Arno Faure is the imaginative founder of the Art of Doing — a dynamic project that portraits artists, craftsmen and creative visionaries doing what they love. The online platform and its founder are touring the world of creativity in an effort to rejuvenate and energise people to begin their own artistic journeys. Included in the Art of Doing’s impressive portraiture is a video sketch that evokes a graphic narrative of Meka — a Canadian illustrator and visual designer — while another follows the hard knocks of Augustin — a Montreal-based boxer. Faure aims to inspire audiences to follow their passions through directing them to people who have combated the hypnotic temptation of idleness and mastered the art of doing. His latest feature on circus coaches Jorge and Itzel highlights that doing can be a risky, scary and sometimes exhausting journey, but the means are worth the end. Although he observes his subjects behind the camera, Faure himself is brilliantly talented with a knack for graphic design, directing, and production. We chatted to the visionary host about being the ‘good student’, finding the right channels, and the woes of a Facebook ‘like’.

Image: The Art of Doing

The Art of Doing | Portrait of Meka, Illustrator (n1) from Arno Faure/The Art of Doing on Vimeo.


In your editorial on the Art of Doing’s website you criticise the education system for restricting newer generations to intellectual boxes and making them forget who they are. How do you think schools can correct this?

Stop grading students! The mark — the good score — doesn’t mean you’re a good or bad student. We shouldn’t emphasize the importance of it, it’s not the point. If this is the only way we’ve found to make students learn something, well, we should be ashamed. I never understood something because I had to but because I wanted to. And everything I learned just for the test, I quickly forgot. What’s the point in spending hundreds of hours learning if you don’t even know why you have to know the stuff. I was a ‘good’ student, I did all my homework on time, I never missed school, my reports were good, but it didn’t make me who I am today.

I had to get rid of this ‘good student’ label to follow my own path. Being the best student in the classroom doesn’t make you the best guy in life. We should be taught how to be rather than learning tons of stuff

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t learn history, science, etc. Of course, knowledge is essential, but we should be told why it’s good to know more than what we have to know. Propose rather than impose: don’t grade the results but the reasoning, value assays, risks taken, etc. The cookie-cutter approach to learning is no longer the way. Push students to think for themselves from an early age, to find their own path of learning. Teach them what to search for and how to find information. They should be active in learning, not sitting behind their desks. Sitting in a room is already an aberration — who can listen to a teacher for more than an hour without being bored? I was. As Ken Robinson said: ‘Helping students to connect with their personal capacities is the best way to reveal the best they have to offer’. Today we are fortunate to live in an era where each of us can make a contribution, and bring out everyone’s strength to move forward together.

Image: The Art of Doing

We’ve seen portraits of Meka and Augustin, but will we ever see a portrait of Arno?

No, you won’t. It’s not about me but others. Well, that’s not exactly true because these portraits are my vision, not the pure reality. I try to express the feelings I felt when I was with them, what I saw and noticed while I was immersed in their ‘world’. I’m very attached to details: it could be the laces undone, the small gesture you made, the pen you abandoned on the table… I focus on what you left behind more than on what you said. I’m not saying that what we say is not important, but usually we speak much more without words. I think we are by what we do unconsciously.

Somehow, my portrait might be all the portraits I directed


The Art of Doing | Portrait of Augustin, Boxer (n2) from Arno Faure/The Art of Doing on Vimeo.


Meka is a designer and Augustin is a boxer — two very different disciplines. How do you select who features on the Art of Doing?

I used to plan everything, to be prepared, even over-prepared all the time. With this project I rely more on my instincts; I don’t want to establish the listing from the beginning but catch people on the fly. It could be someone I met, or an artist I liked at a show I attended, or a friend who talked about somebody he knew. As soon as I feel the flame of the art of doing, I go for it! Without wondering if it could be good for the project or not, and when you’re making art, you don’t know why you do it before you do it.

