Jean Luc Michon, each artist has his own story

Jean Luc Michon, each artist has his own story

Olimpia Gaia Martinelli | Mar 18, 2023 6 minutes read

"My artistic journey began with studies in applied arts and fine arts, which gave me the technical bases necessary to explore different forms of visual expression. I then worked as an artistic director in an agency advertising, where I developed my skills in visual creation for advertising campaigns".

What inspired you to create works of art and to become an artist? (events, feelings, experiences...)

Each artist has their own story and their own motivations for becoming an artist. For me as a graphic designer and then a photographer, it was first a vital need, I couldn't imagine doing anything other than expressing myself through the image, it's the passion for visual creation and expression self that pushed me to become an artist. I have always been fascinated by images and the possibilities they offer to tell stories and express emotions.

What is your artistic background, the techniques and subjects you have experimented with so far?

My artistic journey began with studies in applied arts and fine arts, which gave me the technical foundation necessary to explore different forms of visual expression. I then worked as an art director in an advertising agency, where I developed my skills in visual creation for advertising campaigns. Then I decided to pursue a career as a photographer, where I focused my work on the world of women and luxury, exploring subjects such as fashion, lingerie and the nude. This allowed me to develop a personal aesthetic and to work with models and prestigious brands. More recently, I started to explore the possibilities offered by the creation by artificial intelligence, this allows me to combine my passion for photography with the latest technologies to create unique works. It's an exciting area, “a new tool” for creators that offers many possibilities.

What are the 3 aspects that differentiate you from other artists, making your work unique?

In my opinion, the 3 aspects that make my work unique are: My versatile professional background: My experience as a graphic designer has allowed me to have an approach to typography, composition and layout, which is reflected in my work as a photographer. As a photographer I have a graphic vision of the image, and as a graphic designer my experience as a photographer helps me to transcribe movement and look for unconventional compositions and framing. I use these skills to create images that have strong visual meaning and a polished aesthetic. My use of retouching technology and digital photography: as a pioneer of this practice, I use digital tools to add a personal touch to my images, but always ensuring that the technique does not take over on the main topic. My mix of experiences: As a graphic designer, photographer and user of digital technology, it gives me a unique perspective on imagery. I am able to capture moments, details and expressions and shape them aesthetically.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Everything is a source of inspiration, it can be the news, I am always on the lookout for the latest trends and important events taking place in the world. I find that the news can offer many interesting topics to explore in my work. It can also be simple everyday things, and also music, I'm passionate about music and I listen to a wide variety of styles. Music can bring me emotions and sensations that push me to explore different themes and create images that reflect these emotions. Finally, I have an aesthetic need, I'm always looking for an aesthetic that speaks to me, that touches me, I always want to create images that have a neat aesthetic.

What is your artistic approach? What visions, sensations or feelings do you want to evoke in the viewer?

My artistic approach is based on the search for aesthetics and emotion above all. I use technology to create images that transcend the limits of traditional photography but never take over emotion. That's what I look for in photographs of women and nudes in particular. I hope my images evoke feelings and sensations also in the viewer and arouse emotions that go beyond mere visual observation.

What is the process of creating your works? Spontaneous or with a long preparatory process (technical, inspiration from art classics or other)?

My inspiration is generally spontaneous and unconscious, especially in photography where I always leave a lot of room for improvisation. Although I need to visualize the lights I want to use before I start, the unexpected in a session is always a rewarding experience.

9. Do you have a format or medium that you are most comfortable with? if yes, why ?

To answer questions 7-8-9, there is a common denominator which is IT. The technique, the work done and the support for many years, all of this is now digital…

Where do you produce your works? At home, in a shared workshop or in your own workshop? And in this space, how do you organize your creative work?

For more than 20 years I have been working in my studio which is a 220m2 Loft in Lyon located on the banks of the Saône. This space, located in a former factory from the 1930s, has a history and an atmosphere conducive to creation. I go daily to this place and this one sometimes becomes my second home.

Does your work lead you to travel to meet new collectors, for fairs or exhibitions? If so, what does it bring you?

Until now meetings and travels were rather linked to the professional work of advertising photographer.

How do you imagine the evolution of your work and your career as an artist in the future?

In the future, I wish to concentrate solely on my own artistic research in order to devote myself entirely to my personal development as an artist.

What is the theme, style or technique of your latest artistic production?

Currently, I am captivated by creation using artificial intelligence. This new technology allows me to synthesize all my past experiences, which is both exciting and addictive. It opens new horizons for artists, although it also raises questions, as is often the case when a new technology appears.

Can you tell us about your most important exhibition experience?

The exhibitions in which I participated for several years are the international festival of fashion photography in Cannes as well as the festival of nude photography in Arles.

If you could have created a famous work in the history of art, which one would you choose? And why ?

Currently if I could have created a famous work in the history of art, I would perhaps choose "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso. This painting is notable for its emotional power, simplicity of form, and the gray tones used in the painting reflect the tragedy and pain caused by the bombardment. Beyond its aesthetic quality, "Guernica" is also significant for its message of peace and protest against violence and war. I think this choice is surely influenced by what is currently happening near us in Ukraine.

If you could invite one famous artist (dead or alive) to dinner, who would it be? How would you suggest he spend the evening?

If I had the opportunity to invite a famous artist, maybe I would choose Leonardo da Vinci, because in addition to being an exceptional painter, he was also a visionary. I would suggest that Leonardo da Vinci spend the evening discussing his work, exchanging ideas on art, science and technology. I would be curious to know how he perceives our world today compared to his vision of the future he imagined for humanity. I would ask him questions about photography, which did not exist in his time. I would be curious to know how he thinks this art form would have evolved if it had existed in his time and how he would have used it.

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