Interview with Violaine et Jérémy

Violaine & Jérémy is a Paris based illustration and graphic arts studio founded by Jérémy Schneider and Violaine Orsoni. Their main focus is on illustration, typography, graphic design, art direction, and visual identity. We caught up with the french couple to talk about design, creativity and living and working in the city.

Could you tell us a bit about yourselves?

We are French lovers. We are a team in life and at work. We are the founders of our creative studio based in Paris. We focus on typography, graphic design and illustration.
We started the studio in 2012 with almost nothing. No contact, no portfolio but a lot of motivation and work power. We can’t count the many nights we spent working in the first couple of years.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in graphic design and illustration?

We both had experience in advertising agencies before turning to graphic design and illustration. Jérémy’s time in agencies has been very very short, only a few months after graduation from his art school. He understood very quickly advertising wasn’t going to be the place where he could express his talent. And me, I loved my experience as a producer, I loved the adrenaline and the challenge. It was hard and very demanding. But the finality of the work (advertising itself, selling insurance or sneakers) was really not interesting to me.

When Jérémy and I met, we realized we shared the same wishes and tastes: leaving advertising to focus more on arts, craft, design, beauty and sensitivity.

How would you describe your creative process?

We don’t know because we don’t feel like we have a process.

How much does your city and surroundings affect your creative output?

It influences a lot of our work because we always try to have this timeless aesthetic and Paris is an old city full of historical references and art pieces that travelled through time and hasn’t aged. Our deep inspiration mostly comes from parts of History. We like to describe our work as timeless with a modern twist which comes mostly from the irony and the off-beat humour we put in our work. It’s our way of adding perspective.

What do you struggle with the most in terms of working and living in a city like Paris?

Space. Paris is a wonderful city but space is crazy-expensive.

The responsibility of the council in every city is to provide a solid foundation of design, art and cultural facilities, is that evident in Paris?

Obvious. We have a ton of museums, art events, art schools…. We are very very lucky about that in Paris. We can't complain.

Do you think it is also the responsibility of the artist/creative to improve the quality of people's lives in their city?

As graphic designers, we like to think that part of our job is to make the city more beautiful. So I guess, our answer would be a YES!

Can you tell us about any current or future projects that you are particularly excited about?

We launched our typographic foundry earlier this year. We decided to do so because people on our networks asked many times where to buy the fonts we designed for our projects. We launched the foundry with no expectation at all. We mostly wanted to show the work and we became typographers along the way. And it’s a big unexpected success !!

If you could add or change something about Paris, what would that be?

Without hesitation = much fewer cars and traffic. We should get rid of the thermal engines.

Describe the perfect day for you in Paris.

End of June, the sun goes down at 10pm, we have dinner late, have wine on the terrace. 25 degrees celsius, friends are around and holidays are coming. Around 3 or 4 in the morning, the sky is crystal clear and the moonlight is so strong in our bedroom windows that it wakes us up. We love this time of the year.

If you could choose any artist/creative to collaborate with, who would that be and why?

Le Caravage. Jérémy would have loved to be his student.

What do you do to switch off?

We take long holidays, like 4 weeks in a row.

What does home mean to you?

The place where you can be naked and quiet.

Sometimes people relate a specific smell to the city they live in or the place they grew up, does Paris evoke a personal smell to you?

No sorry.

If you weren’t living in Paris and could choose any city to live in where would that be, and why?

That’s a question we ask ourselves a lot! Because we feel so good in Paris, it’s kind of a mental challenge to find a place where we could be that much fulfilled. We would definitely stay in Europe. We are very French in our way of thinking, in the things we like. We would have to live in a culture not too different from the French culture. We aren’t very well suited for the North American mentality. The good mix would be Amsterdam and the island of Formentera. A little bit of northern mentality and a little bit of southern mentality. That’s what France is made of. We are Latin people with northern influences.


A selection of places in Paris - recommended by Violaine & Jérémy. See all of their favourite places here

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