5Qs with Fabien Barral

5Qs with Fabien Barral

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?

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.

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.

Q2: When did you first realize that you wanted to do this?

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 ;) .

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?

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.

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?

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

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?

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.

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