Nicolas Barome Forgues was born in Saint Jean de Luz in 1980. He grew up in the Basque country and made his debut in the School of Applied Arts in Bordeaux, before getting into illustration and creating with his friends Jeanspezial collective. He started out by painting on walls with his mates, where his images rapidly evolved thanks the discovery of new techniques including etching, which had a real impact on the way he produced his images. Passionate about the cinema and staging, obsessed with frames and textures, his world is full of details, complex images and several different reading levels. He can bring life to fruit and vegetables, make fun of religious icons or portray his childhood memories with ease, such as the carnival or his mum’s homemade dishes. With no limits, his style ressembles both the works of masters of classical painting and the creators of SpongeBob Squarepants.
- Tell me a bit about you and your background: where are you from/ where did you study?
So my name is Nicolas Barrome forgues and everybody calls me Nico because this name is definitely too long. I am a 38 years old illustrator and I was born in the southwest of France, in the Basque country close to the Spanish frontier.
After very classical and general studies during my first grade and one disastrous year in a commercial school, I remembered I loved drawing and creating things since i was a child!
At that time art school was not popular and I didn’t know these kinds of studies before. I decided to start a new challenge in an applied art school in Bordeaux ( France ) and that was a revelation. After 5 years in two different schools, I decided to start my career as a freelance illustrator, which was in 2005.
- Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Not really that was not something very natural. As I said, during all my childhood, I spent a lot of time drawing, building, cutting … creating all kinds of things. I was an only child and I needed a lot of imagination to invent new games and activities so I painted my toys, I built settings for my GI JO characters, I drew deformed monsters, etc …
But when it became the time to go to college and do my first grade, I forgot that a bit. It felt very good to draw stupid things on my copies in order to make my friends laugh, but I didn’t think I would do a creative job later…I was wrong.
I am a freelance artist and illustrator for 14 years now and I’ll not give my place to anybody!