Vincent Bal probably knows better as Shadowology, the “scientific process” of transforming shadows into objects.
He creates his characters starting from random shadows projected on paper and transformed into something else, like animals or landscapes. The process started in 2016, after posting a picture and shared it on instagram. The reactions were so positive that he challenged himself to make one of these ‘shadow doodles’ every day. He hasn’t stopped since.
Who’s Vincent Bal? Find it out with us!
Artist fuses shadows with drawingsThis the art of Vincent Bal
Posted by Feel Desain on Friday, May 25, 2018
1. Hi Vincent, tell us something about yourself.
I’m Vincent Bal and I like to make all kinds of stuff.
I’m a Belgian filmmaker with a couple of award winning shorts and feature films on mu IMDB page. I teach directing in a filmschool in Ghent.
I write scripts and comic strips. I have one wife, two children, two rabbits and no driver’s license. When I was a kid I wanted to be a comic strip artist or a clown, and now I became a Shadowologist.
2. You’re a filmmaker first but how you classify your art as Shadowology?
Shadowology is the very scientific name I gave to my shadow doodles. Actually it’s a form of playing and a sort of meditation. I play around with the shadow of objects until I see something appear in it. A bit like watching the clouds looking for familiar shapes. I then try to bring the image I saw to the foreground with a couple of lines and take a picture. What I like about these pictures is that you see the two worlds, reality and fantasy, co-exisiting in one image.
3. Where did you get the idea for “Shadowlogy”?
Like all good things in life, it came by accident. I was working on a film script (for a film that is never made) when I noticed how the shadow of my teacup looked a bit like an elephant. I gave the shadow animal eyes and a smile, and took a picture. When I shared it on social media, the reactions were really nice, so I decided to try and make one every day. That was may 2016 and I haven’t stopped since.
Now I have a lot of people who follow me on social media, who look forward to seeing one of my Shadowology doodles every day. That is really great.
I also published a book with my work, I sell signed prints and postcards (take a look at his shop on Etsy), I’m working on a short film… It’s amazing where coincidence can lead you.
4. You must have a favourite shadow character/piece – which one is it?
It’s hard to say. I am very fond of my little elephant, because he showed me the way to the shadow world. Recently I made a little film with a teahohder that turned into a musician. That one was pretty cool for me.
When I make these little mini movies I also put a lot of work in the soundtrack, which is fun to do.
5. Where do you find the elements which you go on to transform?
Everywhere. I must have looked in all the drawers in our house already, trying to find something to work with. Luckily my kids bring stuff to the house as well. Sometimes I just walk into a shop to see if there is anything cheap and funky that I could work with. But as a rule, it can never cost more then 3 euros.
6. What does “creativity” mean to you?
Creativity is the mind playing. When you play, you have to be free to make intuitive connections, and not overthink too much.
When I write the best ideas come while you are walking, or half asleep, or taking a shower. The part of your brain that is always saying that ‘it’s no good’ should be kept busy doing something else.
When I make these drawings I try not to have any expectations, just see what comes.
Later ons, you can use the more analytical part of your brain to re-write, structure, choose title etc. But for me the first part should be care-free.
7. You made a lot of videos for social platforms. But have you ever thought of making any live performances?
I did one in a Spanish TV show called El Hormi Guero. That was fun. But there I just re-created drawings that I had done before. I do not think it would be easy creating new doodles with an audience looking at your fingers.
8. Your special message for Feel Desain readers?
Enjoy life. As the great philosopher Ferris Bueller taught us: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.