Discreet "toys are now part of my life"
DiscreetThis name may not be unknown to you and it's normal. The king of the staging of characters in all kinds is he: Star Wars, Simpsons, Lego, Marvel, Smurfs ... everything passes! Arnaud said discreet likes to tell stories, and it shows himself, through only a cliché it happens to propel in his world well to him.
Discreet has long fled our curiosity, and it's just that we went to ask him a few questions. First of all, could you introduce yourself?
My name is Arnaud Brecht, I am 36 years old, I live in Paris, self-taught in all that I undertake, I photograph of the stagings that I realize with toys for 3 years. I regularly publish my photos onInstagram, Eyeemfrom time to time on Flickr, and I created a page Facebook, and a Tumblr.
How did you come this desire to stage characters of all kinds in the middle of urban decors?
In 2010 I bought a digital SLR, rather generalist I took a lot: from friends, street art, birds, flowers, cars, monuments, shows, long poses, female models, then I looked for the interest of the point in my images. Aside from the technical quality, it was classified and forgotten once transferred to the computer. Even if this new way to walk the device in the fist even more and more, I had not yet found the thing that would motivate me to release the 2kg SLR every day.
In 2011 I had the click to my parents, my little nephew had left all my ancient Smurfs aligned with the living room table, with the Moulin and the Grand Smurf House. I have Smurfographed them. They reminded me of memories, it was reunion! I had some ideas, my imagination was all stimulated! I did not sung "Lalala Smurf" but I admit anyway that Dorothée haunted me 2 minutes haha!
I posted my photos on Flickr by searching for groups related to the Smurfs, then that's how I discovered a wide variety of toys and styles. Photos ranging from the toy posed on a piece of furniture, up to figurines that interact with others and I loved this offset.
I won my first subscribers after a diversion of the origin of the world and a smurf in a foothill with the blue product to disinfect.
I made humorous pictures illustrating Smurfs in their daily lives near that of men, I bought others and imagined new scenes.
My interest in toys was growing up I went in a group group see what it was done and I discovered pictures of Domo and other very colorful figurines. I went to your shop Artoyz Rue de l'Dry Tree and I recognized a lot of products. My choice fell on small figurines less than 7cm to make mixed scenes with my other toys. I took Domo and Bearbrick, and at the same time, I discovered the principle of buying blind boxes.
My operation has evolved in 3 years. At first it was scenes made at home with a small portable 30 cm studio on colored funds or on a terrace in the light of day, then I found more offbeat and aesthetic to photograph the toys in the street.
Gradually and naturally, I increased my pace and adapted my style when I met @celicelo Rather, street photos. We get out of stock photos regularly, we interact one for each other and we explore new ideas.
I always prepare some complex scenes upstream at home before doing them outside, even if ultimately I realize them differently depending on the environment. I first take pictures at the smartphone that I keep as memo while waiting for the right moment. For example I caught on a white background this scene and I waited for it to go out:
In 2012 I started in my neighborhood to the Villette Park and the surroundings of my work to Royal Palace with toys selected in the morning depending on the weather, my inspiration and the success of my latest publications.
The toys are now part of my life, I rarely walk without having two or three different toys, figurines or miniature vehicles. And depending on the places and the light I realize a scene and several photos that can turn into small sequences of images to follow.
Sometimes inspiration simply comes from subscriber requests that leave comments. I am claimed some toys or I answer challenges, I like when it is participatory and be in imposed themes. I do not stop very rarely, I always have some pictures in advance for my daily publications, but have a fixed date to answer a theme stimulates me all the more.
Here for this Instagram contest, the theme was Kraftwerk's "The Robot" song. I duplicated a Daftpunk by making 4 photos, then moved with each take with his Lego synthesizer and I merge the photos. The back image Plan is a projection of a Star Wars character that I also duplicated 4 times and put on my TV in the background.
Some ideas are based simply on the color of the toy, for example for "Mickey in black and white" when I saw red and yellow in the decor reminiscent the colors of it overall I told myself that it would be a nice picture .
I always add a little sentence in comment from my photos.
