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Interviews — 6 months ago

Samuel Eckert on Illustrating His World View

It’s not uncommon for a modern creative to have more than one string in their bow, and certainly Parisian artist Samuel Eckert is no exception. His work stretches beyond illustration; from tattoo artistry and mural installation to collaborations with leading women’s magazines and street-wear brands to making zines and books, to hosting creative workshops.

 

His professional client list is booming and already boasts names like Asos, Neon Magazine, TicTail and Cosmopolitan France. As it does, his messages – playfully expressed through his fine-line style – continue to gather momentum on the international scene.

 

Samuel just dropped a new collection of T-shirts and sweaters, all featuring his typically razor-sharp wit, so we caught up with him to chat about Paris, tattoos and what stokes his fires of inspiration.

 

Read more: Amber Vittoria on how to sell your art online.

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Everpress Team
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Original artwork by Samuel Eckert
Original artwork by Samuel Eckert

TO KICK THINGS OFF, CAN YOU TELL THE COMMUNITY A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

Hey, my name is Samuel Eckert. I’m a 29-year-old illustrator and art director from Paris and I do few side projects like books, tattoos and wall paintings.

Samuel Eckert photographed by Thomas Pico
Samuel Eckert photographed by Thomas Pico

I like the idea of juggling between different mediums and techniques.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST START EXPERIMENTING WITH DRAWING AND ILLUSTRATION?

As far back as I can remember, I was always drawing. I started to discover the power of ideas through pictures when I turned 9. My mother asked me to make her some tea because she was a bit sad so I tried to make her laugh by cutting the letter ‘T’ on a piece of paper for her.

Original tattoo artwork by Samuel Eckert
Original tattoo artwork by Samuel Eckert

YOU’RE ALSO A TATTOO ARTIST, WAS THE PROGRESSION FROM PENCIL ON PAPER TO INK ON SKIN A NATURAL ONE?

It wasn’t much of a progression, it was just another way to express myself. I like the idea of juggling between different mediums and techniques. It’s a totally different approach. Those who questioned my way of drawing and the relationship I have with those who appreciate my work, it’s a long-term commitment!

Original tattoo artwork by Samuel Eckert
Original tattoo artwork by Samuel Eckert

HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR STYLE OF ILLUSTRATION/TATTOOS?

I looked at a lot of different ways to express myself when I was younger and over the years. I’ve noticed that I appreciate people who express ideas quickly, to try and stay spontaneous.

It could be a shape or even a word. Then I just draw a lot all the time and day after day I found out a lot of different things that allowed me to build myself and therefore, my style.

Original tattoo artwork by Samuel Eckert
Original tattoo artwork by Samuel Eckert

HOW MUCH INFLUENCE HAS THE ART SCENE IN PARIS HAD ON YOUR WORK

I think I’m very lucky to be in Paris. There are so many different art scenes and everyone tries to stay open to the others. I imagine this could happen anywhere but I’m proud to have grown up in a city where you can meet people from everywhere, every day.

MAMAMA x Samuel Eckert
MAMAMA x Samuel Eckert

WHERE DO YOU TURN WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A HIT OF INSPIRATION?

There are so many options! The internet, books, an exhibition. But for me, the best inspiration hit is a drink with some friends.

always be really honest with your work.

WAS YOUR APPROACH TO DESIGNING YOUR FIRST COLLECTION OF TEES WITH EVERPRESS DIFFERENT WHEN COMPARED TO YOUR WORK AS AN ILLUSTRATOR?

I try to approach each design in the same way whether it’s an illustration, a tattoo or graphic design work. Instead of creating work with the intention of selling it, it’s first created as just a drawing – simple lines that can be adapted for the different disciplines that my work covers.

Samuel Eckert photographed by Thomas Pico
Samuel Eckert photographed by Thomas Pico

HOW DO YOU INTEND YOUR ‘NO WAY’, ‘FUCK YOU’ AND ‘ART LIFE’ DESIGNS TO BE INTERPRETED?

Actually, what I really like about these illustrations is the fact that they can be interpreted in many ways. Of course, there’s the obvious face value interpretation but what’s even more interesting is how that changes according to the person looking at it.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER CREATIVE OUTLETS BESIDES ILLUSTRATING, TATTOOING AND GRAPHIC DESIGN?

Writing. I hope to do more books in the future.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE TRYING CREATE THEIR OWN BRAND?

It may sound like a cliche, but for me, the most important thing is to always be really honest with your work. You have to be able to enjoy what you’re making, otherwise, what’s the point?

Wall painting for whosnextdotcom. Photography by Yannick Roudier
Wall painting for whosnextdotcom. Photography by Yannick Roudier

Shop the collection of limited, one time only T-shirts and sweaters by Samuel Eckert here.