Matthieu Bessudo, or mcbess as he is known creatively, is one of the most interesting illustrators and character creators working today. Hailing from Cannes in the South of France but now based in London, he has risen up the ranks of animation, beginning at The Mill and now working independently on a number of illustration projects.
I studied 3D animation and The Mill was where I did my internship, so that’s where I started. Over the course of my employment I started getting tired of the extra D in 3D and focused on stereo D, which in layman’s terms is 2D. Illustration took more and more space until it was literally the only thing I was doing. People on the interweb saw some of them and thought they were worth something and that’s how I became a pro illustrator.
With his work having a distinct nod to mid 20th century cartoonists like Max Fleischer, mcbess speaks of growing up with these old cartoons and his dad’s love of them as well as the outside influences of music, movies and friends on his work.
… illustration is like a camera, it’s not the act of illustrating that’s interesting, it’s what you’re drawing about, my influence varies but they’re always about something a friend or I did or something I ate or cooked. Anything that makes me feel something strong is a good candidate as an influence in an illustration.
mcbess makes up a quarter of the band ‘The Dead Pirates’. A band whose video for the single ‘Wood’, has featured on Wired and garnered over 440,000 YouTube views. The 3D animated video itself took four months to make with fellow French animator Simon Landrein and looking at his portfolio of illustrations, music evidentially has an influence on the work of mcbess.
I keep drawing music instruments and pictures of the band. I used to think it worked the other way but I actually don’t write music about illustration. But they go so good together, I couldn’t see music existing without giving it an image.
mcbess is currently busy designing a new line of tshirts for Doods as well as the cover of The Dead Pirates’ new LP.