The illustrator and the City of Lights
From the Montmartre hill to the Eiffel Tower, Paris itself, its inhabitants, its Parisian kids, its Hausmannian boulevards, will always make Paris an inexhaustible source of inspiration for visual artists and fashion designers.
Graphic art developed in Paris more than 2 centuries ago
The first caricaturists, poster designers or lithographers from Paris, such as Gustave Doré, Grandville, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec with his paintings of Montmartre, Charles Gesmar with Mistinguett and the Moulin Rouge, paved the way for a type of figurative art which is light: that is the job of the poster artist. Can we classify illustration in the category of "Minor Arts", in comparison with painting, its big sister of "Major Arts"? Is the illustrator of a painting what the cabaret singer is to Grande Musique? Why not, this idea suits me perfectly! I think that poster artists can claim the lightness of their Art. Is it light art for light souls?
But why is this Art that is so light so attracted to Paris? If the Louvre or the Cathedral make us think of a certain solemnity, you can easily see that the silhouette of the streets of the Butte aux Cailles or the Rue des Martyrs is a bit more supple and dodgy than the imposing skylines of Manhattan and its avenues! Take a look at the Eiffel Tower for example: do you not think it looks like it has a pair of fishnet stockings twirling in the wind? To draw Paris and Parisians requires lightness, but in capital letters. This is why thousands of years after its creation, Lutetia became both a muse and capital of poster artists.
The Poster Artist in Paris fashion
This “je ne ne sais-quoi” also attracted another form of art which is also a source of inspiration: Paris has become one of the biggest capitals in fashion. Fashion loves illustration and drawing, which makes it look it good. A love story has long existed between designers, Paris and fashion. Every year, during fashion week, in the darkness of the parades, far from flashes, rhinestones and spangles, late into the night under the garrets of their workshops, small nimble hands draw on large white bare paper, tablet screens or computers. They are there, sketching proud silhouettes of women hopping on the catwalk, wielding colours as if they were love messages for the dresses, sketching creators and the models that make their hearts vibrate. They draw, sketch, retouch, colorize, rattle, throw, and re-draw, re-sketch, ... like an incessant ballet, a passionate tango between lovers who seek themselves... How many are, Anonymous, in love, often without a penny but have eyes full of hope? Can we speak of an army of the shadow that seeks light for curves, patterns, or the cut of a garment? We will never know, because "The City of Love" among the maze of its little dark and cocky streets keeps its secrets to itself. Paris knows how to protect its artists and their light art from the heaviness of the world. That is also why we love it.
"Paname" is conducive to creation
At each street corner you can observe a new style that calls for a design: in Bastille a Parisian on her bike exhibits her style both chic and very natural. On Avenue Montaigne a couple of tourists rake the boutiques of luxury brands. The Gardens of Luxembourg hold a horde of stylists on the grass enjoying a unique decor and an attentive public. I was able to illustrate many of these magical places of the City of Light in the cover design for the magazine Cerise: Saint Germain des Prés and its famous newspaper vendor "Ali". The showcases of the "Grands Magasins" at Christmas, a scene of people enjoying a drink in front of the brasserie in the Latin neighbourhood called "La Palette", rue de Seine, you can see 2 girlfriends sunbathing in the gardens of Luxembourg, the facade and the entrance of a famous Parisian Palace, and 2 young Parisians strolling in front of the Pantheon. Dream sets, Parisians and world-wide characters make the perfect "mix" to inspire image creators from around the world!