Amaury Dubois, Fresco, Sainte-Madeleine of Châtelaillon-Plage. Image courtesy of Amaury Dubois.

Meet Artwork Archive artist Amaury Dubois.

Dubois is a dynamic artist who not only creates a range of mediums, from graphic design to painting, to photography but also exhibits and creates in many different spaces and with a variety of partners and brands. 

We interviewed Dubois a few years back and asked him about how he created relationships for licensing and branding and his work with businesses like Mercedes Benz and McDonald’s.

We recently caught up with Dubois to learn how his art career has continued to evolve, if his perspectives on licensing his work and print-on-demand sites have changed, and to hear more about how online platforms have prepared him to work through COVID-19. 

You can see more of Amaury Dubois' work on Discovery. 

How do you continue to find new modes of expression, work to reach wider audiences—and balance the two? 

As soon as I see something that inspires me or pleases me, I always want to explore it in my own way. I ask myself, "How will I do it?” It's like opening a door to a new little universe. I don't want to get bored or live on what I've learned, I want to have fun, to do different things, all while keeping my style. So, when I get a brief from a client for a project, I enter their universe and I see how I can create my own story within that project’s requirements.

My works always start from a personal desire and passion; I never really care about trends. 

 

You work with many brands creating art. How do you see your own “brand"? Has working in the commercial arena influenced how you understand promoting yourself and your work? 

I see it as my “world” and not as my “brand.” My work is always a reflection of who I am, what I see, what I think.

When I create art, I materialize my vision, which gives what I’m thinking about coherence. My world is made up of more projections of my inner self and my feelings than the ideas of a brand. Working with brands has not influenced the way I see my career. I make my own way independent of fashions and trends.

I don't deny the "marketing" side of selling paintings, which is of course necessary, but I see it more as a way to continue to have the chance to do what I love. It should never take over the art.

I paint first. Then, I think about how to put my work forward—never the other way around. If I did that, it would be a different job than the career of an artist.

Amaury Dubois, Fresco, Sainte-Madeleine of Châtelaillon-Plage. Image courtesy of Amaury Dubois.

You recently created frescos on church walls as a part of the restoration of the Sainte-Madeleine of Châtelaillon-Plage, a church on the seaside in the west of France. How does place influence or play into your expression? What were the challenges of this project?

The church strongly influenced my work inside of it because it is a place of worship and, therefore, there are expectations for the type of art that should be in that space. Since this space is a very important place for a lot of people, the work needed to be respectful. I had to create something that was harmonious and made sense, it wasn't just graphic. It needed a story and symbolism.

All of this guided my creative thinking tremendously. Technically, it's one of the largest frescoes in France in a church. To do it alone, and with only a few brushes and aerosol cans was an immense undertaking. It was mentally and physically quite a challenge. I am very happy to have succeeded.

The purpose of the project kept me going. Painting several meters high, on a vault that overhangs, is very different from painting on a canvas that you are facing! You move forward meter by meter and it's more difficult to get a sense of the whole work. It was difficult to create a final impression that the work had always been there—to give the illusion that it's not something that was created, but that it fit into the space naturally. 

 

What do you think the role of the artist is today? How about in the future? How do you fit into these roles? 

I'm not trying to fit into a role. Honestly, I hope that art will always be a refuge for people and that it won't follow the trend of our world to become a disposable product that we consume for a few months, a few years and then change just like that, because we're fed up with it—like most things today. 

We have so many things on hand that we can zap around and zap around and zap around. I hope that in the midst of all this, artists will know how to resist and not become simple producers of images at a pace that is not real. The risk of zap, zap, zapping is that art-making becomes more marketing and commercial than artistic.

Art is a refuge for thinking. So, if we give way to this world of the disposable and the superficial, I wonder what will be left for us to hang on to, to meditate on, and to dream about. Unfortunately, I feel that the art world is moving in that direction. 

As an artist, you have to navigate through all this with your conscience and make choices. For me, an artist is someone who knows how to do what he feels, without letting himself be influenced by trends or what is told to him. 

 

A few years ago, you mentioned that you had started selling work on Society6. Are you still selling works on print-on-demand sites? How has your use of them changed over the years?

No, I'm no longer selling on print-on-demand sites. I stopped doing it precisely because of what I just mentioned about production and art. 

At first, I signed up because I was interested in new media and I thought it was nice to have my art on these sites. But when the catalogs started to get too large, I stopped. 

We're talking about paintings and not just products. I didn't want to see my work on anything and everything. 

I now make my own reproductions, fine art prints in small series that I can sign. This way I keep my hand on my work from A to Z and it allows me to offer a real experience, to come back to something more artisanal, more human.

This doesn't mean that I won't come back to other print systems later, but I would do it differently than before. I prefer to have control over my artworks, even if they are less spread out into the world which is a perk of print-on-demand. Diffusing my art into the world for the sake of diffusing doesn’t interest me. 

Amaury, Dubois, Barcelona, Oil on Canvas

How has your art business changed during COVID-19? Are you focusing on different ways of creating, selling, or managing your career? 

COVID-19 did not have any real influence on me. I think this is partly due to the fact that I had already been working with the web for a long time. 

The confinement of quarantine allowed me to refocus on my studio work and my paintings. It was an opportunity to have a fairly long period of concentration without being interrupted. I was able to take my research work further and it was quite enjoyable I must say. 

Selling during COVID-19 proved to me that selling my art reproductions by myself was a good approach. Selling reproductions gives me financial independence and security, which allowed me to go through this period a little more serenely, despite the fact that the galleries were closed. 

 

How do you create and maintain relationships with your clients and collaborators?

I mainly use social networks to connect with people. I also send newsletters to clients to create more exclusive connections, something they appreciate a lot. 

I use the Artwork Archive’s contact feature to help me know details and information about my clients, where they come from etc, which helps me think about where I can find new clients. 

 

Do you have a routine for your art career administrative tasks?

I don't have a real administrative routine. However, I reference all my works, my sales, and my clients in my Artwork Archive account. 

Artwork Archive is an indispensable tool. It allows me to always keep track of the location of each of my works and to follow the rhythm of my sales over the years so that I can see where I am compared to previous years and make informed career choices. 

 

Do you have an art-making mantra or guiding principle? 

To keep doing what I like! 

 

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