Hello Julien! Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Julien Paris, 33 years old, young entrepreneur and creative freelancer. I work in the image industry as a freelance artist, illustrator or art director.
How did you come to this job?
My father was a press cartoonist and freelance illustrator. I've been surrounded since I was very young by his drawings, posters, collections of books, cartoons, comic books and magazines from the 70s and 80s (Métal Hurlant, Charlie Hebdo, Hara Kiri etc...). He is a big fan of science fiction. In addition to his huge library devoted to style, he took us with my brother almost every week to the movies on Tuesday nights. So my style is very influenced by pop culture and SF. I've always been immersed in images, and the job of graphic designer came very naturally by taking over from my father and my older brother a few years before me!
What is your background?
I completed a literary baccalaureate and a degree in graphic communication at intuit.lab, which is where I was more oriented towards typography, graphic identity and advertising.
I finished my studies with an internship in an advertising agency that went really well and I continued at the same place on a fixed-term contract for almost a year. It was extremely formative but my soul as an independent was revealed very quickly, maybe a little too much so (laughs).
Freelance work can leave a lot of free time in the beginning. When my two mates Denis Gallard and Romain Guiberteau finished their masters at intuit.lab, we decided to embark on a more personal project: a limited-edition illustration magazine. That's how Chiz was born, a hybrid magazine presenting the French illustration scene. It was a way for us to apply in our own way everything we had learned: graphic identity, illustration, DA, layout, communication, journalism, writing, printing, etc... We released 3 issues in all, the second of which was financed on the very young KissKissBankBank platform, crowdfunding being still quite innovative at the time.
They liked the video presentation of the project so much that the founder contacted me for freelance missions. I ended up joining the KissKiss team as artistic director for almost 4 years. It was a great experience to follow the evolution of a start-up with such a lightning growth.
After 4 years, I changed direction a bit and started with a buddy a textile printing workshop: Arteesan. I've always loved printed tee-shirts, creating collections, finding visuals and impactful slogans. It was the opportunity to start an entrepreneurial career and our workshop, which was based in Le Grands Voisins in the 14th arrondissement, gave me the chance to meet some very nice people. The workshop lived well for almost 5 years until the closure of this ephemeral place.
After that I gave up everything to refocus on my first passions which are illustration and graphic design in general.
What are your daily inspirations?
They are multiple: cinema, exhibitions, music etc...
But at the moment I'm really into independent comics, I really like the work of some publishing houses like Cornelius, 2024, Même pas mal, Misma, Fidèle...
What are the projects you are most proud of and the ones you are working on right now?
My Chiz magazine of course, which has been the best possible business card in the development of my network.
Otherwise I have a comic book project that I started at the beginning of the confinement, I try to get into it when I have time but I'm always caught up by my clients who take up most of my time.
Are there any T-shirts that you prefer or that have marked you?
If I had to choose a t-shirt brand, it would have to be Sixpack in the years 2000 / 2010. At the time Akroe was artistic director, the artist selections, the visuals and the collections were incredible. It was really a huge source of inspiration.
We were talking about comics and illustration earlier, have you had any recent favorites?
The re-edition of Kris Kool from Caza at Passenger Press! It's the author's first comic book, it was published in 1970. The style and the story are ultra psychedelic. All the plates are perfectly composed and the colors of the reprint are even more beautiful than the original.
I was also recently offered the book illustrated by Icinori on Seoul in the series of travel books published by Louis Vuitton. The illustrations are incredibly fine and printed in 6 or 7 pantones! I took a great slap...