When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
I was born on the island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean and spent my childhood in the Swiss and French Alps, far away from graphic-design culture. But I had a teacher when I was nine years old who got the class to make their own logo for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. It was the first time I realised that someone’s job could be making logos ... The following year, my teacher held a contest to create a logo for the school, which I won. It was the first ‘official’ logo of my career and I still have fond memories of it. You could call it the beginning of my career!
Where do the ideas for your illustrations come from?
I get my inspiration from the internet, my everyday life and the library close to my studio. The library is like my second home. When I begin a project, I like to spend one or two hours in there looking for unexpected books. It’s like a treasure hunt.
Which materials do you prefer to work with and why? Do you have a favourite pen or paper?
Definitely Adobe Illustrator; it’s like a part of my brain nowadays. Sometimes I’ll be drawing on a sheet of paper and get annoyed because I want to duplicate a shape or to correct a mistake and it’s not so simple. But I’m also old fashioned, and I never start a project without some doodles in my sketchbook. I like to have black ink stains on my fingers that say, ‘Look, I’m an artist.’
What attracted you to where you live? Do you think it’s influenced your style?
I’ve been in Paris since 2008, but I’ve lived in many different places: La Réunion, Chambéry, Lausanne, Briançon (on the edge of the Serres Chevalier ski resort), Lyon, Strasbourg and now Paris. I love the nature in the Alps as it’s so wild, but I also love all the things I can do now I’m in Paris. There is so much culture, music and fashion here. I live near Bastille and the Marais, and I enjoy spending my Saturdays walking around the fashion district, shopping with my girlfriend and chilling in the place des Vosges park.
You recently illustrated the covers for SHOP Portugal, Czech Republic and Seoul magazines; do you know any of these destinations well? Do you have any great memories of travelling there?
I’ve been to Lisbon once. It was an amazing trip as the city is really beautiful, particularly the historic centre. I love the architecture and all those blue-and-white azulejo tiles. One of my best memories of the trip was drinking caipirinhas with my girlfriend on a rooftop in the old quarter as the sun was setting – very romantic.
Where did you start when designing the cover for SHOP Portugal?
I began with pencil sketches, trying to fix what I had in my head. I imagined something like Portuguese tiles showing different elements such as the jewellery and bow tie. But after many attempts, we – the SHOP team and I – decided to make it more like a pavement design, so I reworked the illustration. It was tricky because there were a lot of details to add, but the finished illustration is definitely eye-catching.
What should SHOP readers not miss when they visit your home town?
My favourite place to shop in Paris is the Marais quarter. It’s the oldest part of Paris and the streets look like something out of a medieval town, but with amazing boutiques around every corner. Visit during Paris Fashion Week when all the galleries are transformed into fashion showrooms. It’s amusing to see how everyone is dressed.
What five items will you never travel without?
My iPad, sketchbook, sunglasses, toothbrush and a bottle of sparkling water – and my Italian whippet Fritz.
And finally, what would your dream commission be?
Designing some scarves for Hermès.