Once upon a time, Steve Rogers was an scrawny, wannabe warrior. Then he sipped down a little Super Soldier Serum, and transformed into the crime-fighting, national superhero Captain America. In an alternate universe, many years and lifetimes apart, Patrick Zédouard was just an everyday freelance illustrator kickin’ it in France. Then he submitted his design to our Captain America design challenge, won, and become an official Threadless challenge winner! My, how lives can change in the blink of an eye. Read on to learn more about Patrick, his design, and his general super awesomeness!
T: How about a quick introduction?
P: Hi, my name is Patrick Zédouard! I am 26 years old and live in a city near Paris, France. I am a freelance designer illustrator; my main activity is creating t-shirts designs.
T: What was it like to receive the news that you won the grand prize over 371 other submissions?
P: I saw that people were enthusiastic about my design, although I still didn’t expect to win. Two months later, I had stopped thinking about it. When Laura messaged me that I’d won, it took me a few minutes to realize the meaning of this award; it gives me more confidence in what I do and makes me want to do more!
T: Are you a big fan of Captain America?
P: I am a fan of the Marvel universe. During my childhood, I watched the X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons. I really discovered Captain America with the recent movies, and he is, for sure, awesome.
T: Do you have any relatable qualities to him?
P: Captain America is too perfect to compare him to me. Maybe I have some perseverance… sometimes!
T: When designing for this challenge, what did you hope to showcase about Captain America?
P: Inspired by his strength, seriousness, and role as leader, I designed him with a clenched fist and dark eyes to show these aspects of his personality. The title “American Shooting Star” signifies both a weapon shot and wishes made on shooting stars. Captain America is the last chance and wish of America.
T: Your design, American Shooting Star, is incredible. Can you walk us through the process?
P: I like exploring techniques to do my designs and this one offered an occasion to work with stars and fire light effects. At first, I thought about a simple portrait and gathered references of Captain America. Then I began the sketches with Adobe Photoshop and found that playing around the symbol of the star would be great. The theme centered around fusing the beauty of the stars and the personality of Captain America. After a few sketches, I reworked it with halftones and textures.
T: Do you have any work in progress photos you can share?
P: I did some screen captures during the process. The first step is focused on the placement of the elements, the second on contrasts and details, and the last on the colors.
T: Was it difficult incorporating your style into an already iconic character?
P: Actually, this was the fun part. I love playing with likeness and giving a new dimension to things or characters we already know.
T: What’s it like to be able to design for a property as big as Marvel/Captain America?
P: Creating something that is validated by a legendary company is like a dream come true.
T: Do you have any advice for new artists?
P: Art is mainly about practicing knowing yourself and building your own routine. Do not fear expressing yourself and trying something new. The more you create, the easier it becomes to reach another step.
T: Are you working on any cool projects at the moment?
P: My only project is to make more and more designs, and keep a workflow with new ideas and improvements. Also, perhaps create more traditional artworks.
T: Any last words or shout outs?