Jeremy Perrodeau

Illustrator and graphic designer Jeremy Perrodeau creates charming, narrative-driven illustrations and comic art whose wordless pages speak volumes...

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Illustration for Papier Magazine, #2, 2017.

Describe your work in three words...
Geometric, System, Nature.

What first sparked your interest in drawing?
I have alway drawn, ever since I was a kid, but I haven’t a specific memory of a particular starting point. I guess I have always loved the possibility of creating worlds, imagining their rules and telling a story. It’s like construction games—I was a big fan of those when I was young. I could spend lot of time creating a whole world for a big adventure, and then never play with it because a new idea would come, and I would start to build something else. Drawing was exactly the same for me; an easy way to develop an alternative reality with its own rules.

Thereafter, I started studying applied arts in high school, and developed a specialised interest in graphic design and typography. Drawing became a tool to develop ideas within my learning process, and then later on it performed the same role for my job. But I kept on drawing for myself, parallel to my job work, like a second life, and I started developing different series of drawings and self-edited fanzines. I split myself between graphic design and illustration, even though illustration and comics came to be increasingly important in my personal work.

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Comic for Superstructure, #4, 2015.

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Comic for Superstructure, #4, 2015.

Talk us through your working process—how do you go about bringing an idea to life?
Most of the time, inspiration comes to me when I’m not drawing. The starting point for a piece of work can come from a situation that I see, or read in a book, or from another picture. It’s really variable. I keep the idea on my mind, and take the time to digest it, so when I’m in front of my white page I already have a precise image in my mind that I want to draw. Then, once I have started to draw it, it’s another story, with reflection on what might be the best way to transcribe the idea.

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Extract from a 7-page comic for Matière Grasse, #4, 2017.

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Extract from a 7-page comic for Matière Grasse, #4, 2017.

Tell us about your next comic book, Crépuscule (Twilight)...
It’s a sci-fi story with a lot of exploration involved. On a distant planet, scientists who were responsible for keeping an eye on the state of the natural world have disappeared. The environment goes wrong, geometrical protrusions grow on trees and rocks, magnetic storms happen. A team is commissioned to investigate and to try to find the lost scientists. It’s a project that I have worked on for three years, so I’m very excited to finally share it with the world. It’s going to be published in September by Editions 2024!

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Illustration for The Big Issue Taiwan, #80, 2016

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Illustration for The Big Issue Taiwan, #77, 2016

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Illustration for The Big Issue Taiwan, #80, 2016

What draws you to the subject matter you explore in your work?
I’m fascinated by landscape, exploration, and adventure. Besides that, I’m really in love with the idea of construction, geometric structures, and inventory. These thematics could be contradictory, but I try to imagine links between them, and develop images and stories from there.

What's the relationship between your self-directed projects and more commercial work, and how do they feed into one another?
Both are very connected. Within my self-directed projects, I’m totally free, working with subjects that I choose. I experiment, imagine stories and develop a vocabulary. It’s like building a database with harmony of colours, shapes or situations. Then, I use that database for other pieces of personal work, and also within my commercial work.

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Illustration for The Big Issue Taiwan, #80, 2016

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Illustration for The Big Issue Taiwan, #77, 2016

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Illustration for The Big Issue Taiwan, #77, 2016

Tell us about a recent project you've particularly enjoyed...
I have just finished a seven-page comic for a collective revue called Matière Grasse about the seventh wonder of the world, "the Hanging Gardens of Babylon". It's a mute story which represents the evolution of the monument, from its genesis to its end in ruins, and from children to ancients. During that evolution, nature reasserts itself. It’s going to be printed using risography—it's always nice to play with that technique and the mix of colours that it allows.

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Extract from a 6-page comic for Antilope Magazine, #2, 2015.

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Extract from a 6-page comic for Antilope Magazine, #2, 2015.

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Extract from a 6-page comic for Antilope Magazine, #2, 2015.

Are there any particular visual or conceptual references that you draw upon throughout your work?
I remember that when I discovered the work of the collective Superstudio, it was a real shock. Images of megastructures, especially The Continuous Monument, were so impressive—they still inspire me today. I’m also a very big fan of romantic paintings, like the work of Albert Bierstadt or Joseph Anton Koch, whose landscapes seem to have their own personality.

What would be your dream project?
When I was a teenager, I did a lot of skateboarding. For a long time, creating a design for skateboard decks was my ultimate goal—I hope that one day, I will have the opportunity to work on that kind of project. It’s totally different, but I also love boardgames. Most of them follow a tradition of fantasy or sci-fi style illustration for their design, but I’m sure that an alternative approach is possible. I guess that designing all the components of a board game would also be a dream project.

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Zabriskie Point House, personal work, 2017.

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Zabriskie Point House, personal work, 2017.

What are you working on now, and what's next for you?
Right now, I’m working on a screen printed poster related to my new comics, to accompany the launch of the book and also to create some illustrations for the press. I’ve also got to finish working on my new website.

I have always done my illustration work alongside my professional work as a graphic designer, but this September, I’m going to dedicate myself almost exclusively to drawing work (illustrations and comics), so it’s going to be a big change for my daily life!

Jeremy Perrodeau

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Illustration for the magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, #410, 2015.

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Illustration for the magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, #410, 2015.

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Comic for 'Dome', a collective revue printed and bound during the International Comics Festival of Angoulême, 2016. 

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Extract from Jeremy’s next comic book, Crepuscule, Editions 2024, 2017.