i first came across fabrien barral's work in college about 3 years ago. i was blown away. the textures, use of shape + color, and typography were so amazing to me. it's an honor to have an interview from fabrien today.. see his flickr for loads of inspiration and shop at his site for some lovely wall graphics!
Please tell us a little about yourself ... So, i am Fabien Barral, I live in France, in 100 years old country house I restored with my wife. We have a daughter and 4 cats, we live near lakes and a forest. There are not enough houses in our village to have names to the streets... I love to say that because I am happy to live here and to work a such amazing projects from so far away. I have been a graphic designer for years. We always think we can put graphic design and lettering on the walls... so we set up our decorative shop.
How did you get starting in design? ... School was not my cup of tea, and I always feel stupid learning things I don't care like chemicals stuffs... At the end of my regular school, there was a forum to present working life to young unprepared people and I saw this amazing school where you can design magazines and CD sleeves... that's a job? Good... I got into it and I love it... and it never stops... it is not so far away, 12 years ago, but believe it or not, a time without internet and without layers in photoshop ;)
Where do you gather inspiration from? ... I am that kind of designers that need to eat thousand and thousand of images before going into creative phase... most of the time, I do moodboard of what I love and can feat theproject, and then, when i am not on computer, driving, walking in the street, playing with my daughter... images and concepts comes to my mind... do not really know how, but it happen... and sincerly, it also happen when i fall asleep... not when i sleep, when i fall asleep... this curious moment where you are not awake but not gone enough to not remember...
Also, I remember to have read a Michael Stipe (REM singer) where he said that, when he start ed to record a new album, he needed to listen to an old one to be sure he could do it again… I feel the same, I need to have an updated portfolio to check what I have done to make me feel confident. The create phase is always difficult and full of doubts.
What are your favorite places to travel? ... My mind.
You are such an inspiration and a success in the design world, is there anything you can share for aspiring artists? ... Wow, do not know I am so "success"... I know a lot of people like my work, and that the most important thing... My advices are simple : Be yourself, be creative, and get away from computer sometime… Looking as design is not design… and last but not least, get inspired but do not copy.