Even the tawdriest, most budget weddings can be spiced up with a bit of clever filming, so thank god Pierre and Clément aka We Are From LA are here to make potentially boring adverts genuinely look appealing and enjoyable to us all! These two art directors have been making excellent videos, primarily for ad agencies, for the last few years, and so unsurprisingly have a very visual-based bookshelf. See for yourself…
Julien Mailand: Kapital
Clement: It’s a book on graffiti in Paris. Years ago we both did graffiti. This world doesn’t artistically appeal to us anymore but we still appreciate the vandal’s mentality. The idea of no limits, no rules, no constraints and no imposed media. It’s a world of freedom. Freedom that can come at a cost but that’s what makes it exciting. Each project is an adrenaline fuelled challenge and can be stopped right in its tracks at any point. It’s this spontaneity and uncertainty that heightens the importance and sense of accomplishment with every finished piece. ‘Kapital’ really made us want to pick up our cans and go writing again. To bring colour back to the streets.
Pierre : It’s true that we’re addicted to adrenaline and stressful environments. When I used to graffiti on a wall or a train, I was doing it for a mixture of emotions, it was as much about the feeling as the final creation. Today it’s still the same in our work, both in terms of a stressful environment and a desire to show what we do to loads of people.
Jean-Marc Durou aux éditions Hazan: SAHARA : L’appel du désert
Clement: It’s one of the numerous photography books my father did. I have to talk about him because it’s through his work that I discovered my passion for images.
It’s a book about the Sahara desert, which mixes graphical/architectural desert images and very humanistic images of nomads. It’s as if the Tuaregs don’t live in a real world, but more in a graphic creation produced by a genius designer.
Last time I checked this book had sold out, so if you see it in a friends library, make sure you steal it.
Pierre: Clement’s father’s photos are really beautiful. The book passionately examines a subject that we know little about. His work has a powerful and visceral aesthetic while at the same time functions as an ethnologic study. It immortalises the Tuareg tribes and their culture, who today are unfortunately on the brink of extinction.
Jean-Marc Durou: Sahara
I am Andrea Crews
Pierre: Maroussia Rebecq is an artist who I believe probably shares the same influences as us. Her colourful and sparkling styling reminds us of the gif style that was used in our first productions. It shines and explodes in every direction; it’s joyful and intense. Pure irreverence. You can instantly feel the energy in her work. Everything is loose and fun, as people enjoy creating and their creations.
Clément : When you’re in Paris and you see this brand arrive, it feels good. It inspires the thought that the French bourgeois conformism can be fought. It’s good to see that people are trying to revolutionise in their different fields of creation.
I am Andrea Crews
Mark Powell: V.I.P
Pierre: I accidentally discovered the work of this American photographer. A happy accident. He captures insane street scenes in a hyper realistic style. Generally, absurd images provoke laughter and surprise but these photos are more disturbing and unnerving than comical. They are so real that it sets up proximity between the characters and the viewer. It is this unsettling awkwardness in his work that fascinates me.
Clément : Powell manages to capture something weird. He makes all his characters strange, even the children can make you flip out. Personally I would advise you to not look at this book for too long or you’ll be scared to walk down the block to buy some cigarettes.
Stephane Bataillon: Pool Postcards
Pierre: We bought this book when we were working on an interactive project for MTV which features people around a swimming pool. We really liked the treatment of these re-coloured postcards. We like the fact that they seem to want to stick to reality but at the same time they are completely fake. All the colours are exaggerated and give a bright-acidulated and positive look.
Clément : We so want to jump in a re-colored pool!
Stephane Bataillon: Pool Postcards
- My First: Colophon and Sophie Mayanne talk about the themes of their book, Twenty-Two
- Patrick Kyle uses analogue and digital techniques in these pared-back illustrations
- Audrey Weber’s eccentrically enlarged figurative illustrations
- Hanne Berkaak’s deeply moving and sensitive animation tackling self-harm
- The Smudge: Clay Hickson and Liana Jegers launch publication in reaction to US presidential result
- Set designer Gary Card on the importance of being a chameleon
- Grope Sans: a very rude typeface by Bompas & Parr
- Japanese graphic designer Ryu Mieno creates type-heavy works fizzing with energy
- The reductive and exacting work of graphic designer Laura Prim
- Why creative education for advertising is stuck in the dark ages
- Leipzig-based graphic designer Anja Kaiser takes us through her portfolio
- Nicolas Jaar releases Network, a book inspired by radio