Since I was young, the first style of art that appealed most to me was graphite sketches. I found the spontaneous and erratic yet controlled method to be very inspiring and I still shudder every time I see one. A few days ago, I had the honor of interviewing an artist who has become a master or graphite sketching. His works have caught the attention of big clients like NIKE, HP, Derwent, and many more. Get inspired today by Alexis Marcou and his works and read on!

Thank you for letting us interview you. Can you tell us about yourself and your style?

I currently live in Greece where I work. My style is influenced by geometry and I tend to work with lines a lot. I try to keep my designs clean and I do my best to avoid overdesigning them.

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You seem to be very skilled in graphite sketching. Did you have formal training? If so, where did you go. How did you develop your style?

I never had any formal training in graphite sketching. I always skipped classes and drew in my own spare time.LION16

Who or what influenced you when you first started to sketch? When were you able to say to yourself that you would pursue this career as a professional?

I was influenced mainly by video games and films.

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Which among your works is your favorite? Why?

I don’t really have one favorite piece in mind. If I had to choose it would have to be one of my latest works that I did with Nike. If you were to visit Nike’s headquarters, inside the executive offices you would find five massive wall graphics placed throughout the halls. One
of these graphics portrays Maria Sharapova. This is the largest and one of the most challenging pieces I have worked on. Unfortunately I am not permitted to share this with you yet.

 

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How much time does it usually take you to finish a piece? Can you share your creative process with us?

This depends on the level of detail and photorealism required so it is difficult to say.

 

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Aside from your work, what other hobbies do you do?

I go for running and I like to snowboard whenever possible.

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Can you name  3 – 5 artists or people you take inspiration from?

The three artists that I can think of from the top of my mind are Yoji Shinkawa, David Downton, Masamune Shirow .

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As an artist, creative blocks are a commonplace. Do you have them? What do you do to overcome them?

Creative blocks can be very common. It always depends on the situation your are in. Usually I tend to get more creative blocks when I am working on self initiated work rather than commissioned pieces.I guess the best way to overcome them is to start working on something
else for a while and then go back to working on your initial piece.

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Your work has attracted big clients like Nike, HP, MCCANN. Where do you
see yourself and your work evolving in the next few years?

I hope to at least continue to steadily evolve but remain on the same path.

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Thank you for your time, Can you leave a final message to other
illustrators out there who are just starting in the industry?

Its better to compete with yourself rather than with others.

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About the Artist

Alexis Marcou is an international artist and has been doing freelance work since 2007 for a wide range of clients such as Cisco, Atomic Skis, Acco Brands, Hewlett Packard, Gatorade, Air Jordan and Nike. You can find out more about him by visiting his website or his Behance profile.