Yves Paradis’ Interview – 29-04-2020

Yves Paradis / Germany / @yvesparadisartist / https://yvesparadis.co/street-art

«In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic«

1- How do you define yourself? How do you define your projects?

As a creative bounded by the world of animation and street art. I find in both of these artistic spheres a strong connection to who I am. Mostly based on personal life experiences and some of my personality traits. Animation allowed me to express my interest for acting and giving life to inanimate things. And since my animation work is mainly done digitally, street art helps me to reconnect with the analogue way of creating while being outside. Plus, painting on large format is just a lot of fun.

There is various sides to my work and don’t like to stay in one style for too long. But some patterns comes out more often than other. For example: colorful, cheerful and geometric designs. I always have a few ongoing projects in mind and it keeps the creative thinking process on the flow. What’s surprise me is always to see how some of those longer term development projects survives time while some others don’t. We as individuals evolve so fast. And ideas are sometimes not following that beat. Recently, I also decided to combine both interest for animation and street art and make animated graffiti. I’m still figuring things out but it’s always amazing to see the result.

2- How did you start working on street art?

My brother was painting with sprays and I was super curious to try. We had the chance to have a free wall in my parent courtyard and also a wall of fame in my neighborhood. That’s how I got started and practiced at first. I never been much of a ‘’on the run’’ street artist.

3- Where do you find the inspiration to create your projects? Are they modifiers of urban space?

A bit everywhere. On the idea level at least. I reflect on different topics I live or read about. Society, Science, Future, Evolution and Environment are some of the themes I like to explore.

On a more creative note, the independent animation scene has a strong influence on me. There have been some really cool things happening in the last few years with ways of telling stories by engaging in very special universe and style. Beside that, the street artists that influence me the most are the one I met in person throughout festivals. Because I can relate to their personal stories and how they grew up as artists. It really makes a difference to exchange with people who face similar challenges and existential questions.

4- What does Street Art represent for you in this constantly changing world?

A way to bring light and reflect on some contemporain topics in a public space. We are over stimulated by the infinite amount of art and informations from the internet. For that, I think that street art resonate with people through different feelings. When you are outside, you have to stop and take a moment. You observe the artwork with a different eye and focus. The fact that it’s REAL also talk to us in a another way. We are now having access to so much art through our screens. It makes the experience of comtempling an artwork in real life much more precious.

5- Do you think Street Art should be legal or should it continue to be a form of art pursued by the police? Have you ever had problems?

I never had any problem, but again I don’t have much experience on that side. I prefer to paint without stress and take my time. That’s why I mostly painted on walls of fame, festivals or private/public jobs. I don’t think it would works to make it fully legal. Especially because private owners have their right to choose to have their buildings decorated or not and we should respect that. And also, sadly artist don’t always respect the limits they are given and end up painting outside of the provided legal wall, even sometimes trashing the environment in the process. Even if this is a minor portion of artists, this unfortunately can give a bad reputation to legal walls and the concept of legal graffiti.

But I think that cities are wasting a huge potential with their current approach on graffiti. Though this slowly changes and we see a very beautiful opening in the perspective of the public opinion toward street art. In Montreal for example, it the last 10 years it became a huge touristic value to the city with the festival MURAL and the development of street art on shops and in green alleys of certain neighborhoods. Those initiatives improved the daily life of people by bringing colorful artworks and stories in their environment. Which will always be better then a bunch of oppressing gray walls.

I would love to see more legal walls as a whole and cities involving local artist to bringing art to their citizens. I really think that encouraging and valorizing street art have a much better impact socially and economically than trying to forbid and prevent it.

6- How long does it usually take to prepare each project?

It always depend. For my street art projects, it can go from a 30 minutes sketch to a 16 hours planification. Especially with animated graffiti, which I usually prefere to have everything in mind before starting.


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