The world is a crazy place right now and a often a moment of zen can feel elusive. If any of you reading this are looking for such a moment, open up your Instagram account and type in “albertchamillard” – and then enjoy. Albert is a pen and ink artist whose geometric drawings hold hints of everything from Escher to Busby Berkeley and are somehow both modern and deliciously vintage in their shapes and tonality. His work is remarkably consistent, but never boring, and we’re very happy he’s agreed to answer our Seven Questions this week.
1) How do you motivate yourself?
AC: I love making art, so I find it easy to motivate myself – it’s something I always want more time to do. I also draw and make art every day, and I think that having a daily practice is a natural motivator, as well. I have a day job, and I’m a busy parent, so it’s not always easy, but for me, a lot of the drive to make art comes from the process of making art.
2) How do you structure your time?
AC: I work during the day, so on weekdays I generally start drawing around 8pm, and work for 2-3 hours. Weekends provide more daytime hours, and I draw quickly, so I’m able to produce a lot of finished work. I find it helpful to have small sketchbooks with me, so I can work out ideas and sketches if I’m on the phone at work, in a meeting, etc. This time also includes finding shows, preparing works for exhibition, documenting, etc.
3) What do you listen to when you work?
AC: I listen to punk and metal from the last 40 years, usually at very loud volume – basically the same stuff I’ve been listening to since high school. I occasionally listen to podcasts (currently obsessed with Fall of Rome), and also work a lot in pure silence.
4) Who are three artists that inspire you?
AC: It’s hard for me to list just three, as I love all types of artwork, and tend to be inspired by other artists very easily. That said, the drawings I make are heavily inspired by Brice Marden, Agnes Martin and Edward Gorey.
5) What’s the best piece(s) of advice you have been given?
AC: I had a teacher who told me that to make one really good drawing requires making 20 terrible ones first, and I’ve found it to be very true.
6) Describe an object or tool related to your work that you love.
AC: I’m left-handed, and drag my hand all over the page, so I use small rectangles of paper to rest my hand on when drawing with a pen. Without these, my drawings would be covered in smears and smudged ink.
7) An anonymous patron has donated $100K for you to build your dream studio, what would it look like and where would it be?
AC: I would build as large a structure as I could in my backyard, with lots of east and north facing windows and large sliding doors. I would have areas for painting and drawing, and separate places for storing, documenting and framing work, so everything I need would be in one place.
Check out Albert’s instagram; @albertchamillard