By Mudassir Raja
Alexis Nesme is an illustration and decorative artist from France. He is especially interested in writing and creating comic and illustrative story books for children.
He is in Qatar, attending Doha International Book Fair with his creative work Les Enfants Du Captain Grant, an adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel The Children of Captain Grant. The talented artist brings his comic story book for the children in Qatar.
Community recently caught up with Alexis and spoke to him about his art and response to his creativity.
Introducing himself, the artist said, “I was born in Villefranche sur Saône, in 1974. I’m a graduate in Applied Arts in Lyon and studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. I graduated in 1997 and since then I have been working in illustration for the press and books for children. I’ve also won the Alph’art Graine de Pro in Angoulême award for my work. I have two kids and they are my driving force.”
Talking about his artwork, he said, “I bring particular care to the setting in colours, mixing all kinds of techniques, including oil, ink, chalk, gouache and coloured pencil. I am particularly fascinated and attracted towards computer graphics and animation. I am very interested in the work of Tim Burton, an American illustrator, and the work of Pixar, an illustration studio. In 2001, I created the character of Grabouillon. The series has been a great success and has been adapted for television as well. It was in 2009 that I started the adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel, The Children of Captain Grant.
Sharing the story of the book, the artist said, “In this illustrative adaptation of the classic novel, the entire cast has been transformed into anthropomorphic animals. It begins with a message. Actually, three water-damaged messages are found in a bottle removed from the belly of a shark. Written in three different languages the messages reveal that the long-missing Captain Grant was shipwrecked and is being held hostage. The only clue from the messages that might be of any help will lead Lord Glenarvan and Captain Grant’s children on an adventure literally around the world. I want children to have a world tour through this book.”
He added, “I’ve done all the illustration work by hands. It took me four and a half year to complete the book. The book was completed in three parts and the last part finished in 2014. It was published in 2015.”
About his love for the illustration art, the writer said, “I learnt it during my school time and since my graduation, I have been following my passion for the artwork. The comic books are the best way to educate kids. Such books serve as a sort of bridge for children between their childhood and old age.”
Regarding the response he has received so far, he said, “The book has been doing very well. It is very popular in France and in all the French-speaking countries. The book has different versions in English, Russian, Italian, and in Spanish. I am working to bring out a version in Chinese language as well.”
“There are a lot of comic books in France. What makes my book unique is the use of illustrations in a classic way,” he added.
Brining his book to Qatar, he said, “I am invited here by Institut Francais du Qatar (French Institute of Qatar). I have brought here only the French version. The institute chose the French version only for Qatar. There is a large French expatriate community in Qatar. It is only the start. The other versions can be brought here in future.”
Speaking about his visit to Qatar, Alexis said, “This is my first visit to Qatar. It is very interesting to be here. I find the people very friendly. I visited Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif and the desert. I am trying to discover the country with the limited time I have here. I am impressed with the traditions and culture of the people.”
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