Raymond Bobar has been the art director at the Romanian edition of Esquire and Men's Health for the last seven years after starting off at Republik, the film and music magazine.
What is it like to launch a magazine franchise of such a well-known publication? "When we launched Esquire magazine in Romania we had no photo editor and a very limited budget. I was assigning everything and laid out everything, about 12 to 14 hours a day. I had about two years of such work keeping the magazine at the top of the market, visually speaking. In my experience the passion for your work is the most important thing."
What is a typical task for an art director? "For example, for features with a lot of abstract ideas and text which doesn't have an image to go with it, such as a piece of fiction or personal essays, it is my job to create illustrations – so I mostly choose photography and do the best I can with a camera, scanner and Photoshop."
What does he love about photography? "Personally, it’s the story behind the image and how the context involves the viewer to create a more complex experience. If the photographer is able to make the viewer feel this, he’s at the top of his game.“
Considering his love of illustration, what makes a great photo for Raymond? "I like photography to have a concept and to be more than just a descriptive image. Another important aspect is the photographer’s ability to avoid kitschy images. I also really like photos that show the backstage, faces and general vibe around big moments at events."
What is he hoping to see at Red Bull Illume? "I think it is important to keep the classic way of thinking on photography regarding composition and color. Also, I hope the digital photos will be used creatively. Overall, I’m really looking forward to seeing the new talent."