Hollywood Freelancer & Concept Designer Antoine Collignon talks about flyer design, conceptionation and illustration of major events in Belgium!
We all have been to festivals and appreciated the design and the special effects used for the mainstage, or even before that, gone crazy when the trailers for Qlimax, Reverze, or Defqon.1 get released. But who is really behind all these amazing artworks and design that we see at events that make us enjoy even more the music and the party year after year?
We caught up with one of the most talented ‘Freelancer’ in the scene, Antoine Collignon that has been responsible for all the designs of Reverze and Bassleader since 2011 but also EDC UK, MWAK 2013 Edition, and so many more.
We are so glad to have you here today, you are one of the Hardstyle Heroes that make us go crazy at events with mesmerising designs. How do you do?
Working on some Non-disclosure work ! NDA feels like working as secret agent 😛
A real 007! You are from Belgium, and you are a ‘Freelancer’. Can you explain us a bit what it is all about?
Yesh ! Being a freelance artist in 2016 is all about being in your bunker designing stuff 😛
I’m formerly a graphic designer converted into Illustration and Concept Design. I used to create logos etc but that never really interested me. What I like is creating juicy and story-telling artworks ! 😀
Anyway, Freelance is also about living a life that you want to live ! You can decide your schedule and it’s really great… As long as the work is done. For instance, if I want to get out of this rainy Belgium, I just have to move to some sunny country and as long as I have my wifi and laptop, I’m ready to shoot some work so this is pretty awesome.
I already tried to work in studio from time to time but I always get back to freelance, it’s the perfect freedom for me but don’t get me wrong, freelance isn’t just about the good sides and it’s not always easy especially in Belgium where you have to pay like ENORMOUS taxes, it’s raining 24/7 and you don’t always know where you will be in 3 month but this is the life I choosed until now 😀
Now, you are obviously a big fan of Sci-Fi if we look at the way you designed all the posters for Reverze and Bassleader. Where do you get all your inspiration from?
The meetings with the bass-events boss are always super-creative. It’s funny because the event industry is pretty similar to the video game industry, they want to reach the same kind of quality than the high-end movie or video games.
My inspiration is primary from music, it always sounds weird when people know this but I never listen to hardstyle ! I listen to science-fiction sound-track and I get lots of inspiration from the old masters art director (HR Giger, Ridley Scott, etc)
What is your all-time favorite Sci-Fi movie?
I have severals : Aliens, Sphere, Terminator.. But one movie I always keep coming at is “The Event Horizon”, the soundtrack is freaking awesome and the design were super cool back in the days.
You were again the ‘Chosen-One’ to make this year Reverze Interconnection design. What was this year ‘motto’ that Bass-Event told you for the artwork?
We had a meeting this summer, where we brainstormed with the Bass Events crew. This is always a fun part because we throw shit tons of ideas on a paper and before this “interconnected” theme popped out, we had at first, several other themes in mind . We finally set-up the name “interconnected” and we started to brainstorm ideas, what it should be, what it could be and so on …
So this was also the moment when the Bass Events boss told me his vision for this year’s theme and where I tried to do the best to make something amazing out of it. Basically interconnected logline was “We are all connected, next-generation Virtual reality” and from that I have to imagine something and create something.
So most of the time the organisers ask you to let your inspiration flow or do they sometimes ask more specific things?
It’s been a year now that I reduced my event poster production because I’m working hard to break into the entertainment industry (video game right now and possibily movie industry) and I have the luxury to choose my clients. I’m focusing mainly on the big-creative events like Bass Events. The thing is, Bass Events is the most creative event company I’ve had the chance to work with in my entire career, and the manager of this latter has an extremely sharp vision of what looks refreshing and what doesn’t.
From my experience, the music industry is generally creative and let you do your thing but most of organiser ask for the same things, again and again and this is where Bass Events really makes the difference : they want the ‘next-generation kind of ideas’, something that wasn’t seen yet and that looks fresh at the first sight!
When you start off a project, like for instance your most recent work for Bass-Event, ‘Reverze Interconnection’, do you listen to Hardstyle and let go your mind like we do at parties or do you get motivated by other music genres?
Beside B-front, I never listened to Hardstyle. I honestly don’t like it (ahah).
