This section describes the working practices of Jean-Pierre Hébert both as summarised by Digital Art Museum, and in his own words.
This is an archive of the Digital Art Museum for historical reference.
Work process: A non-technical overview Jean-Pierre H�bert (April 1997)
The work is an exploration in an abstract world of lines, supple water colour lines building surfaces like threads make fabrics. Flexible, innumerable lines: their rhythms organize shapes and shades. Their accurate arrangement is planned by precise calculations. These calculations are organized by a master plan composed as a framework uniquely describing the piece. A piece results from its concept composed into a plan, then made visible by drawing lines. Preliminary sketches and studies are usually necessary before a good size piece can be completed.
Hand is too impatient to render the accuracy and intricacies of the final design. As a weaver needs a loom to manage one's threads, mechanical help is required to guide the pens faithfully and save the elegance and details of the work. [Thus empowered, mind can ask what hand alone cannot do.] Each piece is unique and rendered with lightfast inks on quality, acid free paper. According to size and complexity, from a few hours to a few days are needed to set in inks the few yards (or the few miles) of lines making a piece.
Help comes from a mechanical device: a plotter. A computer is needed to drive this plotter. It can also help in the computations mentioned before as a piece is defined by thousands (or millions) of points; and in composing the computations plan. Only custom software is used here. This allows for an intimate dialog with the computer and insures the complete originality of this work. Although a computer is involved in the creative process, this work is nothing but a tribute to and a continuation of thousands of years of drawing, geometry and fine arts by all civilizations past. [In fact, computer as a tool fades entirely behind the aesthetical and spiritual concerns that Art builds upon.]
A software plotter has been evolved from 1997. This has provided a wider palette of geometries beyond that of the plotter and allowed an access to new tools and paradigms, like laser engraving. And as modern inks inch toward lightfastness, the "virtual plotter" opens new media & avenues like printing, limited editions. In 1999 the exploration of metal plates for the etching press, and installations like "Ulysses", have enriched the work process, without changing its foundation: from concept to authored software to the piece.