by Inigo del Castillo in New Art on Friday 21 March 2014

French artist DZO creates highly-detailed illustrations on skulls like it was plain paper. He then posts his amazing artworks on Instagram for all the world to gawk at. In this exclusive interview, we ask him about his style of art and how he lays out plans in creating such intricate images. [Read our original post about DZO here]

You use a paper, as well as stones and skulls, for your art. Which type of canvas do you like drawing on best and why?
My favourite canvas is paper! Any paper. But the skull was incredibly interesting due to surfaces variations.

What was the most challenging part of drawing on stones and bone? What was the best part about it?
Those surface are still ‘living’ materials: rough, bold, smooth, cracked, absorbent. Taming the variety of surfaces on a volume is a real adventure! That was the challenge for me.

Best part?  The part where I finish it and watch the impact of this kind of artwork.

How long does it usually take you to finish a drawing, particularly the ones on rocks and bones?
Each stone needs five or six hours, while the skull was longer, perhaps 12 hours. Though I don’t really count the time. For drawing it depends on the complexity, usually between 8 and 20 hours, spread over several days.

Your artworks feature fantastical and imaginative elements, not to mention very intricate details. How do you ‘plan’ your drawings and how do you come up with these images?
Those pictures are inspired from alchimic artwork of middle age, mythology, etc. All are symbolic work. I only plan drawings which are commissioned.

For non-commissioned work, I let go. I agglomerate old sketches, I have a lot of books, I let my brain create a global structure, and after that, the details come freely. I stop when I obtain a kind of energy, harmony, consistency. It’s an esoteric work and a way of meditation, or active imagination.

How do you describe your illustrations and your style of art?
I can’t really describe my illustrations, or perhaps I could name this art ‘mega doodle!’ It’s surrealistic, esoteric, symbolic and brut. Hazard plays a big role in finality. The best word is CHAOS. I work on chaos to obtain a cosmos (tidiness, logos, consistent structure). My intuition leads me to the final result.

It’s an INKstinctive and INKtuitive style.