Master Mind: Yannick Bouchard talks of Evil Dead, Thrills and Chills
Okay, so he didn’t kill his girlfriend and in actuality it’s just corn syrup and food coloring but Yannick understands what every brilliant artist knows deep down: that a curious mind playing within the re-enactment of a scene sets the stage for worthwhile creations. Artists and designers alike don’t simply paint and draw “stuff”. They play with matter and light to capture special moments like these. By placing themselves in the right headspace, artists often find themselves living and experiencing the very moments they strive to portray. Inasmuch as an artist relives these moments, Yannick’s fascination with horror means that he gets to experience a healthy dose of fear on a daily basis. He also gets to play with gore and smoke machines!
You can be jealous now.
When I asked him how he went about tackling his projects, it just so happened that I walked into his studio at an opportune moment; that is: in the midst of one of his creations as he hovered over a stove stirring what appeared to be a strange gooey red substance. “The funny thing is,” he confessed as he nonchalantly dodged the fumes, “I am such a peaceful, quiet and shy person… for real“ he insisted, as he methodically stirred the pot. “Maybe this fascination with horror is one way to exorcise the negativity, the fear, the anger and frustration within…” a devious smile flashed across his face, “…or maybe monsters and weird shit are just fun to draw!”
It wasn’t long before this mysterious concoction of “red goo” was complete and after a half hour cooling in the freezer, the now congealed fake blood was destined to be used as reference material in his latest commissioned painting. Yes, you read that right; Yannick designs T-shirts AND paints using traditional mediums. As I watched in complete astonishment, this Master Mind spared no time smearing the blood all over his face before taking the precious reference shots he needed for his next creation. Curious, I sat in the corner out of the way taking notes as he took pictures of himself. A dark setting, colored lighting, a smoke machine and dust were only the more obvious details I could pick out about his set, but there was something else about this place that gave me this inexplicable shiver… one that made me wonder if coming here to interview this curiously unusual man was a good idea in the first place. Moments later, it occurred to me. While posing for his shots, Yannick’s eyes would change. It was as if he had summoned something from within deeply shrouded in darkness and then in a blink of an eye, the camera flash would go off and it was gone. Between shots, Yannick joyously chatted about nostalgic moments working as an artist, “Once, I accidentally inhaled fake blood up my nose while trying to take a photograph as reference material. Have you ever had fake blood stuck up your nose?” he chuckled, “I really don’t recommend it, in fact it was beyond unpleasant. “Absolutely horrible” is a better way to describe it.” He smiled at the memory, and then the timer on his camera began to count down with that humble smile of his just as quickly gone. The pleasant, rather shy man talking about awkward moments no longer existed, and what was left was the essence of what makes his creations so inherently horrifying.
What we’ve learned from Master Mind Yannick Bouchard:
1. How would you describe your art style?
That would depend. I like to work with different mediums and different styles. Most of my work is done in a realistic manner. My oil paintings have a touch of surrealism and fantasy. My digital paintings are quite meticulous. I use photo references a lot, although I am often asked to do illustrations depicting supernatural elements, horror and other weird stuff. Then, there’s all the rest. When it comes to T-shirt designs for example, I like to have fun with various approaches. It’s often more stylized, “comic-booky”. I like using different mediums sometimes, traditional techniques like ink or pencil, which will provide more instinctive and expressive results.
2. What are some things which inspire your art?
In accordance with my previous answer: that would depend. Or, more accurately: many different things! I don’t like the idea of doing the same thing over and over again; there are many sides to any individual, and because art is made to express oneself, that’s why some of my stuff is funny, some of it is dark, and some is more “artistic”. I like vintage aesthetics, like old comic books and horror movie posters. I like nature, landscapes, trees, sunsets, and animals. I love taking photographs and often use them as a source of inspiration. And most obviously, I love women, for their beauty and their soul, for their elegance and sensitivity.
3. Can you tell us a bit about this design and how you came about creating it?
I was actually approached by the evil minds at teeVillain to make a design for the Halloween countdown, and it was suggested to me to do something related to Evil Dead, most likely because they knew I’m a fan, so of course I yoinked it! And what makes a great Evil Dead design? Without hesitation, the answer lies in the badass, yet quite idiotic, but totally lovable hero: Ash. To me, what makes the Evil Dead movies (including Army of Darkness, but not the “Evil Dead” remake) unique is the fact that the main protagonist is a male anti-hero, unlike most “final girl” horror movies. Also, it’s usually the bad guy who is most iconic in those movies (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Chucky, etc.,) but not in Evil Dead.
So of course the design depicts Ash, in all its badassness, with the indispensable chainsaw and shotgun. Of course I had to include some “deadites” (that’s what the possessed are referred to) and a fun quote felt appropriate as well, since Ash has so many memorable one-liners. I came up with the concept and main composition within a few minutes, as I often find the best way to go is to trust my
first instinct; but for good measure I rewatched all 3 movies just to really… you know… well, ’cause any excuse is good to watch Evil Dead.
4. What triggered your fascination with Horror and portraying gruesome subjects in your art?
I don’t know, it’s really weird when you think about it, isn’t it? Well, I’m not so much into very explicit gore and extreme stuff, which is often what you get in horror movies nowadays. What I like about Evil Dead is the fact that it doesn’t take itself seriously and it’s filled with humour, despite the crazy amount of blood. It is the case with many older horror flicks, the classic of the 80’s and all that. Sometimes the humour isn’t intentional, but that’s what makes them entertaining. I grew up in those years and I’d watch lots of action movies with tons of violence. I don’t know, I’ve always loved drawing monsters. Funny thing is I am such a peaceful, quiet and shy person for real. Maybe that’s one way to exorcise the negativity, the fear, the anger and frustrations? Or maybe monsters and weird shit are just fun to draw!
5. What are we likely to find in your art studio?
Nothing much, really. There’s a lot of stuff laying around. I actually have two separate rooms. A small one with my easel and traditional painting things. The other one is where I have my computer, tablet, printer and scanner. There are pencils scattered everywhere. And a camera there. A few paintings on the walls. A digital piano, although that has nothing to do with the rest. There are no goblins or ninjas hiding in the corners. No skeletons even, although there’s a skull by the window but it’s made of plastic. I’d love to have a real one, though! It’s somewhat macabre, but I have a bit of a fascination with skulls. Sometimes I see a spider. Not always the same one; different ones. Some days there are dogs, or a cat. That’s pretty much it…
6. Most importantly, who are you likely to side with: Super Villains or Super Heroes?
Super Heroes. Super Villains are kinda cool, but at the end of the day they always get their punk asses kicked by the heroes. The best is to have a bit of both, I guess. Ash says it best: “Good, bad… I’m the guy with the gun.”
7. How can we find you on Social Media?
Facebook would be the way to go (facebook.com/illusorydreams). I’m also on deviantArt (yannickbouchard.deviantart.com)
Thank you, Yannick!
Your creations truly give us the chills!
Hail to this King, baby!
This Tee’s counting bodies
Get “HAIL TO THE KING, BABY” today
on T-shirts and Tanktops
October 6, 2015
Only @ teeVillain.com