You’ve done your own custom designed trailers for Moulin Rouge, The Shining, There Will Be Blood and The Hurt Locker. Pick one of these directors (let’s pretend Kubrick is alive) to portrait for the Art of Doing and tell us why.

Without a doubt I’d pick Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)! And why? Well it’s always hard for me to explain in words why I like something. Usually it’s just instinct. I just like it that’s all. I feel connected with it, it might move me, make me imagine, think or whatever… it talks to me in a way. It’s like if I ask you why you love your boy or girlfriend. You could pretend to use fancy words to explain the why, but actually it’s pretty simple, you just know it.

Image: The Art of Doing

The Art of Doing aims to inspire people, but through ‘Place Publique’ it also provides a platform for artists to share their work. Do you think the problem of not doing anything lies in people not being inspired or not finding the correct channels of sharing and distribution?

I’d say both. My take is we need to inspire others and be inspired by others. But don’t wait to be inspired or for the right moment before doing something. Do it first and you’ll see. Think big, but start small. Don’t wait to be ready, you’re gonna miss the first shot anyway so better miss it quickly. We’re usually afraid to show what we do because we prefer to live in the imagination of being good rather than doing and realizing we might not be as good as we expected. We should all remember what Albert Einstein said: ‘Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new’. So we should embrace mistakes not be afraid of them. And you’re right, nowadays, it’s hard to find the good way and the correct channels of sharing, but I think we don’t need to think about that. It’s not an issue anymore. For instance, twenty years ago, there were only two ways of showing your work as a filmmaker: theatre and TV. Now there are hundreds, too many for sure, but we don’t need to find where we could fit, but to do what we want and then the right place will come to us. The channels are not straight highways anymore but runny rivers. That’s why I don’t understand why we still all want to follow the old path. It’s not because you’re not featured in a theatre or in a famous festival that you’re not a good filmmaker. We need to get rid of this old-school way of doing things and get out of the box.

Don’t wait to be approved to be who you want to be. It’s not where you show your stuff that matters but what you say with it


Image: The Art of Doing

You say that society is too preoccupied with instant gratification and speed. How do you think this has disrupted the creation of art?

The most disturbing thing I ever encountered as a creator is what I call the RTF, or the real time feedback.

Today, we want feedback more than ever. Every time we do something, we wait for likes, shares, quick and fast success and wonder what people think about what we’ve created. We are only focus on how many people will raise their thumbs up. If René Descartes lived in the 21st century, he might have said: ‘I’m liked, therefore I am’

Think about Mozart, for instance. I do think that if he had access to all this feedback we get today, he would’ve never been able to compose his masterpieces. Feedback is great and essential in taking a step back and looking at what we do, but at the wrong point it can kill your idea. I think the (virtual) connection created something we didn’t need as a creator, or at least not the way we use it. If you do something just to please people and get likes, you’ll never do what you really want, because most of the time what you want to do is not going to work right away. You might even get only one or two likes or views or whatever, and if you rely on this you might change the way you do things just because people don’t like it. But what if what you do is not for now? What if people need time to digest it? What if Van Gogh had changed his style just because nobody liked his paintings? What if Godard had cut A bout de Souffle in the academic way just to be considered a ‘good’ filmmaker? Instant gratification should be the last thing we want. Unfortunately, this is the way nowadays, and I keep fighting against it myself to be honest with you. We should have the courage to face failure and to make and show what we really are. What’s better? Succeeding by doing something that anybody could have done or doing something that matters in our life and says something about ourselves?

Image: The Art of Doing

Your website has some Daft Punk and Radiohead mixes. When will we see the Art of Doing cover a musician? Which musician would you love to cover?

Actually, I’m working on four other portraits, and in one of them, I will cover a multi-talented and amazing guy who is a great Live Performance Artist.

