First Friday: On another planet with Lucas Beaufort (and friends)
Lucas Beaufort is as unique as they come. For the past 5 or so years, he has been injecting a dose of other worldly imagination into snow and skateboarding photography, creating some incredibly interesting work in the process. Growing up hooked on board sports, Beaufort translated his passion for collecting magazines into a form of art. To date, he has “recovered” over 225 magazines, from Vice and Skateboarder, to our own Snowboard Mag— with no plans to quit anytime soon.
Beaufort’s signature characters have become well known within the skating and snowboarding industries, finding their way onto photos of the top riders— dressing up action shots as cheering squads, added obstacles, or simply observing the action. They are Beaufort’s friends from another planet, “a place where individualism does not exist,” and they help this artist combine a love for skating and snowboarding with a love for acrylic painting.
Do yourself a favor, and get inside the eclectic mind of Lucas Beaufort:
How did you get started as an artist?
Well, I don’t really know what happened in my head. I started quite late, I was 27 and I’m 32 now. Apart from the fact that I’ve always loved art I never imagined myself painting anything. I started without knowing why; it must be unconscious.
When did you start “re-covering” magazines?
The recover project is my little baby. I started almost 2 years ago with a Vice magazine. I painted on it and they were stoked about it. I got my first subscription then. As I always collected magazines I kept going with Thrasher, Transworld and many more. After a month all the publications offered me a subscription. I have painted 225 different cover so far and I don’t want to stop, it’s really fun.
Why snowboarding and skateboarding magazines?
Because I come from this world. I grew up with a skateboard under my feet and the mountains are close to my house. I’m really nostalgic for that time, it was the 90s and I was just a kid praying for snow.
What inspires you as an artist?
Skateboarding is my biggest inspiration. I think that everything came from it and all the ideas were sleeping. Nature is also a source of inspiration, I have a big forest around me, so millions of options.
How did you come up with the characters that you consistently use? Where exactly did they come from?
I’m supposed to keep it a secret but sometimes I feel like I live with them in another planet. A place where rules are different, a place where individualism does not exist. It’s not so far from our common place— it’s just here in front of us, you just have to close your eyes and have an imagination.
What materials do you use?
I only use acrylic paint. I like it so much, it’s like a friend, I always have a tube of paint in my pocket. We never know what could happen.
Can you tell me a bit about the “re-tree” project? How did you get involved with that?
As I mentioned, I’m used to hanging around in the forest to get some pieces of wood and to clear my mind. Re-tree project is a way to give a second life to all those tree stumps. Sometimes they are all together like a family; sometimes they are alone and they need to express their feelings.
What collaborations have you been part of?
I’ve done some collaborations with brands such as Electric, 55DSL, Burnstreet, Elm, Converse and many more. I really want to go further.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I went through several phases but everything has always been natural. I never tried to force anything… if you ask me to change or to add something on my painting, it will not work. The only thing I have seen evolve over time is my technique. I’ve never taken lessons so I taught myself.
Of all the work you’ve created, which is your all-time favorite piece, and why?
It’s hard to say, I’m really strict with myself. I always feel that I can do better. When the work is done I have a little satisfaction but after 3 months I want to paint on it again; “eternal dissatisfaction.”
In an ideal world, where will your art take you? What would you like to do with this talent in the long run?
I would love to paint on big things. In my ideal world I could paint on airplanes. As I love to paint birds, it would be fun to take them to the sky. In the long run, I’d like to make them alive…I’m thinking about it!
Tell me about your ‘recover’ of our 2014 Buyer’s Guide — what’s the story behind this piece?
I was in Annecy, France for The Reels, presenting my collaboration with Jérôme Tanon. All of the production companies were there to present their movies. Gigi Rüf came to me and asked me if I could paint on his latest cover on Snowboard mag, I was so stoked as it was a big honor for me.
For more from Lucas, check out these links: