Life is moving pretty fast these days. Every once in a while, it’s nice to take a step back and enjoy the natural beauty of our world. With our latest Art Nouveau design challenge, we got a chance to see how our artists celebrated the natural allure of life, or in the winning case, death. Our winning design comes from Quebec, Canada based illustrator, Moutchy, who won us over with his haunting design “Le Passage des Morts Nouveaux”. Read on to learn more about Moutchy, and shop his new tee here!

Congrats on your winning design “Le Passage des Morts Nouveaux”! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m from Quebec, Canada and I have been a freelance illustrator for the last three years, working on various projects like album artworks, book covers, and of course t-shirt designs.

What do you find compelling about the concept of art nouveau?

It is a style of art inspired by nature, with lots of curved lines. It’s very organic, and I love that!

When doing research for your design, did you stumble along any Art Nouveau pieces that were particularly inspiring? If so, why did they inspire you?

I gathered a few images when searching on Google, and there were two illustrations in particular that grabbed my attention. They were both paintings by Alphonse Mucha that I kept referencing for inspiration which helped me capture the essence of Art Nouveau.

What inspired “Le Passage des Morts Nouveaux” specifically?

A lot of Art Nouveau pieces had a beautiful lady as a main subject, dressed in drapery, with flowers, and I wanted to include that for sure. But I also wanted to include a darker side to it, and as I love drawing skulls, the Grim Reaper figure came to me as an obvious choice.


How did you manage to capture the idea of Art Nouveau in your design while also reflecting your own aesthetic?

When I was doing research, I specifically looked for images that I could relate to and matched my own style, and I found that in the work of Alphonse Mucha. So it was all a natural process.

How did you work to create “Le Passage des Morts Nouveaux”? Feel free to include WIP’s, if possible!

The concept came very quickly to me. I did a very crude sketch on a piece of paper, and I already knew how I was going to do the composition. Unfortunately, I don’t have that sketch anymore. After that, I took a few reference pictures of my girlfriend for the female figure, and the rest was done all in Photoshop with a graphic tablet. I did the clean outlines (see attachment) and the color after.


What all does this passage of the newly dead entail that you’ve so masterfully created in your design?

I think it’s the inevitable. Death comes for us all, and this image is a representation of that; just letting go and being taken to “the other side”. In the image, the cloth of the Grim Reaper wraps the lady’s body and surrounds her with this swirling movement, as if death becomes part of her.

In your design’s interpretation of the newly dead’s passage, is the process morbid and frightening, or spiritual and enlightening?

I think it’s a little bit of both. It’s scary, of course, but there’s also something beautiful about it, and there’s dignity and comfort. As I said, Art Nouveau is inspired by nature, and death is the most natural of things.

Do you think you’ll continue to explore designing in the concept of Art Nouveau? Why or why not?

Maybe, if a specific concept calls for it. I would love to do more pieces in that style, but I don’t want to do it in a way that would feel repetitive, like a formula.

Any last shout-outs?

Just a big “thank you” for printing my design, I’m very happy about it! And thanks for all the nice comments and votes I got from the community, it’s much appreciated!