At only 21 years old, Nairone is a young illustrator who can already count many interesting clients to his credit. Armed with his felt pen, he destroys, explodes everyday objects and harmonises it all around an elaborate and efficient typography in striking black and white contrast. Passionate about French Rap since his childhood, his successful collaborations with rappers like Caballero and l’Homepal have allowed him to work with rap seniors Kerry James and Oxmo Puccino, for whom he did a series of T Shirts. Then it was The Workshop, a bar in Paris’s turn to call upon his services for the creation of their identity, which resulted in a logo and an illustration bursting with detail, in total coherence with the spirit of the place. Nairone is just starting his ascension, and has a few surprises left in store for us.
Jacker / Hey Nairone, who are you ? Tell us about your career.
Nairone / I’m Nairone, I’m 21 and I’m an illustrator and graphic designer. I am originally from the north of France and I moved to Paris around December 2012 to get better opportunities as a freelance artist. I’ve always been drawing. My talent, my dad’s advise and the motivation from my mum encouraged me to spend many hours drawing Disney characters, I never gave up. My career took off I when I decided to go for a professional BAC (equivalent to A-levels) specialised in graphic design and I started looking for contracts around here and there. Once I had my diploma in hand I decided to continue my studies and enrolled on to the Gobelins college where I managed to stay for 2 months. Tired of the life rhythm between studies and contracts I decided to abandon my studies. I then slowly started making my name in the world of graphic design with the contracts. After a year running back and forth, I finally found my rhythm, my life style and managed to keep this stability thanks to my new office/workshop in which I’ve recently moved in.
J / Have you graphed a lot too ?
N / In all honesty, that’s how it all started. I’m still painting graffiti’s of course, but I express my self a lot less with them at the moment.
J / Which artists inspired you the most ?
N / I’ve never been inspired by artists in particular; I really like concepts like Arman’s wraths, the famous Roy Lichtenstein and some cartoons in general( Black Kiss, batman in Black & white). For the compositions of my drawings, I take inspiration from my life, objects that I like, things that surround me... Skate, sex, rap & tags.
J / You did a design for Oxmo Puccino, tell us more about this collaboration.
N / Everything started with a design for the EP “Le Singe Fume Sa Cigarette” (The monkey smokes his cigarette) a project from Caballero, Lomepal and Hologram Lo). They asked me to do the visuals for the EP, I drew the head of a monkey I had previously draw on my computer and then the design went on some T-shirts of Just Like Hip Hop and they contacted me to do a design for Oxmo Puccino as they liked a lot my previous illustrations. This is basically how it happened.
J / You’ve worked with many rappers, who are they and which artists do you listen to ?
N / I mainly listen to French rap, even if I’m a fan of old Jazz and dirty rock. I’m not hiding that I’m proud to work with and for Flynt, Oxmo Puccino, Lomepal, Kery James, Caballero, Hologram Lo, Veerus etc. I’m obviously a fan of those artists before I worked with them and it has been amazing to meet them.
J / You define yourself as “Colourphobic” why the choice of Black and White?
N / I don’t know how else to say it, but I fear colour. I’m scared of not being able to mix them well and making a bad choice... So I define myself as colourphobic. It’s true that I’m trying to start using it slowly. I enjoy using a touch of colour here and there...
J / What are your favourite jobs ?
N / I love drawing on paper ! I like waking up in the morning and start working with two pencils and an eraser. But I enjoy even more doing logotypes, characters, covers for EPs or books for artists of all genres.
J / You also work with a web-based developer too right ?
N / Yes indeed, it has almost been 6 years now since we worked together. Everything started with him. We met on a gamer’s forum when we were 12 (mIRC for the reals). I was already doing some design back then, I had to do some designs for a team’s website so we naturally bind together and never stopped working on numerous projects since.
J / In your opinion what is the most successful of your projects ?
N / Nowadays I would say is the Workshop project. It was really comprehensive as I was in charge of doing the designs for the whole place : from the front window to the menu. Furthermore, it has always been a pleasure to go relax in a place that represents few months of work and that belongs to its own identity.
J / Thanks for telling us about you, what are your future projects ?
N / My pleasure. I’m currently working on a illustration and painting project of the amazing Hellohikimoriä Studios (the whole filmed by Valentin Petit and Hologram Lo on the Mic).