Interview with Michel Bouvet - Poster artist of the Open International de Squash de Nantes
1. How did the Story begun with the Nantes Open ?
In 2014, Tournament Director, François Le Jort, calls me up "you work in the Cultural sector, how would you feel about working for a sport event, but with the artistic angle ? Would you be interested in the adventure and beyond?" Well, I had nothing against sport, I watch sport, I do sport, so... I was all for it.
2. Is it the first time you work in the Sporting field ?
No, I had done a few posters for Sporting events already, for Créteil for example, also for the Figaro Cross, not to mention the 2024 Olympic Games.
Well, let's say I use the same method always. I do a dozen ofsketches, with different concepts. It's hard to explain really.It's hard to imagine too ! I'm trying to have completelydifferent ideas on the same subject. For the Open, I'm fascinated by the venue configuration and the increase in the energy over the whole event ! The third year is decisive. For two years, one gets to know the desires of the client. But the third, you go one step further: you now possess the subject. One can juge the success of the communination of an event on the long term: a hat-trick, and you have a series !
3. Where do you find your inspiration for the Open, and how do you work ?
4. How do you master the challenge ?
The true challenge of squash is that there are only three symbols that characterise the sport: the ball. the racquet. the court. I have to use those three elements in different arrangements. Let's take boat racing for example. You can use all what has got to do with the sea. But for squash, it's very reducted. You have got to place those three elements in a different context: it demands a very methodical work to find your basic marks to make sure it's different every time, and avoid the repetition.
5. What makes a great poster in your opinion ?
That's a tough one. A good poster is a poster that answers the question. People needs to remember the poster instantly, it needs to make a true impression on them, so how do you assemble elements that will speak to many ?
Does the success of an event rolls off from a poster? That would be extremely pretentious of me to say. But on the other hand, abad poster can definitely wrong an event. A good programmation and a good communication go hand in hand.When there is fusion, then things click in the right place. People understand the importance of the poster. Not a long time ago, a Theatre Director told me "a play onlyexists one the poster is conceived". I find that conceptinteresting. As if a visual was actually insuflating life. The 2017 Nantes poster is easy to grasp, very plastic from anaesthetical point of view. As a graphic symbol, an animal is aformidable element, there is a sort of emphaty with an animal,more than we can feel for a squash racquet...!
6. Does a poster make an event you think ?