5 Questions for Todd Borka

I came across Todd Borka's art on Kickstarter recently. His simple but bold black and white illustrations of people caught my attention. It's a very clean comic style kind of art.

Todd Borka like drawing the crowd, and with his Kickstarter campaign, he wants to draw you. He wants to draw all his backers on a huge canvas. The campaign ends on 21 Sep 2014, for more details visit https://kck.st/1lE3RLr

I invited him for a short 5 Questions interview.

Qn: Can you give us an introduction about yourself?

Hello, my name is Todd Borka and I'm a French illustrator.

I started out drawing children's illustrations, working on children books in France. Today I draw for international magazines (women's press, politics, culture, etc), for families (I draw family portraits), and of course for me.

I draw only characters: alone, in small groups or crowds.

Qn: I see on your website and Kickstarter project that you draw a lot of people. What is it that you like about drawing people and faces?

For me, the human portrait is something very exciting whether in painting or photography.

The "other" is something that scares me a lot. I prefer to be alone or in small company. When I'm in the middle of a crowd, I feel the looks, I dare not speak, I feel the "judgment" of the crowd of big cities. So when I'm alone, I'm drawing crowds. It's a mystery for me, because you can love it, or hate the crowd. It is both addictive and scary.

I like to draw large individual portraits or very large crowds. When you find yourself in front of the painting, you feel overwhelmed by dozens of looks. I like to make the viewer feel slightly uncomfortable.

The way people look at each other in a crowd is very interesting. They can be deceitful, of admiration, jealousy, detached, attentive, etc. I like working on the looks because many emotions can be portrayed by the eyes.

Qn: You mentioned that you are obsessed with portraits. Do you have any particular portrait from any artist that you really like?

I am huge fan of Edward Gorey and Alex Katz.

I also love '25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy', an artist book by Andy Warhol. The early work of Andy Warhol are very beautiful and spontaneous.

Qn: Tell us more about your Kickstarter project I'll PAINT YOU.

Instead of painting unknown characters, often from imagination, I wanted to paint real people. The wall of my living room is covered by portraits of people around me. After that, I had to find new faces. What's cool with the idea of ​​the crowd is that it can bring together dozens of people from different origins onto the same artwork.

So I launched the Kickstarter project to create a work on which I'll paint the portraits of all my donors (regardless the size of the donation). I want to paint them one by one on a vast canvas of several meters long. The donors will become my model.

Qn: I see that there are some coloured portraits on your website. What do you use to paint them? Do you like colour or black and white?

Indeed, if there is time, I'll draw group portraits in color. They are all made with acrylic paint by brush. I've painted many small groups of 3 or 4 people.

On occasions, I still paint color, but it is true that I prefer black and white. I love working with ink.

Thank you, Todd Borka, for the interview.

Lovely readers, check out more details of his Kickstarter campaign at https://kck.st/1lE3RLr

Campaign ends 21 Sep 2014


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