Artist and Illustrator Kevin Lucbert at Café Pförtner

We met French illustrator and artist Kevin Lucbert at Café Pförtner in Berlin, where he introduced us to some of his works.

We are quite fascinated with the sheer amount of pieces and projects he’s working on and also with their richness of detail and depth. It seems like he’s painting all the time, no matter if he’s traveling through Argentina, where he filled several sketchbooks with watercolor paintings or is just sitting at his desk, drawing for his ongoing series of Biro pen drawings. In real life his artworks are even more fascinating since you can really see the structure and all the lines, color and time he put into his pieces.

He’s currently showing some of his works as part of the Unsettlements exhibition at the Stillpoint Space in Berlin. You can also follow him via Tumblr.

When did you come to Berlin?

I came to Berlin 3 years ago, before I was here for one year as an Erasmus student seven years ago. I was born and raised in Paris. I really enjoyed my year here and after I finished my studies at ‘Ecole des Arts décoratifs’ in Paris I kept thinking about Berlin and I wanted to move back.

And now you’re working as an illustrator?

I mainly draw. It’s something between illustration and art, I am working on a series of drawings on my own as well. My last commissioned job was for the New York Times, I did an illustration for them. I also do comics every month for a French comic Magazine. I work with a group of artists, it’s two friends that I know from art school, we do workshops, and we illustrate together, we’re called Ensaders. We sit around a sheet of paper and draw on it together.

I did this poster about Paris for a French book called ‘The Parisianer’, they asked several artists to do a drawing about Paris. There are always kilometers of traffic jam in front of Paris, I feel like I’ve spent my whole childhood in traffic jams.

How would you describe your style?

I like to change styles or perspectives but maybe I would say that I like to use a very simple medium. I am currently working on a series that I draw only using a Biro pen.

The Biro pen images were great! How did you develop them?

Well I started with the black Biro pen images and after I finished the series I started to work with the blue one. In a way I was more fascinated with the blue color, it’s just a feeling but this particular blue worked really well. For me this color is related to a world of dreams because I used it at school and when I got bored, I started to dream away and draw. There is a dimension of dream and mythology, all these contrasts between the well organized world and structures and the woods, the irregular is somewhat mythical.

How do you find your subjects?

It just comes naturally. Sometimes one drawing leads to another, sometimes I just have an idea that I start to work on. It also comes from the technique, when I think that certain styles would work very well together when combining them. I also sketch a lot (pulling out his sketchbook).

This is my latest sketchbook, I drew in it during a trip to Argentina. I used watercolor. Every time I travel I bring a sketchbook. I loved Argentina, it was so beautiful and versatile. Just the city Buenos Aires is incredibly huge. You could travel through the country for months and always discover something new.

What do you like about being an artist?

The freedom to work on several projects and I am always surprised by what comes next. You’re always working on different things, sometimes it’s an exhibition, sometimes a poster, a T-Shirt and so on and I also get to work with a lot of different people.

What do you like about Berlin?

I would say the space. There is so much space here. In the streets, the parks. Compared to Paris there is a lot of room and airy space.

What are you working on right now?

Currently I am working on the blue Biro pen series that I’d like to continue. And I am also working on a book that I started two years ago. I always work on it when I have some extra time. I’m in touch with a publisher to have it printed.

Café Pförtner
Uferstrasse 8-11, 13357 Berlin Wedding
Monday – Saturday: 09:00 am – 11:00 pm
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Photography by Ana Santl, Interview and Text by Caroline Kurze