Interview de Max Ducos : peintre et auteur de livres pour la jeunesse

Interview with Max Ducos: painter and author of children's books

1. Hello Max, can you introduce yourself?

My name is Max Ducos, I live in Bordeaux, I am 19 years old (or almost) and I am a painter and author of children's books. I also have two little daughters who are two tremendous sources of inspiration like nervous breakdowns! 

2. Where and how did you get your passion for drawing? Was it passed on to you from your parents?

I suspect a pen-holding position that favored drawing over writing. My parents are art lovers and have always encouraged me in this way. 

3. Your books are aimed at children but adults also appreciate your stories, how do you reach these two audiences?

When I write a book, I think of children exclusively. I try to compose a story that takes the reader to the end of the book. This story has to be the right balance between simplicity and depth and I try to develop a real relationship between the characters and their environment. I like to feel the place.

4. What inspires you every day to write your stories? 

The work of creating a story is very fast, it's a kind of dazzling that only takes a few days. This is the most creative moment. Everything is done in my head. I often start with "where is the action taking place?" The idea comes and develops, then the story comes naturally. Once written, I take the time to do illustrations, I try to make it a period of appeasement that lasts for several months. I respect my railway and I enrich it with details. Every detail of an illustration sends me back to thoughts. Sometimes very simple, sometimes more psychological or introspective.

5. Are you trying to awaken and educate your children about art?

 At home, everything related to plastic art is practiced without moderation. After that I never impose anything. I also introduce them to cinema, music and dance. There is an activity table in the middle of the living room. It's a coffee table covered with an oilcloth on which anything goes!

6. What do you think drawing brings to children? What sensations do children perceive while practicing this activity? 

Drawing can reassure failing students and can terrify the first class. It is a land of freedom where the imagination takes precedence. Like art in general, it escapes technique and gives pride of place to sensitivity. What I like about drawing is that at school, it's a discipline really outside the core of subjects. He is not regarded enough in my opinion. The drawing is richer and more complex than you might think and the teachers are not trained enough

7. What do you think of parent / child transmission? 

 I believe in the rule of imitation. If I want to pass something on to my daughters, I practice in a corner of the house. They will be attracted and will want to be like me. If I set them up for one activity, but do something else, it's less likely to be successful! 

8. Do you share a daily routine with your children? 

Yes, we walk a lot in the street. We observe the things we see on our way, from the moon to the insect. I teach them to be contemplative; it is very important for me. I sing them songs, read stories, and make them recurring jokes that they often call me.

9. Is there a morning or evening routine that you find relevant for children?

Yes for the morning, it's breakfast with music! When I got to college, I lost my morning appetite, and today I regret it because I'm sure it affected my education. I try to feed my daughters well so that they are full of energy to work well! 

10. What are your plans for the future? Is there a new book or an exhibition going on?

 I have two books in the works, including one written by the bestselling author Clémentine Beauvais, if not for the exhibitions, I prefer not to plan anything because the events cancel each other out as they are organized. So I paint to be ready when the situation is right and I also try to find time to fill a few orders.