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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Interview #11--Meet Lapin!

Meet Lapin!  He's a charming and talented guy whose work I first saw on the wildly popular Urban Sketchers blog--I fell in love and I know you will too. As we noted in our teaser--and as you can see in this interview--he works on old ledgers and lined paper a lot, to amazing effect. 

He goes by lapinbarcelona on Flickr, so take a peek, there's a lot to delight you there.  His portfolio shows a lot of his illustrating work, as well...a versatile fellow!

Here he is in his own words, but keep reading--interview below!


I'm a French illustrator living in Barcelona for 4 years and a half.

I’m graduate of the private art school Pivaut (2001, in Nantes, France), and worked for 5 years as a graphic designer in Paris and in Barcelona, and than decided to work as a freelance illustrator.

I'm working for edition, fashion, advertising and magazines, and participate to many exhibitions in Europe, mostly about travel books and sketchbooks. I’m also used to teach “sketching” during workshop in university and in art school.

I am an Usk correspondent from Barcelona, and was one of the instructor of the first urban sketchers symposium in Portland last summer.

My illustrations were published in “Illustration Now 3” (Taschen) and “Illusive 3” (die Gestalten Verlag) and by many creative review as Elephant (UK), Computer Arts (UK), Grab (Italy)…

Whether he's drawing boats, buildings, people or nature, Lapin's work is immediately eye-catching..

And now to our interview!  This time, Lapin's answers are in italics...

Q.- Do you work in your sketch journal every day?

A.- I have to sketch in it every day, and I’m in a very bad mood when I do not have time to do so. It became an habitude and a necessity.

I love this whimsical tree with a face, feet, and tail...

Q.- How did you happen to start using ledgers and graph paper?

A. -I’m sketching in notebooks for nearly 10 years now, and very quickly, I was wondering which kind of notebooks will fit the best to me.

My love for the flea markets is part of the answer. I found there some old diaries of the 60’s and 70’s, and decided to bring one for a trip in Mexico. I immediately fall in love for this lined paper that create a new dimension to my sketches, and I’m still amazed by the quality of this “vintage paper”.

Each time I show one of those sketchbooks to some other sketchers, they can’t believe that a paper that fine support some watercolour on the both side.

So I’m looking for new ones every time I go to a flea market along my trips.

I actually published 3 facsimiles of my sketchbooks numbers 98, 108 and 120, which are originally some old Spanish book accounts.

Q.- What interests you most? (people, travel, buildings, and why?)

A.-More or less in that order, meeting people, travelling every day, and sketching the cities I visit. It’s how I record my surrounding, and all my sketchbooks are my personal archive.

Q.- How does your sketch journal relate to your job, if it does?

A. It relates to the place I visit for my job, but today my sketchbooks ARE my job, the most important part of it. I had some commissioned sketchbooks about some village in France, more recently about the Sagrada Familia of Gaudi in Barcelona (coming soon), and I'm working secretly on a personal guide of Barcelona, and this will be a very long job, there is so much to tell about this lovely city.
I could tell you a scoop, I will publish my very fresh Istanbul's sketchbook, but don’t tell it.

Q. - Other thoughts? Whatever else you feel is more important, personally, to YOU...

A. I like the way sketching every day what I have in front of me keep me curious and attentive to the most simple details of my life. It’s also a spontaneous way to meet any kind of people everywhere!

Lapin's sketch of correspondent Nina Johansson

Lapin gets to meet up with a number of other sketchers, many of whom are devoted to travel sketching.  He's met our own Laura Frankstone (Interview # 5, here), Liz Steel (Interview #2), and again, Nina Johansson, Interview #10!  (Click on the links if you missed them or would like to revisit!)

Don't miss Lapin's blog, with new work all the time...it's HERE.

And thank you, Lapin, for sharing with us, here an in the upcoming book!


  1. Thank you Kate and Lapin for the interview. I, too, like writing and drawing in old books and strangely many of the papers are superior to those on the market today.

    I look forward to seeing more of your work, Lapin and will check out your web work.

  2. Yes, Kate, love Lapin's work! I also love his comment how sketching keeps him curious and attentive to everyday life right in front of him!

    Thanks to both of you for a great interview!

  3. Wasn't that a great comment, Laure!?

    And yep, sometimes the quality of old paper is just SOOOO smooth to draw on...

  4. It's lovely to 'meet Lapin' Kate, thank you, he is a regular source of inspiration in his prolific and wonderful sketching.

  5. Kate, It's great to read the interview and learn more about Lapin. I have enjoyed seeing his work on Urban Sketchers and in books. There is something very buoyant about his art. I think that comes through in his attitude of curiosity as well. I feel energized when I look at his drawings. I'm glad for this extra glimpse.

  6. I just received my book(I love it!!)..and have been scouring Ebay and Etsy for a Ledger.. very basic because I am a ..more than novice...

    Loved your work.. My friend..a true artist..loved your work also.

  7. Thanks all! I loved this one too. I have been scouting for cool ledgers too...Lapin is contagious!

  8. Oh, I love his work. Thank you for the great interview!


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