This Artist’s World Fuels your Fascination for Life in Space When we at THE PLUS contacted Montréal-based digital artist Alexy Préfontaine, he was busy working on his mid-term exams. Nonetheless, he took the time to speak with us about the fascinating work he publishes under his pseudonym Aeforia for his ever-growing audience on Instagram. Alexy blurs the lines of extra-terrestrial life and fictional characters with familiar environments and human emotions. Even though the figures in his creations look human, they have characteristics one would usually associate with alien life. But despite placing his models in “other-worldly settings,” Alexy knows how to breathe relatable life into them by carefully shaping faces and hands. In our interview, Alexy explains his fascination for extra-terrestrial life and reveals his inspirations. THE PLUS: The characters and sceneries in your art look like from another world. Can you describe to us this universe you are creating? Alexy Préfontaine: Before using 3D as a creative medium, I was mostly interested in photography, particularly portrait photography. When I started to get a bit more comfortable with 3D tools I realised I could create surreal-looking 3D portraits and bring these to whatever level I wanted. This really created a spark inside of my head. Therefore, this universe that I am creating is definitely about fictional characters in familiar but totally other-worldly settings. TP: What fascinates you about the possibility of extra-terrestrial life? AP: To me, it’s the idea that all around the universe, there are surely millions and millions of planets with extra-terrestrial life. Maybe they have their own developed civilizations like ours, and we will surely never be able to discover them. That’s crazy! TP: Sometimes your figures appear to be made of a glass-like material, sometimes of something more plastic. Can you expand on your thoughts behind your characters’ ‘flesh’? AP: When I first started working exclusively in 3D, I was using my laptop, and it was pretty limited. That had an impact on my style in the first place. It was much easier to just go crazy with unusual materials and colours for the characters’ skin. To me, it creates a nice contrast and surprise for the person who views my work for the first time. I love to be able to use my own perception to create my very own world. It’s awesome! TP: Often, the face and hands are placed prominently in your art. Why are these important to you? AP: I think it’s what may help us to connect with these strange characters. There is quite an interesting beauty that we can find in hands, especially the way they can be shaped to reveal tension or bliss. It’s a great way for me to add personality to my characters. Therefore, it is crucial they look as natural as they could be and that they convey the right emotion when I position them. TP: You use many shades of red, violet, pink and blue. What opportunities do these colours give you? AP: I often find myself feeling fulfilment when I witness a sunset. The colours that can be displayed in the sky always had a huge impact on me, and that’s why I decided at one point to actively bring these colours into my work. This variable static helped me to refine my style in general. However, I now feel like I can slowly detach myself from only using these colours and explore new avenues! TP: Do you prefer night or day scenarios? AP: I am generally feeling more inspired at night in general, and that can be reflected in my work. I think I really prefer night scenarios! TP: What role does fashion play in your art? AP: Fashion has an important role in my work. Since I am mostly creating characters, it was a natural step for me to try and create clothing for them. It brought a whole new world of possibilities and I want to spend more time refining the outfits I digitally create in the following years. TP: For instance, you featured a PALACE piece in “YG_PLC”. AP: Yes! In this collaboration FVCKRENDER and I made, we decided to add the logo as a fun addition to the work, as it was the first time we ever put a well-known brand on one of our characters. TP: You publish your art on Instagram and like to interact with your audience. How does Social Media enhance and influence your work? AP: Instagram definitely had a huge impact on my life. It became my go-to platform to share my work and it is pretty much my portfolio in a way; all of my work is there. I’ll be forever grateful to my audience. They have such a big impact on this project’s growth and so it is important to me to stay connected with them. Social media helped to create this kind of artist-fan proximity which I find amazing! TP: You have also made some animation, like for “Momentum”. Is this an area you want to expand moving forward? AP: Definitely! I want to spend more time during the following months on animation. It’s is such a different experience, and I enjoy it so far! TP: You are a member of Alpha & The Van, an Indie-Rock band. What influence does music have on your art? AP: Music has a huge place in my life. The mood and emotions I can get from listening to music I like directly impact the images I create. It is a bit hard to explain, as the music I listen to and the art I make are not related in any rational way. It’s more like a subconscious and instinctive relationship. I also love being able to channel my creativity through music by being in a band. It’s a project that is also really close to me. TP: What are your thoughts on digital art and what software do you use for creating your images? AP: I think digital art is a wonderful field of art, and I believe that it has yet to be more and more recognized by the general public! There are several softwares I use, such as Maxon Cinema4D, Adobe Photoshop, DAZ Studio, Marvelous Designer, Adobe After Effects, Otoy’s Octane Render and Oculus Medium.