Sebastien Thibault

Sebastien Thibault

(He/Him) • Montreal, Canada

Biography Interview

Sébastien Thibault creates illustrations that provide sharp political commentary on topics that are relevant today. Based in Matane, Quebec, Thibault uses graphic shapes, simplified form, and intense color to create symbolic images full of content. His illustrations venture into political standoffs between world leaders, economic disparity, even toxic love – allowing viewers to react to his at times, witty, at other times, terse imagery.

Selected clients

The New Yorks Times, The Guardian, The Economist, The Washington Post, Le Monde, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Billboard, L'Actualité, Le Devoir, Québec Science

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  • 3 Awards of Excellence at the 44th edition of the Best of News Design Creative Competition 2023
  • Comunication Art Illustration Annual 2017
  • Applied Arts Illustration Annual 2017
  • 3×3 Illustration Annual 2017

Sebastien Thibault in the Spotlight

Sebastien Thibault

Can you recall the first time you realized you were going to be an illustrator? What were your earliest impressions?
I am a very shy person. Art allows me to express my opinions and feelings. I am able to challenge myself with art.

My parents knew that I would become illustrator. They had enough confidence in me to let me paint on the walls of our house. I also play the drums. My second big dream was to become a successful musician, but creating illustration isn’t bad either. 😉

Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
When I was young, I was fascinated by Surrealist painters: Salvador Dali, among others, for his imagination, his dreamlike world and his mastery of painting. He was the perfect symbol of an illustrator in my mind. His way of making art was connected to other media such as movies, jewelry and poetry.

I was also influenced by music visuals like record sleeves and
T-shirts, especially 80s heavy metal bands.

Do you remember what your first artwork looked like? Do you still have it?
Drawing was visceral when I was young and it still is one of the things I enjoy the most in life. I don’t remember what my drawings from childhood looked like, but later, in high school, I was often mandated to create “gig posters.” The poster layouts were always busy. The overdose of detail made it hard to focus on the subject. It’s weird how I make simple illustration with minimal detail now.
Why did you choose illustration as your life’s work instead of, for example, filmmaking, law, or even medicine?
I’m good at it. I’m not much of a filmmaker or doctor.

Did you study art in school?
I studied art in college and graphic design at Laval University. I took an editorial illustration class in University. It revealed what I was really into.

Where does your inspiration come from; your impulse to make art? Do you have a source for your ideas?
I am a workaholic and like to work on several projects at the same time. In the last few years, I take an hour a day to engage in sport and, trust me, it really helps me stay fresh and current.

Do you have a favorite illustrator? What is it about that illustrator’s work you like?
I admire the painter, Marc Séguin, for his work but also for his philosophy of art. He’s a well-rounded illustrator who controls emotion through painting. He works in other art forms too: writing and film.

If you could do something else, other than creating art, what would it be?
Honestly, I really don’t know. I am very fortunate to be able to pay my bills with illustration. I work very hard to be able to support myself as an illustrator and hope to continue.

Do you have a favorite illustrator supply, a favorite method, or favorite location, where you like to create artwork?
My place of creation is my home office. I really try to create a separation between my office, where I work, and the rest of the house, where I live and spend time with my family.

If you could give a viewer clues to understanding your art, what would you say?
I like to say that my art is like Magritte meeting the punk band NOFX. It’s a kind of politically incorrect surrealist style of work.

Why does art matter to you? Why might it matter to the world?
Art is based on emotion. I think that art represents the difference between robots and human beings: the ability to feel.

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