Tuesday, February 2, 2010

★ 5Qs with Fabien Barral

Rob: From the moment you click fabienbarral.com you realize that you are not in Kansas anymore, but you have stepped through a portal and into another world. Fabien's style is recognized quickly by his sleek use of texture, ink elements, and clever typography. A few days ago I had the extreme pleasure of talking with this digital mastermind. Here is our conversation.

Q1: Tell me a little about yourself?

Fabien:So, I am Fabien Barral. I live in France, in a 100 year old
country house that I restored with my wife. We have a daughter
and 4 cats, we live near Lacs and Forest, and there are not even
enough houses in our village to have names for the streets. I love
to say that because I am happy to live here and still work on such
amazing projects from so far away.
I have been in the graphic design industry for 12 years, 8 of which I have been an art director in agencies and now I freelance from home. As Rob mentioned, you can see my work on www.fabienbarral.com and my blog of inspiration on www.graphic-exchange.com. I recently opened my very own online shop with Frédérique, my wife to sell wall stickers and posters www.harmonie-interieure.com. 
Rob: Wow, I can't even imagine a village without streets lol. It really is amazing that you are still able to do the work you do. Maybe that's why you have such a unique style; you have different influences.

When did you first realize that you wanted to do this?

Fabien:School was not my cup of tea. I always felt stupid learning
things and I never cared about chemicals and stuff like that. At the end
of my regular school courses, there was a forum for unprepared young
people in which they presented professions. When I attended this
forum, I saw an amazing school where you can design magazines, CD
sleeves, etc. I thought to myself, that's a job? Good. I got into it and
realized that I loved it and it has never stopped. I know 12 years doesn't
seem like a long time ago, but believe it or not, 12 years ago, there was
basically no internet and photoshop didn't even have layers ;).

Rob: School wasn't really my cup of tea either. Wow, no layers in photoshop hahaha. I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE!

Q3: What do you feel is your strongest asset?

Fabien: That is really hard to say, but I will say this “Designing is basically the practice of combining stuff; ideally in ways that haven't been seen before. So the more stuff you know (about everything), the greater the chance you'll find a relevant and distinctive, and therefore effective (and original) combination.” I am good at combining stuff, so I guess that is my strongest asset.

Rob: Well said Fabien, It is all about finding the right elements and the right mix that fits your client.

Q4: What would you like to be known for?

Fabien: I would like to be known not by what I've done, but how my work inspires others to be good designers.

Rob: You will never know the extent you can impact others with your creativity, but I hope you get a glimpse of that.

Q5: What type of clientele do you enjoy working with the most?

Fabien: The ones that let you do what you are good at and trust you. (That really depends more on the person, then on the project) Sometimes I work on huge projects and have no communication with the clients at all. I designed a poster that stated “The best designers are the ones found by the good clients” and it is a saying I have come to
live by.

Rob: Thanks Fabien. This conversation has been very insightful! Keep reading My Ink Pad for more 5Qs.

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