French artist David Bayo uses a delicate technique of drawing images onto paper with water, before dropping tiny amounts of ink into it. The way he uses the slow interaction between the two liquids to tell a story is truly mesmerizing. He posts captivating videos of his images appearing magically on the page, and his work is quickly gaining attention. We caught up with David for an insight into his practice.
How did you stumble upon this method of creating images?
When I started my artistic journey, I tried to discover as many mediums as possible to find the one that would fit me best. During this time I worked a lot with watercolor – a very similar technique to the one I use in my youtube videos, called water art. With a lot of practice and research, I was able to understand the interaction that occurs between water and ink in order to achieve this very unique style.
Could you walk us through the process of creating one of your paintings, from idea to realization?
I often start with a series of sketches which enables me to have a general idea of the project as well as the first imagery. Then follows the test phase. I need to make sure the different effects that I want are achievable. Quite often I imagine something that is too complex or too detailed and it turns out to be unachievable.
In that case I adapt myself to the situation, which takes me in a new direction – it’s super exciting because this is when you hit the core of the creative process. The third step is the main one: the actual doing and filming, which can take up to a few days depending on the number of shots and the length of the video. The last part is dealing with the overwhelming editing – quite a pain although it can not be rushed as the final result depends on it.
How do you choose your subjects?
It varies tremendously. I’m not sure how to explain it. Inspiration comes from one’s very own experience of life. My inspiration is tied to what I live, read, feel, listen to etc. Above all I strive to find interesting and original themes that fit who I am. I also pay attention to which themes will highlight the originality of the technique.
What ideas do you like to raise through your work? What feelings do you hope to inspire in your audience?
What I like to do most is to create a relationship between a character, generally a feminine figure, and various objects borrowed from dreams and imaginary worlds. I like finding a central theme and telling a story with only a few elements.
What are some of the challenges that arise?
I face one major challenge. I am very eager to explore new directions (i.e mediums and style) at the same time which makes it harder for me to dig into one medium and find my very own style. I go through this ambivalent feeling where it can be frustrating not to have found my true identity yet – with the sense of harmony and completion that goes with it. But at the same time it’s exciting to know that my artistic journey is still very young and young is key – it is a strong dynamic.
How long have you been creating art for?
I started in 2010, it’s been 6 years now. I am highly critical of my own work. I consider it very young and still in a phase of research. At the same time I am also proud with what I have achieved on a technical level. I definitely still have a lot to learn and explore, and this idea makes me happy.
See more of David’s work at davidbayo.com