them for my sketches. I posted one sketch on Facebook with the caption: „A post-it to remember that now I want to sketch men.”
I got a lot of comments and encouraging messages. One was decisive. Patrick wrote, „Do not wait. Do it!”
I made the portrait of my friend Patrick like a challenge and it was pretty successful… Ever since I’ve decided to celebrate one of my contact’s birthdays by sketching his portrait on a Post-It and posting it on Facebook. That’s how the idea “Post-It Portrait by Christophe Lardot ” came to be, 6 months ago. It is an original concept and unique owing to the choice of media, the post-it (small square and colored paper of 7,5 m/7,5 cm that everyone one has on their desk) and of course the exhibition space, Facebook.
How do you select whom you portray and what kind of audience and feedback do you desire?
Every day I have one or more contacts who celebrate their birthday. I can’t celebrate each one because of the time it takes to select photos from my friends’ profile, to choose which is best and finally, to draw the portrait. So I decided to sketch a single portrait a day. However, for the few days without any birthdays, I created the Happy Day Portrait (not Happy Birthday Portrait) which is to draw one of my contacts and to celebrate their „non-birthday”.
I do not target a particular audience, it just turns out that there are only a few drawings of women because most of my contacts are male.
I have been very surprised with the enthusiastic feedback I have received for my illustrations. It is true that I give a lot, every day, to my Facebook contacts that I know from near or far.
I feel that this challenge is really a way of making people happy and in turn, I get a lot of satisfaction from that.
„Portraits Post-It” celebrates six months on December the 20th and I want to keep it going for at least a year. This forces me to be regular which is a great exercise in discipline for an artist.
Do you have any favorite pieces? Which one stirred you great memories?
I like when the models have an expression; a smile, a grin, a pout. This makes the most vivid portraits. I am sometimes surprised when looking at the finished portrait,that I feel that my design is actually alive… There are sometimes glimpses and flashes of souls that shake me up so much that I wonder how I could have drawn it. When this happens… I catch myself and I’m happy.
But the best reward for sure is when the model is happy with my gift and uses the Post-It Portrait as their profile picture on Facebook.
What do you plan to do with all your works, maybe an exhibition?
Well I only ever post a photo on my contact’s wall, I don’t give the original post-it. Actually, there are some retrospective exhibition projects like „1-year Post-It Portrait” particularly in Paris and Vienna which interests me. The drawings will be exhibited and I would love to edit a catalogue of the 365 portraits made between the 20th of June 2014 and the 20th of June 2015.
Post-it portraits is my passion right now. From morning to night the project is constantly bouncing around my head, and I think about where it could go next. Right now, I would like to ask my contacts that live far from Belgium to take selfies of themselves with a copy of their post-it placed on their body and post the result on Facebook. I like that idea of creative and playful interactivity.
Are you going to improve or change your technique in some way?
I’m thinking of other possibilities that would be a bit more technical and involve different types of media but it is too early to talk about it … I’m at the reflection and experimentation stage.
However, as a taste… I would say this … „A SMALL Post-It with a BIG effect ;-)”