I think Hardstyle is one of the only music that works really well in live, like at an event I already enjoyed it but it doesn’t fit my working environment very well. It’s way too stressful man, BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM — calm down * put female-robot-voice saying something about the end of the world… – then BOBOBOBOBOOBOBMM PADPAD FX FX BOOM
Jeez stressful AF ! 😛
So yeah, I’m listening to science-fiction soundtracks mostly or even some rain-tropical-loop for hours!
Well you are definitely going to make some friends here ahah! Rain-Tropical-Loop is also super stressful mate, so many… drops .. it drives you crazy !
Come at me bro !
Aside from the Hardstyle Scene, you have also worked for other big projects, especially in the music industry and video games. And this is pretty impressive I must admit. Can you tell us a little bit more about your career so far?
Sure ! I’ve started my design career with Bass Events and this since 2011. It kickstarted everything for me, and before that I didn’t know I could actually make a living from creating science-fiction images! (ahah)
Then the boss of Bass Events asked me “hey are you available to create the Reverze 2012 design ?” and I was like “ahem I’m not sure… when ?” – “for tomorrow 😀 welcome in the music industry” and this is pretty much where it all started to be honest!
I continued to design all Bass Events designs, creating sketches, concept design, illustration, animation footage, I also did some hardcore posters and it was also pretty fun! In 2013 we decided to create a company together with Bass Events and Always-Awake (a third-party web designer company) to work exclusively with the artist and the events from the scene. This company was called French Toast (maybe some of you may remember) and we worked within this company until end-2015 where we decided to sell it for personal reasons.
Since then, I’m back in Freelance and I’ve decided to focus my energy on the entertainment industry (video game & movie) instead of the music industry. This new industry is really challenging and I’m looking for some new things to do you know ? As an artist you have to find new ways to keep the challenge up and get refreshing things to do! So for now one year, I’ve worked for some major companies like Universal Studios Hollywood or Warner Bros and I worked on some posters and concept arts for some animation movies.
I also worked for a few video games company like Take2interactive and DefineHumain and I still continue to do some poster designs from time to time, but I think I’ll always work with Bass Events, it’s my favorite client so far!
One of the down-side with the entertainment industry is that you get paid to create something that may not be used and displayed at all. This is what concept art is all about basically. In the music industry, you get paid to design a concept poster, it’s out 1 week later, everyone likes it and you move on, whereas when you are working in the video game industry it’s more like, you work, you don’t know if it’ll be out, or even when the game finally starts to sell, 3 years have already passed and you don’t like what you did you did back then anymore and yeah…hahaha. It’s a mind-fucking industry.But I still like it anyways!
My main objective right now is to get some AAA video-game gigs, so I’m working hard to achieve this !
Well, we really hope you will achieve your goals! I’m pretty sure you won’t struggle much with what you have done so far! Now, if we go back to Hardstyle… Let’s say we pay you to to go to a hardstyle party. What event would you go to ?
I have my free VIP’s from Bass Events BRO !
But you can pay me some beer if you want. I will also enjoy that aha!
Ahaha! I think I would be so happy to make all the designs for instance for Reverze, that I would tell everybody that I meet at the party ahah, that I was responsible for all the effects . Do you tend to do that?
I’m more the kind of introvert guy you know, I won’t grab the mic from B-front “shut the fuck up” — “HEY GUYS I MADE THE DESIGN LOL APPLAUSE PLS”
It’s always rewarding to see people talking about the design on facebook or in real life, I’m more the guy watching quietly than really taking part in conversations on my work. The first time I saw my design printed I was super-proud but it’s like everything you know and you get used to it eventually!
Besides friends that are likes “omg you killed it” almost no-one knows about the artists behind the design. Simple reason for that, what we design isn’t “our” product, it’s a product to make big sales and to sell the hardstyle artist out there, people are more interested into the event itself than to know the artist behind the design hehe !
But I have no problem with that so..
People who want to know more about me or my work can always reach me on my public facebook profile!
Alright Antoine, it was awesome to have you here today, we really hope to see more of your work at events cause I think it’s really what gives Hardstyle it’s fresh and innovative look that it has nowadays. The whole Hardstyle Mag crew wishes you the absolute best, and please… Keep make us dream!
You’re welcome ! Let’s continue to rock this planet !