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Christophe Luez, the cycling graphic designer

A jack-of-all-trades, Christophe Luez channels his energy and very active imagination into his sensitive and intelligent graphic creations. Resourceful and a professional high-roller, he is riding his bike all over France! After more than 8 years collaborating together, we enjoyed rediscovering our friend Chris in all simplicity… 

 

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Hi Chris! We know you’re a jack-of-all-trades in your everyday life. At what point did you realise you had to devote yourself to graphic arts ? 

I’d say that, like every kid, Crayolas landed in my hands at nursery school and I enjoyed it. That career path slowly established itself over time, but as you said, I’m a “jack-of-all-trades” and I’m not against doing something completely different in the future, even if I’ll always strongly be drawn to manual work, craftsmanship even.

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And if you had to start over and do a job that has nothing to do with art, what would it be ?

I’m pretty sure I could work with wood, be something like a cabinetmaker or a carpenter. A few of my friends are in that field, and their jobs really impress me; I find myself really wanting to do that! I also like being physically active and outside; I’m actually a night-time bike courier now, as well as a graphic designer. It gets me working, clears my head, it’s something I need to do.

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We know you have a few tattoos; what do they represent to you ? Are they your own designs ?

Indeed, I have quite a few. They stem from periods or events that – evidently – left their mark on me. I actually did most of them myself, with what I had at hand. They’re not necessarily very clean, but they correspond to the type of tattoos I like; at least that’s what I try to tell myself (laughs). I also have, like everyone else, shitty tattoos like “L-E-T-’-S D-A-N-C-E » on my toes as a big-up to David Bowie. But yes, most of them are my own designs. 

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Could you ever become a professional tattoo artist then ?

Definitely not! I only tattoo mates, and anyway, I don’t think I’ll ever have the precision and patience that tattoo artists have, I’ll leave it to them, the “real guys”. 

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You’ve been working regularly with Olow for eight years now. What do you think about the brand ?

Nearly eight, yeah! I was lucky enough to follow the evolution of the brand from the very beginning, back when the logo was just two sticks: a big one and a little one, one for Valentin and the other for Mathieu! It’s a really beautiful evolution and a good example of success. I’m very happy to have been able to follow, and still follow, the rise of the brand and of my friends during all these years, they’re family now!

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In 2013, you created a board titled “La Liporne”. Can you talk to us about it and explain the sentence written on the back ?

I can’t give you the full details, if I did I’d make a few enemies! But, roughly, “La Liporne” is a pig (‘porc’ in French) disguised as a unicorn (‘licorne’). I’m making fun of people who so badly want to be different that they end up looking like nothing, and especially not like themselves, that’s the saddest part. I mean, it’s not a frontal horn and a rainbow mane that are going to transform you into a unicorn, just like a colourful pair of trainers and cannabis leaf-patterned socks bought in rue Tiquetonne won’t make you any more cooler. 

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Tell us about one of your best memories with us.

Without a doubt, the 2010 Picasso-tour! When Olow didn’t have any sales representatives and we had to go ringing on all the shops’ doorbells ourselves. One month spent cruising the French coasts, camping wherever we wanted, and the old clothes rail that would lose a wheel each week (over four months, I’ll let you do the maths). We had a good laugh, we managed! I must have some photos stored away somewhere, I’ll have to try and find them!

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Apparently you like to travel by bike; any particular anecdote you could tell us ?

There are loads, and the best probably aren’t fit for here! But I have lived many beautiful moments: cycling in fog so thick that you can’t see your front wheel, being completely lost between Paris and Brussels with my little brother who’s bawling because his knees are on fire, ending up on top of a mountain with an empty stomach somewhere between Poule-les-Echarmaux and Saint-Nizier-D’Azèrgues and feasting on the last few minutes of sunshine lighting up the valley. Or bathing in small stretches of water hidden between Limoges and Clermont. Everything is beautiful when riding your bike!

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What music do you think represents Olow best ?

I’d say a mix of Canned Heat for the love of travelling and wide open spaces, Metallica to please Mathieu, and Dutronc for the French touch!

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You’re currently living in Bordeaux, why did you choose this town ?

Last year, I felt the need to experience something other than Paris, and even though I grew up in the country in the deepest suburbs, I fell in love with big cities. After Paris, I lived a few months in Marseille, I chilled for a bit in Brussels as well – I almost ended up settling down there – but one fine day, I felt the need to sit my bottom down somewhere, and as I knew Bordeaux’s skateboarding scene, I knew I would be able to find a sofa on which to sleep easily enough. That was a year ago, and I’m still on a sofa. But I look after myself.

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What are your projects there?

Continue to thicken my client portfolio, continue to travel all over the city on my old bike, continue living, really !

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If everything were possible, free and legal for a day, what would you do ?

I’d do what I always do! A bit of drawing, listen to a few CDs, smoke some cigarettes, take a little stroll to St-Mich’. It’s not really a fantasy of mine to be able to do everything or obtain things with little effort. You’re taught from the very first day that you have to fight the dragon to be able to screw the princess; I’m putting that into practice !

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Any final words ?

Big kisses to Valentin and Mathieu, I’m happy to have walked this path with them. I wish those two lads all the success and fun in the world. Let’s grab a beer soon!

 

• Artist’s website •


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À propos de l'auteur :

Valentin Porcher
Valentin Porcher
Artistic director at OLOW Trademark

Site web : www.olow.fr