1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hello I’m Paul Sirand, a French illustrator born and raised in Paris. This is where I co-founded Le Fruit Studio around 7 years ago with Gaspard Silvestre, my partner and brother in arms. It’s a brand design and content studio. We aim to create strong brand styles and engaging stories. It’s a golden job, we are never bored as we are working with small brands or large groups, and meeting new creative people everyday!
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I think I might have an issue with dogs and uniforms! Uniforms are great, well thought, tailored, and only legitimate if you’re a gang. It makes the team look like a brand in itself. I also love symmetry and to play with lights. But I think that the connection between all my illustrations is the wish to project the viewers into an atmosphere. Drive them to imagine their open story based on one single image.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
That’s a proper recipe! Super basic, you’ll need :
- a random pencil,
- a small Moleskine,
- and a long phonecall
Listen for one hour, then you have a hundred sketches!
4. What is your artistic process like?
Usually, I do a lot of researches. I can get lost on Wikipedia or Pinterest for a whole morning. I’m sketching and looking for the right composition on very small thumbnails, then I can try to drop some colours with Molotow Markers or colour pencils to try different light atmospheres. Finally, I realize the full size sketch on Procreate, before adding the final colours. It’s the trickiest part, as a wrong color can crash an image. Sometimes, I’m not happy with a piece until I change a color in the background. Then it becomes my favorite illustration for the next few days!
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Almost everything can be inspiring. It’s not a satisfying answer, right? So I have to confess that I’m really inspired by the mid-century aesthetic, either European, African or American. I’m also a graphic novels enthusiast, I might even have a compulsive addiction. And of course, the cinema is a great source of inspiration. Besides, this is what makes illustration so satisfying : you can create whatever you want, one your own, regardless of budget!! You want a giant green shark in the Louvre? No probs.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art is important of course, it’s more or less everywhere around me. But I’m not sure whether art changes the way I view the world or if it’s the other way around. I’m approaching the world with an art driven curiosity. Everything can be an inspiration – good or bad- and everything can be used. It can be a light on a wall, a conversation on next table, a lonely dog walking, a landscape, a moody baker..
7. Where did you study?
I studied for 5 years at ECV Paris. I graduated with a master degree in advertising. This is where I met my partner by the way. This is also where I properly met illustration. We had amazing teachers, like Sebastien Touache from Les Jeanclode.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
What about spending my time between Paris and the countryside? Have another dog, a bigger one! Or live in NYC? Why not? They have great dogs as well over there.
9. What about in ten?
It might depend of the result of the above question. But one sure thing is that I’d love to be a better illustrator, maybe master a new craft technique, but mostly continue to work alongside brilliant people, exciting projects and cool brands! (I know that asking for a third dog would be absurd).
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Just to tell great stories and bring people into dense or interesting universes.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I don’t understand the question. Is there any other kind of food other than Gratin Dauphinois?
12. Favourite book?
Wow! That’s a tough one.. Ok I’m gonna cheat a bit here: My favorite book is « Les Poneys Sauvages » by Michel Déon, but Joseph Kessel is my favorite author of all time.
13. Favourite genre of music?
FUUUUNK! Or jazz? Or Soul? Or Hip Hop? Damn it!
14. What are your hobbies?
You’ll think it’s an obsession, but long walks with my dog is one of my favorite hobbies. Great source of inspiration as well. Then I love reading, running, boxing, dancing, watching movies… you know.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would definitely be a lawyer! So that I could finally participate during our dinners : 80% of my friends are lawyers. Sue me now!