«Red flag» began with the desire of drawing a big race that could include different sports. When I start a project I think about building and composing a world in which my characters will evolve. I imagined this race taking place in large landscapes and quickly I created of a huge circuit built in the middle of a natural environment.
The enjoyment I feel when I draw and design car races, billboards and a crowd of supporters is in contradiction with my principles. Indeed, I didn’t want to create a book where a sport competition (inspired by the Dakar Rally) would be seen only by the fun and glorious aspects. From this contradiction, I became able to visualize what the subject of my book would be : this is how my project took shape. As the track is built in the middle of the mountains and woods, the race disturbs the animals. Frightened in the first place, they eventually realize they can cause an impact on the race and start sabotaging it.
I wanted to set up a quite realistic atmosphere with a lot of details. The images are set up so that the reader would be able to travel along the tracks and notice scenery changes. I try to involve the readers in the story, making it possible for them to follow the path I created and feel the sensations of motion and rapidity.
Work on the text happened naturally. The car driver narrates the story in order to create a character that children would follow through the book. As the story goes by, the car driver tells about his sensations, observations and desire to win the race but it isn’t through him that we understand the action. The images speak a lot more than the text. I found it ironic that the readers would always be a step ahead of him, the same way the animals are with the other competitors. This irony goes on until the end, the race is never completed and the woods finally find some tranquility.
Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels