Regular readers of It’s Nice That will be no stranger to the work of Baptiste Virot: his idiosyncratic illustrations retelling relatable everyday scenes in a whirlpool of brash, intoxicating colour.
Partnering with his girlfriend graphic designer Jinhee Han, for the last few years, Baptiste has been working on Korean/French publishing project Animal Press. Much has changed since 2013, when Animal Press first made it’s way into the world.
Back then, the duo focused on making text-heavy zines before refocusing tightly on printed images. These days, its output spans “posters, books, zines and postal cards”.
Jinhee and Baptiste recently launched a Kickstarter with the hope to raise the funds to publish two new books. “These will be the first two publications of a series of artists books,” Jinhee explains. “To me, it’s a new start for Animal Press. I was happy to make small zines, but I wanted to publish ‘the books’ and diffuse our work. Festivals and book fairs are great, but extending and finding our readers is important too.” The books are the work of Jeremy Piningre, who Baptiste met when studying at HEAD. “The school is unique in the French illustration and alt-comic scene,” Jinhee explains. “Many young artists are from this school. They gave a powerful bond between them, work and share ideas together even after graduation.”
“I love Jeremy’s work,” Jinhee continues. “His work is special. It’s a delicate sense of sad humour in gothic ambience.” Along with new work from the French graphic designer in his typically surreal cartoonish style, Animal Press hope to publish new work by Baptiste, this time breaking from his usual attention-grabbing colours to linger longer with nuance. “Working with Baptiste is a great experience,” Jinhee says. “He has a lot of talent, and I think it’s rare to work with someone like him. This time he’d like to chance a little bit of his style. Delirium will be more abstract and mysterious. I am so excited to show this book to people. Everyday he shows me his new page right after he finished drawing, it’s just great!”
Lending us a sneak peek into the books, Jinhee tell us that each publication is set to will run to 96 pages in offset print. “We’ve never tried offset for printing, so I’m eager to have this experience,” Jinhee says. “We’ll use fluorescent and spot colours to have vibrant power like the prints we’ve made so far.” Small but mighty, Animal Press has plans to grow in size and stature, diversifying as it grows. “I am a little worried as apart me there are only white males in our list,” Jinhee admits. “I don’t want to lose the balance which is really necessary in this world. I need to find more people. That is a really important goal.”