Drop everything you are doing right and watch these animations.
Through robots, animation, illusions, and pools, Geoffroy De Crécy captures the simplicity and beauty of empty places, isolation, and automation like no one else. The hypnotic power and movement of the digital world are what is motivating French illustrator and animator Geoffroy to create his endlessly satisfying and therapeutic work. From studying History to working in the early days of the video games industry to his current fascination with AI, we explore his roots and the direction he wants to take his work in the future.
Framing the unusual of everyday life and telling stories through it is a rare art, especially without the use of characters. Artists like William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, who have the ability to capture the mundane of daily life through photography, fascinate Geoffroy. In many ways, he captures this same beauty through animation and illustration.
Working as an artist and also on commercial projects for the likes of The Atlantic Magazine, Google, and Paris Worldwide Magazine, Geoffroy was born into a family of makers but didn't fall into art straightaway.
After studying History and Politics at university, Geoffroy entered the workforce a little puzzled in which direction he should take. He knew he needed to find a job and remembered he could draw because that's all he did as a child. He entered the video game industry and became a professional in animated pictures. This was the early years of the industry when everything felt new and exciting.
Despite having a successful career as an animator, Geoffroy knew something was missing as he felt he had so much more to give creatively. He told us his artistic needs couldn't be met in a technical environment, so he needed to leave in order to be more experimental.
But working in the video games world left a mark on him. Even after leaving the industry, all his work was "driven by technology" he said. The power of digital tools has always been what fascinates him. Robots and machines turned into the subjects of his work, more or less anything that moves digitally he drew inspiration from.
His approach to work is also like that of gaming, going straight into 3D software, avoiding the sketchbook completely. He starts with simple shapes before playing around with the angles, framing, and size.
Geoffroy has a very mysterious aesthetic, with light and emptiness being at the heart of his work. But there is also another side to him, one that plays around with summer backdrops and another with elements that remind us of Mad Men. We asked how he developed this style?
"I used to like Mad Men, it was a point of inspiration for some of my earlier work. But now I’m more interested, in terms of mood and design, by periods like the 80s. For the light and emptiness, it’s certainly linked to my willingness to becoming a good illustrator. To sum up, I create some lightly animated illustrations.”
His style has become more distinctive over the years. From capturing the loneliness of city life to a poolside illusion artwork that is a tribute to David Hockney, Geoffroy has an acquired eye for composition.
We asked him what he thinks people feel when they see his work vs. what he wants them to feel? He said he doesn't actually know what people feel. But he's been told there is a "kind of satisfaction in watching my loops". He says this is something he is aiming for in his work. "When working on a complex loop, the moment you finally succeed in making your last picture exactly identical with the first one is a moment of great satisfaction", he told us. So this is something he shares with the viewers, which he finds nice in a way.
As he continues to work on more and more illustration projects, Geoffroy says he puts "more attention on the composition and colors of my animations." He has got to the point where he uses almost no camera moves, he says this forces him "to make everything else as good as possible." He hopes through this technique there is a real visual pleasure for the viewers.
His work is undeniably satisfying and therapeutic to watch. But we're curious why the loneliness of city life is ever-present in his work. He asked him what drives his work? He told us:
"I can add that I’m far from being a lonely person. But I like to work by myself. One simple reason for the lack of human beings in my animations is that I think digital software is not good at representing them.
Robots and AI are subjects he has mastered with his recent work. We asked if there is another area of society that he really wants to explore with his art, he replied with, "I’m very interested in architecture."
This summer his work has transported thousands of people, including myself, into dreamy places sometimes out of eyesight. By creating amazing visuals that manipulate light and water, his work encourages you to enter a world of escapism, even if just for a minute. There is also a thought-provoking side to him though. His automated work asks questions about their existence in society, whether they are for human use or have a function of their own. We're excited to see what he releases this winter, maybe there's even a feature film on the way.
One of the world's most beautiful careers, illustrators are working in new and different ways. Expanding their field into animation and digital art, this practice has never been so diverse. Explore A Life In Illustration through our book.