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Lionel Portier,
França

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[Zupi] Tell us a bit about your professional life since you were a student?

I started to do free lance jobs during my 2 last years of studies back in 88-90 in Brussels, Belgium. After graduating I worked for 2 years there doing free lance illustration and design but really wanted travelling (that’s what happens when you live 7 years in Belgium). So I spent 93 travelling around Africa, went back to Europe in 94, made my portfolio and used the money I had left to buy a 1 way ticket to Hong Kong. My professional life started there and I had the chance to work for most of the local agencies, magazines and newspapers. In 1996 I went to live to South America for a short while and then moved back to France where I started working for the main newspaper Le Monde doing editorial drawings. It was a great opportunity for coverage and various magazines soon followed. In 98 my toes started wiggling again and I went to Sydney in a reconnaissance trip to hunt for possible jobs there. I was offered a teaching class at Billy blue School of Graphic Arts and got back to Paris to get my immigration papers sorted out. I was back in Sydney in July 98 and have been working there since then doing illustrations for the main newspapers and magazines in Sydney and Melbourne, plus some banks and other stuff. And of course always Billy Blue where I discovered my vocation as a teacher.

[Zupi] Why did u decided to open your own design studio or (work by yourself)? And how u get your clients?

I have a hard time working in a big structure where I can’t have a say on the whole creation and production process. I found out that you can be much more efficient working in a small team of 2 or 3. I get my clients by knocking at doors and showing my portfolio although I haven’t done it for a while. People just call me because they see stuff published that they like.

[Zupi] Who are your partnerships?

I work by myself and sometimes hire specialists that know better than me (copywriting, animation, typography…). I usually take care of the design principles and concepts.

[Zupi] What’s the main attraction in your work?

What attracts me is the problem solving challenge.

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[Zupi] Tell us about your style if u have a specific one.

I always put the stress on the concept. Being as simple as possible yet clever and if possible humorous.

[Zupi] What makes u inspired?

Nature.

[Zupi] Who are the artists or other professional that inspired your work?

I have always tried to develop a very personal approach to whatever I do.

[Zupi] Tell us about the visual tendencies? Where did u research and find your references?

Life itself.

[Zupi] Do u think the design from your country has a unique style?

I haven’t lived much in France since I got interested into design but I would say that wit plays a big role in communication there.

[Zupi] Do u think it is necessary to study to become a good designer?

If you are not a genius, yes. Studying will make you save lots of time but if you are really gifted and committed you might not need it, although it has to be said a good teacher can open your mind to aspects of the creative process you would have never thought of.

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[Zupi] Give a list of the best 10 web sites u like it.

Might sound strange but I don’t go much on the net.

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