If I had to pick one art amongst them all, I would choose music. Music could live by itself. It makes you imagine, dream, feel good or bad, cry, laugh and dance unlike any other art

That’s why music is the only words said in my portraits. I use music at the main part of my editing. I cut while the music is composed by Sylbi Vane. It’s a true collaboration. I let him express his point of view through his sound. We work together, it’s a simultaneous not a consecutive process. It’s back and forth between both of us all the time. I cut his tracks, copy, paste, shorten it, use the end for the beginning… like I’d do with a video shot and sometimes, it makes him go crazy! We’re still experimenting with this way of doing, it’s far from being easy but it’s exciting! And to answer the question, I’d like to cover, without any hesitation, Thom Yorke. Despite his success, he never stops trying, experimenting, pushing the boundaries. And every time I listen to a new album, I need time to enjoy it. It’s like I have to engage with it, and as with any engagement it needs effort to build sustainability. But once it’s there, it lasts forever. I’m also a huge fan of movie soundtracks, and they are often much more better and interesting than the films themselves. I do think that usually videos don’t let the music play. They’re just the ‘bed’ as it’s wrongly called. But without this ‘third wheel’, the most realistic visual effect would look like nothing. Imagine Star Wars or Jaws without the compositions of John Williams. So if we pretend he’s alive, I’d cover Bernard Herrmann, but there are also great living music composers that I’d love to portrait, my favorite: Hans Zimmer.

The Art of Doing | Portrait of Itzel & Jorge, Circus Coaches (n3) from Arno Faure/The Art of Doing on Vimeo.


South Africa has some pretty big talents that have yet to be discovered, but it’s hard to earn a living and work on the things you love. How can artists balance their need for economic support and their creative passions?

That’s the trickiest part, and I’m still struggling with it, but actually that’s what The Art of Doing is about. I don’t want to blame money, because we all need to make a living, but as an artist, as soon as you earn it, you want more… you become like a prisoner. My belief is: do what you’d like and the money will come eventually, even if it’s not a lot. We don’t need that much anyway. To be honest with you, back in France, I used to earn a great living by doing something I didn’t like. Of course, it was comfortable but I wasn’t very happy. Since I arrived in Canada my salary is four times less, I’m not saying it’s easy, no it’s not, but I’m feeling much better because I’ve started doing something I like, and I do know it’s going to be a long journey. One of the goals of The Art of Doing is to show that we all can do what we like.

We use money as an excuse for not doing, but actually I think we’re just afraid and lazy to do, because we need to make effort to get what we really want. It’s not gonna be an easy trip for sure, but at least if we try, we’re gonna live a more meaningful life


Image: The Art of Doing

Your videos of Meka and Augustin capture ordinary people doing amazing things. How important is it to make these guys seem ordinary and relatable to audiences?

Actually, I don’t make them seem ordinary, they are. We all are. Artists are like us and we are all artists of our life. I think TV and the star system create a false image of who an artist should be. You don’t have to have perfect skin, wear the perfect suit, live in a 4 000 sq/ft house to be an artist. For me, an artist is someone who does what he loves to do and lives with it. Meka and Augustin are both artists because they wake up every morning to do what they want to do. They dream big but they know it takes time and effort to achieve their goals. Nothing happens overnight, that’s the reality!

You describe the start of the Art of Doing as a scary experience, but say that you’re no longer waiting for something to happen. Before the Art of Doing what were you waiting for?

I was waiting to have the guts to do it. Actually, I was waiting for the blue fairy to come and help me find the strength, but once you realize that she’s never coming you have to find something else. I was also waiting for the right idea, you know the one that makes you instantly-famous, the idea that nobody thought about, but I realize it doesn’t work that way. The right one comes when you’ve already tried hundreds. It’s so pretentious to believe that you can come with the best idea just like that, and I thought that way.

We shouldn’t be trying to look for the next best thing, but seek what we want to say. You might not be heard but at least you brought something different to the table. And if it’s hard and you doubt yourself, it means you’re on the right path

It doesn’t matter being famous anymore, what matters is being happy, and once you understand that, your life will be better. But again, it takes time, so enjoy the journey!

Image: The Art of Doing


Images: The Art of Doing