As part of Dana Scully's 50th Birthday celebrations, we at XFN have come together with heART and X-Philanthropy to interview the people behind some of your favorite works of fan-art. Today, we spend a little time with Roxane Lys, or as the X-Files fandom might know her better, ‘Goldfish’.
Round one of the auctions is going on now and can be found here. Round Two of the auctions featuring Roxane’s work begins February 19th and runs through February 23rd. Click here to view the items up for sale.
Read on below the jump for the full interview.
XFN: In a nutshell, tell us what inspires you as an artist? Who are your favorite artists?
Roxane: Simplicity, humanity and social causes inspire me.
I have a love/hate relationship with inspiration. It comes and goes as if it has its own life. Sometimes I'm thinking really hard and nothing comes, and sometimes I have to get up at two in the morning because my brain is fusing with ideas.
For instance the idea to create heART came suddenly, out of nowhere. Everything just clicked in my head. Talented fans + charity … Why not use all the talent that the X-Files fandom has to help a great cause? Even we, as simple fans, can help change things with our passion.
My main goal has always been to turn art into something useful and worthwhile. For me, art doesn't just have to be beautiful, it has to be intelligent, and make you see things differently. It can be a great screen to put some causes to light.
I love Ernest Pignon-Ernest. It is thanks to him that I started using charcoal, and like Gillian Anderson, he uses his work to shed some light on important social issues such as HIV, homelessness, victims of violence, etc. His work can't leave you indifferent.
Spiritually and visually there’s Bill Viola. He’s a God; he creates such visually and mentally powerful videos with barely anything (bodies, water, light); it’s breathtaking. In these videos you realize that we're just tiny dots in space... but tiny dots with powerful feelings. Check 'Ocean Without a Shore' and 'Five Angels for the Millennium'.
And as a woman I love Diane Arbus's photography. Like Pignon-Ernest and Bill Viola she had this fantastic ability to make beautiful and powerful pictures so simply... shading light on 'different' people and making them beautiful.
These artists propose true human experiences. And, in my opinion, that’s what art is all about: it has to make people feel and think.
XFN: What type of materials/means and styles are your favorites? Water colors? Pencils? Photoshop? Tell us a little about your creation process.
Roxane: I'm going to be very classical and boring here. I love to work with graphite and charcoal pencils. I think charcoal is the best material to work the light. People think it's very dark but it's not... you start with the dark created by the charcoal to reveal the light with the kneaded eraser. When it's handled well it can create the most subtle changes in shades and lights. You can change the expression of the eyes easily with that... make a shadow or light pass through the eye... bring life to it. Starting from there you can tell stories... from the innocent, playful stare of a kid, to the old and fascinating gaze of an old person. It's a very profound process; it’s perfect to depict the human nature.
XFN: What motivated you to create these particular works of art?
Roxane: 'Bedelia du Maurier': First because I love Hannibal. I haven't watched a good show in a long time. It is so complex, captivating, and has such a beautiful photography. It's very inspiring.
Bedelia is one of the best characters. I feel that she is going to be a key character. She's very ambiguous. You don't know if she knows Hannibal's secret. I think that her gaze in this screen capture reflected this ambiguity and I hope I rendered that well. Bedelia is fascinating.
'I want to Beelieve': I've decided to capture this moment because I think it's a turning-point. Mulder and Scully start to get closer (for real, not just a touch of the hand this time) for the first time. You know that something big is going to happen after Mulder's speech. You can feel the tension rising and they're not about to kiss yet. It is very subtle... I think it's a good summary of Mulder and Scully's relationship... everything was suggested. It was very powerful and may be the secret of their success.
XFN: As a fan of Gillian Anderson’s work and most likely an X-Files fan, what part of their work has been life changing to you?
Roxane: I can say that Gillian really helped me get through my teenage years. When I was a kid I was so shy that it bordered on sickness. It was very hard to live with... I was especially scared by men. And the character of Scully (and later most of Gillian's roles, especially Stella Gibson from The Fall) who is a strong independent woman imposing herself in a man's world; it really inspired me and helped me to fight this shyness. I started to open up and impose myself no matter what people thought of me (and I wasn't a beauty queen).
During my childhood, I had been so shy that I used to hide the drawings I made. When I started to get more confidence, I started to show my little drawings. That's what changed my life. And I'm proud to say that I'm now an art teacher! Not bad for a kid who used to hide under the table when the teacher wanted her to draw something on the chalkboard, no? So, THANK YOU, Gillian!
XFN: What strikes you as the most important thing that SA-Yes does for their people?
Roxane: Guidance and education are treasures in this world. It leads to independence... freedom. Offering that to a kid is one of the best gifts you could ever make in life.
For most kids in France it can be easy to get access to that... you have the obligation to stay in school until 18 or at least 16 years old in some cases, so most everyone has a chance to get a good base to lead to a proper independent life. Unfortunately, in other parts of the world that is not the case. In Africa a lot of young people are exposed to poverty and violence, especially orphans. It is crucial that they get support. They are the new generation; a hope for the country.
So in my opinion, SA-YES's work is remarkable. There should be more mentoring programs like these. I really hope their charity will expand throughout South-Africa.
XFN: Scully turns fifty this year; she was a female character that many follow as an example, mainly because in one way or another she is a beacon that questioned the world around her. How do you think that you as an individual can help change and improve the world around you?
Roxane: I don't think I will change the world. The world is too vast for my midget size. :D
So as a small person, I would use small means like my artistic skills to do good things around me. First, with my position as an art teacher: guiding my pupils, teaching them how to be creative, showing them that they are all capable of great things. Not only do they learn about art but also about themselves. And that's what teaching should be all about. And second, with 'heART': Gathering artists and making our creations useful to help important causes.
It's always a wonder and great happiness to me to know that the act of creating can help people.
So my advice to anyone would be to not search too far to do good around you. You may feel like an insignificant drop in the ocean, but small things can lead to great things. So use the best in you..
XFN: Any final thoughts?
Roxane: Thank you to everyone who supports our event. Whether it is by bidding on our artworks or just spreading the word! And thanks to all the amazing artists that helped us make this event real. Your generosity makes your talent golden! :)
Our thanks go out to Roxane Lys for taking the time to talk with us. You can check out all her work over at her webpage. Roxane has previously made doodles for Doodle4NF and will again take part in this year’s auction, scheduled for May. You can check out all the artists taking part in heART and X-Philanthropy's Scully’s 50th Birthday Celebration, including Roxane, here.
Stay tuned for more interviews with these incredible artists.