I like the characters articulated like the troopers. The results are closer to what a human model could express and offer more possibilities but they are longer to stand up and set up than rubber or vinyl molded figures. Toys have frozen expressions, we must find the decor and the most suitable situation for the magic to operate. What is the eyes of people when you prepare your scene to photograph? Admiration? Of the interrogation?
In the places where there is a lot of passage, for example in the middle of the main alley of the Tuileries Garden, if I strive for too long groups form. At that time I give my nickname on Instagram (I should think about making t-shirts and visits cards).
Sometimes tourists wait for me to finish to take my scene in photo. Teens look intrigued and I heard "Dar" last time, I think they like. Otherwise less than 10 years are used, I have already caught up a Smurf ;-)
Outside tourist areas, often the usual retirees stay next to me and discuss with other people who stop. I show them the rendering on the small screen of my camera we exchange a few words that amuses them.
Otherwise the rest of the time I am invisible, no one stops and I'm quiet to photograph my scenes, you just have to pay attention to what no one comes to walk on my figures or slide on my cars. What do you do for a living ?
I was multimedia project manager in a bank, I remain open to the proposals but rather in the field of photo and toy if possible. Looking forward to a new job, I devote myself to my passion every day. Have you ever had the desire to make a book from all these photographs? An exhibition ?
Yes more and more, I have exposed once modestly 2 photos in the business restaurant of my old box and I had good returns.
Otherwise I would be exposed with other instagraments as part of the courses Chronoshooting From Tuesday, June 24 Gallery Thierry Marlat, 2 rue de Jarente 75004 Paris. What is the next shot you have in mind? The cliché you would dream of realizing? (An atypical place etc)
Precisely I just made pictures of the redhead beard raft the pirate in Asterix and Obelix. I put it in the fountain of the seas in front of the Obelisk Place de la Concorde, it is typically the kind of cliché that I like to do.
Stagings with moving toys and interacting with the elements, I like when there is water or when toys are hanging in the air. In the last thunderstorms I also photographed the Tintin plane with the lightning, it was nice. What relationship do you intervene with art toys? Your favorite artists?
I like simple and clean forms found in the vast majority of Artoyz. For the transport and the mix with my other toys I was rather oriented towards small articulated and colorful figurines, but I could photograph toys of 25cm and found it top. I do not have any particular names, I take the toy as it is and I try to stage it as best as possible. Two 15s videos with my Artoyz: http://youtu.be/tewhvayvos http://youtu.be/5ebd3m0ueqg You are followed by more than 16,000 followers on Instagram, how do you explain that?
It is a large number of subscribers and we are not many French to exceed 10K. Most are on Instagram from the beginning, after we need to relativize, it is not the number of subscribers that indicates if an account is good, it is always possible to buy followers or practice the Follow for Follow.
Personally I have been on Instagram for 2 years, I have a minimum publish a photo a day, I participate in many French, American and Indonesian challenges with toy staged or classic photos related to themes.
I had 2500 subscribers and a reasonably increase of 1 or 2 new a day. Towards the end of May, I was added to the list of instagram suggestions. We become ambassador for 15 days, being proposed directly to the new registrants. It's a stepping stone, people subscribe and leave sincere comments or simply to be noticed and earn hook subscribers for your sudden popularity, then it stabilizes and life takes back.
After this tidal raz I note that the average age of my subscribers rejuvenated and seek me more than before in private message to ask for highlights on my account or to be the publication relay.
Ideally I would prefer to me to do Haha toys! In other countries bloggers live from that, in France it's more discreet. Regarding art toys: when did you start collecting them? In September 2011 but I do not have a lot. What was your first toy? A tiny brown Domo, but if we talk about childhood toy I had a teddy bear and a wooden duck before moving on to Playmobil. To finish what would be your top 3? So in Art Toys Here is my top 3: 1 - The Beavers of Jeff Pidgeon 2 - The Domo 3 - The Skelanimals
Thank you very much Arnaud for giving us some of your time, having answered in detail to all our questions, and especially for sharing some of your beautiful clichés.
We can only invite you to discover its universe even more detail by finding it on:
Our cool products