Stories

An Interview with Artist Olivier Bonnard

Stay Loud is our north star of sorts, it’s a credo that guides and reminds us to celebrate the risk-takers, innovators and pioneers, because these are the people that inspire us. They don’t follow others, they forge their own way by living life on their terms. Uncompromising, unapologetic and true to themselves, we’re motivated by these people, as they inspire us to push ourselves—to live at full volume. Olivier “Bonar” Bonnard is one of these individuals, he is Stay Loud.

His work can be found across the globe, and while his installments used to be done at night, fighting the light and evading the powers that be, his work has become sought after. Whether it’s a commissioned piece, or a statement he’s making, when when Bonar walks away from his work, his acrylic voice is heard. He leaves behind psychedelic revisions of morning cartoons, telling a deeper story, where the characters don’t all live happily ever after, and some may lose their heads.

Get to Know Bonar in 7 Questions

How did you discover your passion for art?
When I was a child, my father used to draw straight from his imagination on a piece of paper and leave it on the table for me. Everyday it would be a different one, usually connected with the previous, making a story. It wasn’t long before I started filling sheets of paper with hundreds of characters for hours on end, adding details and developing a scene and a narrative. Since, I’ve never gotten bored, I’ve never stopped doing it, and always found a new challenge.

“Take risks and be creative, live by your own design.”

What is the biggest inspiration in your life?
A lot of my ideas come from nature and old cartoons. I grew up in the countryside, born from idealistic hippies and I didn’t have much more than a bike, some pencils, a TV without cable and old VHS tapes ranging from the Fleischer Brothers to Tex Avery. My art started from that exposure, and I’ve always been fueled by nature’s complexity and the cartoons of yesteryear—two places where everything is possible.

What is the message or story you’re telling with your body of work?
Imagination is endless. There is no limit to art.

“It’s some wicked characters caught in action, exploding and twisting around each other.”

What was the concept behind the art featured in Avant Guard?
It’s some wicked characters caught in action, exploding and twisting around each other. I wanted to create a dynamic piece where we can feel the cacophony and the craziness of the music genres nowadays, in weird cartoonish style.

What was it like appearing in a video that features your painting?
I feel very honoured that my work is featured in a Skullcandy campaign. Skullcandy was the first pair of headphones I bought as a teenager, I had to put money aside to buy them, they were the heavy duty ones with the subwoofer extension. It’s cool now to have my art associated with the brand.

How often do you actually have run-ins with police, security or property owners? What’s your best story about these run-ins?
I once painted a wall on private property and while in the process the police and owner showed up. The police officers insisted on arresting me but in the end, the owner really appreciated the piece and asked me to finish it. He contacted me for another wall afterwards.

We believe in living life at full volume. What does that mean to you?
Take risks and be creative, live by your own design.