I realize that there is a whole team behind the creations of Artisans d’Azure. Did it start off as a team?
Well, everything started off during the summer of 2005 , when Samuel, the owner of "Les artisans d'Azure" and one of his friend made their first armor for a Live action roleplaying game. People were impressed, at this time armor was rare in our region even if LARP was popular. So Samuel began selling leather armor to his fellow players making his name as a fine artisan. In just one year, he needed to hire his first employee. A couple of years later, he opened the workshop and store "Les Artisans d'Azure" in Montreal that's when I (Marc) joined them. Actually we supply a bunch of website and store around the world for our product from a catalogue with our original creations. So that's why I began to use deviant art to show our custom made projects.
From armour to clothing to weapons is there anything that your team can’t do?
When a customer asks "Do you think it's possible?" My only anwser is "the imagination is the limit we can build". Well it's almost true. At the "Artisans d'Azure" our mentality is to help other even if it mean to help our competitor. This mentality gave us some good friend that sometime have some skills that we dont master yet. So yes there is some stuff we can't do but we know how to make it possible. When we dont know how to do it, we hire someone to show us how to make it or we search information on how to do it. Being an artisan ask us to learn something new every day too i think it's the most enjoyable part of my job as the Art Director to always try something new. To break the "routine".
When you make weapons and armour are they as heavy as we would expect or are they lightweight?
Like we create Live action roleplaying game we have the luck of making props. It don't have to be "a real protection" armor. We can use some lightweight material for people who will wear them for a entire week end. The important is not the weight but the durability. We insure our product for life so we try to make armors and weapon that will last and be comfortable.
Where do you draw inspiration to design new costumes?
Like almost every team we do some brainstorming, asking question on what people like or would like around us, when they come at our store for an example. Sometime clients tell us their dreams, and we note them. And there is the client inspiration too when they come to us with some picture, drawing from the internet, movies, mangas, and ask us to make "something similar" so we need to re-build an draw to an real armor with articulation and straps that will hold the suit on them.
Is it harder to make a costume for a man or for a woman? And why?
Some of my partner would say woman because of the shape that is really unique from a lady to another. Man all about similar flat chest , belly , etc it all wold in a breastplate. For a ladie i think that it's diferent it is not harder but longer and for us more we take time to make an costume more it cost to the client. Especialy when they want an sexy costum fit armor. I even needed one day to make an mold with plaster of one of them to be sure it would fit perfectly.
What is your ultimate dream project?
Well having already worked on some movie and theater project i can't say that making an armor for the cinema would not be my ultimate one. Or almost... an ultimate dream project for an custom artist is when the customer come in and say "i have the budget the theme is ... make me what you want from A to Z" even if it's to be in the living room or at t.v. the dream is to be free to please the client with our talent and effort nothing more.
Thanks again to ArtisansdAzure for this interview. Join us next week for another interview!