Manon Lefebvre

Sebastián Drignes

Sebastián Drignes is a photographer and director based on Madrid, whose life as always been between corporate and fashion world, first as a model, and then, in his right spot, behind the camera. Born, raised and living in Pan Bendito, a conflict neighborhood, he loves to shoot his own reality, either models, gang members, or rich banking kids.He likes people, their stories, jobs, relationships, victories and defeats, and tries to portrait them with his own vision.

For this feature, Sebastián presents us an interview and story about how Covid has affected young creatives in the capital of one of the most damaged countries in the world. Starring the model and artist Manon Lefebvre.

1. How do you define yourself and your work after this life changing event? Did you, your career, and art, grown up?
Right know I define myself as a challenging and optimistic person, or at least I like to see it that way hahaha. About my artistic life, I did increase, or at least, the pandemic has made me test my limits and now I believe much more in myself, and I'm focusing on brand new projects.

For the model part, as always, I’m not a top model, so it comes and goes, but I’m happy anyway.

I’m able to work with two of my many passions and that is so satisfying, I hope that I can still evolve more everyday.

2. I came from the corporate world, and this pandemic has meant a deep change about how we work, and how we’ll work. It is estimated that, after this, 50% or more jobs are going to be strictly developed at home. Do you think this could happen in arts? And if so, How?
We are living a new kind  of life, and from now on everything is going to be  made from home if possible or at least until the virus disappears, you are totally right. A good thing for artists like me is that we are already used to work from home, it won't be such a change for me.

But in the other hand, for example, for other kind of arts and creative works, like for the music industry it’s a tricky thing.

You can make music from home, but you can’t have concerts, and concerts are the main life sustenance for musician.

Not to mention if we talk about  tourism, hostelry, or night life, I think it’s totally crazy. Those kind of business depends totally on the lifestyle of people, and probably are the most damaged of all the economics. I hope we will be able to find some kind of solution, for artists, for service workers, for everyone, I hope that they can find a way to manage this new lifestyle.

3. Did you, or some close artist friends, carried out a more intensive social media strategy to exceed this moment?. What did you do?
Mmmm I didn’t really though about any kind of strategy, I just focused on myself and stop being afraid of what people are gonna think about my art. COVID19 and quarantine have make us stay at home and think more about our “normal” lives before this crazy pandemic, and in my case I’ve realised that I have to stop thinking about rather people are gonna like or not my illustrations, not to much into a strategy or marketing. My strategy was being honest with myself and my work.

Covid has taught artists to be resilient, more than we used to be hahah.

I like what I’m doing, now that I’m more confident maybe it’s the real time to think about some strategy hahahah.

4. Covid 19 has been a main theme used for many artist in many fields as we could see in their social media accounts. Is there any real reasons beyond that “activism” (against people who doesn’t follow the rules, such the use of mask, social distance…etc) or did they just took advantage of the moment to bring more views? What do you think?
Advantage? They are is always gonna have people who are gonna take advantage of situations.

I believe illustrators, photographers, creatives, are normally inspired by the day by day things.

We just try to express ourselves with what we know, portraying the reality or fiction in our personal terms.

For example I use my art to get away from those bad moments and try to put a bit of colour in my own way, but I like to express those bad moments too and I’m not good at talking so drawing makes it easier for me. That is what is great with art, you can express anything you want in any kind of way.

But yes, It’s always gonna be hard to be able to point out what’s honest work from what’s personal branding.

5. Imagine you are a filmmaker f.e and you make a video which shown dead people and figures criticising the bad citizen behaviours, and it goes viral… Could arts in social media really had an honest goal, or it just has been desvirtualised for the sake of followers?
Followers are something “new” from a new generation (mine included). I think we really need to stop thinking about followers or likes...cause them are just numbers in your screen, doesn't make you a better friend, boyfriend, mother…etc.

We’ve always been more or less able to see what is happing in real life, in wars, terrorism, natural disasters, or whatever, and there are always been photos, movies, news, documentary, to show it up to us.

There’s always going to be people that is going to win by showing critical situations but it’s not something that everybody does.

It is hard to define when a innocent video or photo turns out into business, it’s a thin line.

6. Last question.  We talked about, arts, modelling, social media, and the pandemic, an step changing event that will set down new developing models in all fields. What would you say, as you do with yourself, to any artist going through hard times due to this moment, about the future?
Maybe it’s something a bit typical, isn't it?

But to never give up. In good or bad times you have to never give up. There is always going to  be  people, moments, or anything that is going to bring you down. But you must not to. Be brave.

And  if afterwards, you cannot make a living from it (because it is true that it is complicated) you can always be proud because you tried to turn something that you are passionate about into something more than a hobby, and just that, it is incredible by itself. 

Sebastián Drignes


Manon Lefebvre (WILD MGMT)