Welcome to our school! ~Saint-Luc Liège School of Art~

Click here to read the article in 日本語.

Hello and Welcome! This is KB from the PicoN! editorial team.

This is the 2nd installation of my series introducing schools for the creative arts from around the world. Today we’ll be travelling to Belgium to look around Saint-Luc Liège School of Art and hear from a couple of students currently studying there.

École Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc Liège, Saint-Luc Liège School of Art

Classroom  at ESA Saint-Luc

Saint-Luc Liège School of Art (ESA Saint-Luc) has a history of more than 130 years and offers introductory and specialized advanced programmes in art, design and conservation. Located in Wallonia, Belgium, ESA Saint-Luc’s uses a hands-on and project-based workshop approach to teaching; the “atelier.” Emphasizing collaboration between different disciplines, students and professionals, other academic institutions and the local community, ESA Saint-Luc promotes relationships both within Belgium and internationally.
Programmes, which are taught in French, include Illustration, Bande Dessinée – Comics, Painting, Sculpture, Advertising, Photography, Interior Design, Graphic and Communication Design, Industrial Design, and Conservation, Restoration of Artistic Heritage.

Joining us are two students from the Bande Dessinée programme, Kayano and Zélia!

Hello, I go by Kayano. I am a student at ESA Saint-Luc Liege School of Art, and I study comics.
My name is Zélia. I am a third-year student at ESA Saint-Luc Liège School of Art majoring in comics.

⇩KB: Hi! Can you tell us about Saint-Luc Liège School of Art?

⇦Kayano: Saint-Luc Liège is a versatile school, we do comics, painting, illustration, wood-carving, art restoration and conservation, alongside many other disciplines!
It’s also a place where you can experiment with many techniques with a lot of professionals.

ESA Saint-Luc offers various programmes in Art…

in Design…

and in Restoration of Artistic Heritage.

⇨Zélia: Saint-Luc Liège is a very diverse school, from the different curriculums available, to the students that study here. It is a dynamic institution that takes an active part in the cultural life of the city. In addition, the school offers many services available to students and regularly organizes exhibitions and cultural events.

Student exhibit at ESA Saint-Luc

Showcasing their projects for various people to see help students improve.

⇩KB: That’s great! Can you tell us about the Bande Dessinée programme?

“Bande Dessinée”, or comics, is a major artistic and cultural practice in Belgium.

⇨Zélia: The most prominent feature of my program would have to be learning how to produce a comic from start to finish. This includes knowledge in drawing, storytelling, composition and organization.

⇦Kayano: For me, the main reason that makes me love my study program at Saint-Luc is the working environment. I met a lot of talented students and teachers who taught me a lot of new drawing techniques, made me discover many new comics and pieces of art, so it cleared my mind and showed me the path that I must take in order to reach the art style that I really want in the future.

Students learn all the skills needed to create a visual narrative from beginning to end.

⇩KB: What are the students like at ESA Saint-Luc?

Students heading to class

⇨Zélia: Students here are very diverse, they have different backgrounds, styles and interests.

⇦Kayano: The students are very lovely and open minded. Everyone has his own inspiration, style, and personality. I have some friends who are passionate about Franco-Belgium comics, DC comics, movies, English literature, and many more! If you have an issue with something, you can always ask for advice around you, and everyone has a different solution, it’s really inspiring!

The students at ESA Saint-Luc make up a diverse crowd.

⇩KB: How about your teachers?

⇦Kayano: The teachers are very unique! I mean, when I show them my work, they always have some crazy ideas to improve my arts and my stories. The fact that they are dedicated to their jobs and love what they do help us to have an easier time talking with them about comics/BD/manga. They easily understand what we have in mind when we do our work, so they never say that we are wrong about what we want to do but they help us to improve our art and be better in what we want to do! I will always be grateful for their help and advice.

⇨Zélia: Just like the students, the teachers form an eclectic bunch. They all have different stories, career paths and styles. Above all they are helpful and dedicated. The different perspectives they bring complement one another.

⇩KB: Can you share with us which classes you like the most and the least?

⇨Zélia: My favourite class is definitely the workshop (aka Atelier) where we get to develop our own projects. My least favourite is infographics.

Every programme at ESA Saint-Luc has an atelier workshop.

⇦Kayano: My favourite class is of course the BD class (BD is Franco-Belgium comics.) because the more I practice the more I understand what I really want to do, and dedicate my life to it! I can practice my story-telling, my backgrounds (It’s the part that I enjoy the most.), my charadesigns and many more. I think it’s the most versatile class. Sometimes it can be hard, but even when I don’t sleep because I need to do my homework, I love it. In fact, I never felt so alive in my life!

Creative students everywhere put long hours into their projects!

⇦Kayano: And for my least favourite classes, I would say the “Social science” class. It’s very interesting, but when I sit on a chair and just listen, I have the feeling that if I was at home I could work more on my drawings! But it’s not that bad.

