You’ll usually find Lucas Beaufort’s kooky characters, birds and monsters splashed across large scale murals, anywhere from Miami to Canada.
Thanks to Brixton, however, Lucas’ strong iconography and distinct style now takes the form of a limited-edition collaboration capsule, turning his fun designs into completely wearable art. Titled Visual Relay, the collection draws inspiration from his roots in skateboarding, the desire for human connection, and a life spent (mostly) on the road. We caught up with Lucas in the aftermath of his launch at 1700 Naud last week to find out more about his home back in France, the new range, and figure out who the hell Gus Gus is.
Visual Relay features really strong iconography, can you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind this?
The inspiration behind the Brixton collection pulls from ideas of travel and connection, but overall, my love for people. All the characters featured on the designs share a love and happiness with each other—this is the most important thing to me. Ultimately, I just want people to connect and be unified; if we can all do this the world will be better.
Where did the name Gus Gus come from?
Gus Gus comes from the mouse in Cinderella. I love this little creature, super funny and clumsy at the same time. As a tribute to the mouse in Cinderella, I named my first dog, a beagle, Gus Gus. Unfortunately, I ended up having to give my dog to a family with a bigger house, as I was living in a small apartment at the time. My wife and I were really upset, so one of my goals was to be able to purchase a house where we could have dogs again. I decided to call my character Gus Gus as a tribute to my first dog; it’s a way to remember him.
Have you come across anyone yet that has one of your designs tattooed on them?
It’s surreal how many people got a tattoo with my character, Gus Gus. Probably over 500 people have one, it’s crazy. When I talk to my community, they get my guy tattooed not only for the lines, but for what it represents: love and happiness.
How do you think growing up skateboarding has affected the art that you make today?
Skateboarding gave me a voice, skateboarding gave me the love I needed to become who I am today. I started when I was six years old with my twin brother and I haven’t stopped. I remember when I was 14 years old, at that time I had a crew, we were always talking about our heroes, such as Daewon Song, and 15 years later I had the opportunity to design his pro board. It’s crazy when you think about it, especially because I grew up in a small village in the south east of France. I was so far from the US but I made it happen… hard work always pays off.
It seems like you’re rarely in the one spot. What do you miss most when you’re away from home?
I bought my house in Normandy, France a year ago and I only spent three to four months there last year. The house is in the middle of nowhere, far from the big cities, surrounded by land and animals. But I love to travel so much, it’s a way to reset my mind and dig for new ideas. When I travel for one month and go back home to Normandy, I really feel the happiness of living surrounded by cows, it’s so refreshing.
Your work often revolves around large-scale murals and paintings. How did creating work for Brixton’s apparel range alter your art-making process?
I have always thought that bigger is better. Painting a large-scale mural is a blessing, as you don’t feel limited. Two of my biggest walls are in Miami and Montreal, and it was a unique experience as I feel dizzy when I go too high. Creating work for apparel is a different process for sure, it’s more about thinking what would be cool to wear, colours, patterns, and you always have to question yourself: would I wear it?
What’s one of your favourite pieces from the collection, and why?
My favourite pieces are without a doubt the combo: the Lovitz Woven blue shirt, and the Steady blue short. I love the colour and the vibe.