Like many others I first saw your art on the Six Ton Armor Psych Casts website. Do you work with the compilers or just flow from the compilers’ names and their mixes ?
I'm not directly in contact with selectors. When Olsun gives me the name of the next selector I have to confess that I don’t always know who they are. First i listen to the mix, try to learn as much as possible about the artist and then seek out inspiration from his universe/music…
Do you have any formal art training? I’m curious because your work covers graphics, portraits, 3D and video work.
I did art in regular high school, so I think my best art training was to draw on notebook and tables during class! Later, I discovered that art schools existed, so i did 2 years of graphical art, but spent much of my time drinking beers. I think, i've mostly learned by my own self.
I see influences from Mexican Stamp motifs to Maori tattoo designs, Hip-Hop, Pop Art and Day Of The Dead imagery. Are there any other genres that have influenced you or individual artists who have inspired your work ?
It's funny, everyone tells me about tattoos, nevertheless i don't feel it as being my main influence!
So many stuff in my head are a source of inspiration, and even more ever since the internet existed… mainly, I've got lot of interest in street art, album cover art, old books, skateboard artworks, african masks, drawings from my daughters and of course many artists (past and present)…
Why the pseudonym ‘Rimrimrim’ and not your real name?
Because my name is awful!! I have it because in the beginning, when you do shit work, It's easier to hide behind a nickname. For the record “Rimrimrim” comes from “Prparim” which is a first name from an eastern country (Poland I guess) and it means “better future”. I’ve changed it over the years onto “rim” then “rimrimrim”.
I didn’t quite understand what Olsun meant when he said you love to burn bits of wood with a magnifying glass but on visiting ‘Pyrogravure’ on your website I know see what he means. How did this begin?
This story started when i saw a character setting fires with glasses in a cartoon. At that time I wore glasses, so during my vacation I had fun drawing on pieces of wood with it. Since I live up north and I don't often see the sun, i bought a pyrography burner…
A lot of artists struggle to make a living from their work. Are you managing to work full-time on your portfolio or do you have to supplement your income with less creative work ?
Yes, i’m working as a graphic designer in an marketing agency, it’s not really funny everyday but it allows me to live properly and do my own stuff on remaining time.
Do you think you work more effectively when you have a commission or do you work better when you can just flow and 'do your own thing'?
I already have a day job which is restrictive and that can sometimes feel like a pain in the ass so I really try to weave a freedom for creativity into anything I'm commissioned to do. But if you have lot of money to give away, I’m pretty sure I will be inspired by your request!
I love the illustrations in the ‘Head’ section of your website. Do you need to periodically return to observation drawing to refresh your creative spirit ?
When i find a photo/head in a newspaper or magazine that inspires me, I simply draw it! It's like when I was kid and I copied drawings of heroes from comics. In fact, it's more a little personal pleasure, but it’s also good art exercise.
Is 'Time Is Now' your first exploration into the world of film-making ?
I’ve already made some small video edits for friends, but Time Is Now is the first film for real. When Olsun asked me about it, I never thought of spending so much time on it, but the project was really exciting and I hope everyone enjoys it.
Can you tell us more about the Bunny and Monkey figurines?
In fact the bunny and monkey are “DIY art toys” from Toy2r. You buy them blank and draw on them. The “bunny qee” was for a collective exhibition about this toy model and the “monqee” was a custom for an online shop which is dedicated to creation. I still have some others toys that are waiting since many years to be customized.
France has produced an impressive array of Outsider Artists who’ve bult their own homes, gardens and even churches. Do you have ambition to work on a a larger scale?
You know, my favorite tool is the pen, it’s hard to do big stuff with a pen… but I really like the idea to put my work on streets (perhaps through collages), one day for sure!
Olivier Monthaye (AKA rimrimrim) / Interviewed March 2012 / Ian Townsend
Questions and answers kindly translated by Etienne Mézin.