⇩KB: How about your campus? Where are your favourite places at school?

⇦Kayano: I’m not the type of guy that likes to move around the school during breaks, so I like to stay in class and read a book. But the cafeteria makes good pasta and coffee so I like to go there sometimes.

⇨Zélia: My favourite places on campus are the library and the screen-printing workshop. The library is full of resources and nice reads. I have had the chance to learn screen printing and to try out risograph printing during my second year. Discovering these techniques was definitely one of the biggest highlights of my studies.

Students talking in ESA Saint-Luc’s printing room

ESA Saint-Luc teaches students about various printing techniques.

⇩KB: What do you think of the city ESA Saint-Luc is located in, Liège?

⇦Kayano: Liège is a really nice city! I’m from the countryside, so when I moved for the first time to the city it was like a new world for me. If you want to hang-out with your friends, you have some bars (Belgians loves bars.), many big book stores, and some smaller ones that focus on BD/Comics/Manga. I love to go there to see the new publications and some other with French/English/Spanish literature. We have a nice ice-skating ring open during the entire year. We also have sports like wall climbing, a gym and many more!
And not far from the school, you have many museums, we often visit them with the school, and for some drawing session. Also, the food is pretty good!

⇨Zélia: My favourite place off campus is the Sauvenière, a movie theater close to the city center. I also really enjoy the Boverie park, next to the museum, especially in the summer.

⇩KB: What a great environment to study in! Can you tell me a little about the creative arts in Belgium?

⇦Kayano: In Belgium, we have a pretty big variety of arts. The BD of course, but because it’s in Europe we have a big history. Many museums with oil paintings, sculptures, historical objects and even more. I could take an entire day to list all of the variety of arts we have. We also are very close to Netherlands, Germany, France… So, if you want to visit Paris, Amsterdam or Berlin you can go by train in the morning and be back in the evening.

The arts have always been an important part of Belgium culture.

⇨Zélia: Belgium is home to a very active and dynamic creative scene. Numerous creator markets can be found all over and there are many ways to meet and exchange with other creative minds. The country clearly takes pride in its cultural activity.

Outdoor event at ESA Saint-Luc

Presentation at one of the halls at ESA Saint-Luc

⇩KB: Tell me, what do you think about the creative arts of Japan?

⇨Zélia: I think Japan has a really rich creative art culture which is apparent in historic, contemporary and more alternative pieces of artwork. There is definitely a lot to explore and learn from the Japanese creative art scene.

⇦Kayano: I fell in love with the Japanese arts. Actually, it’s probably my main inspiration for my art style. I read a lot of manga. I also listen to a lot of Japanese music and it’s one of my favourites. I’ve also seen some movies, paintings, graphic-designs and even TV commercials. I think Japanese art is very unique. Everything is so different and new for me, it’s so exciting!

⇩KB: Why did you decide to study comics?

Showcasing of student work

⇨Zélia: I always loved creating art and telling stories. I therefore decided to follow that passion and turn it into a career. Comics was the medium I was most interested in to share those stories.

⇦Kayano: I never was a “drawing kid.” During my life, I saw a lot of arts and many people who chose to draw to live, but I never understood it. And one day, I read a manga from an artist named “Naoki Urasawa” When I saw that, I told myself “Wow, he’s so cool! I want to see more of his work!” and I think it’s the first time where I saw the artist and not just a piece of work. That’s when I knew that I would never leave the manga aside in my life, and that gave me an interest in my life. Before that, I never really had a passion, so now, I have something to do in order to feel better when I’m not okay, something to do when my work is over. It gives me hope and much more. I decided to create manga too, because if I can give back a little of what it gave me, I will be the happiest person on earth!

⇩KB: As a fellow comic aficionado, I’m happy to hear that! Finally, can you tell us what your goals are for the future?

⇦Kayano: I want to become a Manga artist. I think it’s the most beautiful job in the world.
The journey will be hard. I’m going to meet a lot of great people, improve myself, and I want to see how far I can go!

⇨Zélia: I want to work as a comic author and freelance illustrator.

Kayano, Zélia, thank you both so much for interviewing and telling us about your school! You both have such bright and exciting futures ahead of you, and I hope I’ll have an opportunity to read your comics one day!!

ESA Saint-Luc’s campus

Saint-Luc Liège School of Art in Belgium is well-situated for studying the creative arts, both geographically and historically. A diverse student body and faculty facilitate the learning of new skills and artistic perspectives, and even ESA Saint-Luc’s campus itself inspires and feeds the imagination!
Today we heard from two students studying Bande Dessinée, a unique part of Belgium’s culture. In an age where so many artistic styles and methodologies are accessible to people around the world, it will be interesting to see how different comic cultures meld together and influence new and aspiring artists to give birth to fantastic stories and art!^^




Special Thanks! to ESA Saint-Luc for their cooperation and for the photographs for this article.

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