NEST HQ was created with the intention of being a platform aimed at promoting and encouraging the growth of artists of all genres and mediums. While we’ve worked mostly within music up to this point, we are expanding on a new content series that will showcase multimedia artists of various backgrounds including painters, graphic designers, architects, and others of the sort; this is installation. Every week, we’ll post hand-selected pieces from our featured artists via our Instagram @nesthq, along with excerpts from the full interviews which will be posted on the Friday of that week.
This week on installation, we present graphic designer Olivier Morisse.
Can you tell us a bit about how your story as graphic designer artist began?
I don’t exactly know what being an artist means, so I can neither consider myself an artist or a photographer. I’m just a graphic designer and I make pictures to express some ideas, feelings, and things that cross my mind at a precise moment. It may have always been that way, since I can remember. I also used to write music when I was around 20. I think creating stuff has been part of my life from the beginning, not as a primary thing but more like a constant aspect.
What is the reason for the medium you choose to become proficient in? What does this medium allow you to do that other mediums may not?
I can say photography came to me by accident. To be honest, technology came to me. Playing with it made me create first photographic manipulations. I have a background in analog photography, but mobile photography was the real path that brought me here. I love manipulating small bits of pixelated reality, not as far as many impressive digital artists of course, but just as much as I need to transform my captures into something that speaks to me. Most of the time I work on mobile. Photo social networks were a logical extension. I’ve been on Instagram since its early days in France.
What were the inspirations behind these 3 pieces specifically?
I have a deep respect and humility when it comes to nature. I love the feeling it gives to me.
The first picture is called « Elements in disguise » and is simple arrangement of rocks and fog. The idea is that the appearing calm and the quiet strength of the mountain is hiding in a soft and cosy bed of clouds. We can’t see them moving, but they’re very slow, serene. All things seem secured but they’re not. The roughness of the rocks isn’t fooling anyone. We are, as humans, nothing in front of this.
The second one is named « Awakening », after a song from Submotion Orchestra. I’m really into electronic music, among other styles, and what I appreciate in this track is the ambient mood and analog samples of trumpet. The trumpet is the warm light in this composition, and the electronic base the cold and sharp buildings. The absence of any character is a way to appreciate the city as it is sometimes, a desolated anthill. I love architecture.
The third picture is the expression of fragility and love. By using a wide angle composition in a minimal natural place, in this case a lake close to my place during a foggy morning, I wanted to re-create a special mood for the brand « Armed Angel » – which is the title of this image. They embody what the fashion industry should be: respectful toward nature and people. Putting my friend in the middle of the whole scenery is putting humanity in the middle of the thinking process, surrounded by nature, its brutalized ecosystem. The water element reminds us our main component and our origins.
What are some of the defining moments in your career so far? How have they affected the way you approach your art and your creations?
In French the word career means professional history. Most of the moments that affected my vision of the world and my creations are intimate. It can be childhood memories – I grew up in a small village in the countryside before embracing urban life – but it can be people too, those we love deeply who affect our soul forever. Achievements are good and comforting, they help us to push boundaries and goals further. Failures are what teach us the most and help us to grow from child to adult. That’s the delicate mix of all this that affects the way I compose and find inspiration in everyday life.
How do you feel the industry is doing right now? Which trends are really pushing the industry forward, and which are holding it back?
I’m not a photographer but actually stand up at the boundary of the photography industry. I’m working more as a picture composer. I don’t know anything about technique and I don’t want to – that would push me away from my personal process. But as far as I can say, I’m not sure photography is at its best now. It went through a lot of crisis and technological revolution, it has been democratized and is now subject to the law of like and following. Few are the ones who really focus on their art, but few are the ones who really can. We can easily draw parallels with the graphic design industry, which I’m actually working in.
What are some other artists that you are currently into?
There are so many people that I find really inspiring… I can’t make an exhaustive list. And it also depends on how your own creative process is at the moment. Lots of people do amazing creative works. Music influences me a lot, that’s why I often name my pictures with a music track. Labels like Morr Music, Erased Tapes, XL Recordings, Matador, 4AD or Pias are hosting a lot of my influences. Visually, I may have been impressed by the art of DiCorcia, Parr, Salgado, Gursky, Crewdson, or Fontana. Currently, I follow the work of artists like Reuben Wu, Maria Lax, Christopher Hainey, Matthieu Venot, Emmanuel Monzon, Filip Hodas or Matthew Custar.
What are some of your goals for 2017?
2016 has been a prolific year so far, with nice work opportunities and good response. I’d be very happy this continues.
Why did you choose these pieces to represent yourself on this spread?
Well, these pictures I made truly represent a pretty accurate range of what I like. There are colors, lines, shapes, contrast, perspective, gradient. There is nature, architecture, deserted places, wildness and warmth. I may dilute myself into this world.