Portrait of an artistic director
he has been passionate about drawing since his early childhood, endowed with an innate talent, loving light and colours Jean-Baptiste Gouraud has always been imbued with a very natural sensitivity for the arts. Today, a graphic designer by profession, he is also the artistic director of a Parisian web agency. Here is a glimpse of the career of an artist in love with canvases and brushes.
A rich and varied professional experience
Trained as a graphic designer, with a scientific baccalaureate and an art diploma from the Ecole Pivaut in Nantes, the school founded in 1985, offers three courses: Advertising, Industrial Design and Painted Decoration. In the 1990s, the success of these courses was such that the number of students was multiplied by six. To respond to this important development, preparatory classes, then unheard of in France, were set up in Nantes. This school had a propulsive effect on the artist’s talent and enabled him to transform his passion for painting and design into a real and very rewarding profession.
Jean-Baptiste Gouraud is settled in Paris where he works as a graphic designer in a modern Parisian web agency after having spent many internships in different structures. Within this agency, he has been able to accumulate experiences in different positions and missions, email campaigns, creation of visual identity for brands, website design projects and especially as assistant art director in digital. But Jean-Baptiste Gouraud‘s professional career does not stop there. He later decided to change course and became a freelance artistic director. This new experience allows him to work for different clients and on a wide variety of projects in computer graphics and digital design. Indeed, freelance work has the advantage of having a lot of autonomy in the choice of the projects to be realized, the working hours and the type of clients one would like to collaborate with. That’s how Jean-Baptiste Gouraud participates in several website design and print projects. As well as the creation of emailing campaigns and the design of visual identities. Thanks to the enriching experience as a freelance art director that he was able to accumulate in addition to his training as a graphic designer and his mastery of various software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Invision, Moqups, Sketch, Muse), he didn’t wait very long to make the choice to rejoin the Parisian web agency and land this time the position of art director. He then took an active part in the development of the User Experience Designer function, which consists in thinking and designing a website so that the user experience is the best possible. For someone who is passionate about painting and drawing, exercising a creative profession is a real consecration for him.
A passion for painting nourished since childhood
Jean-Baptiste Gouraud has had a passion for painting and drawing since he was very young. Certainly, his grandmother, a painter with her painting studio, where he loved to play for hours, had a great influence on him. In fact, it was she who gave him his first box of watercolours with Raphael brushes at the age of 12. So he learned to draw even before he started school. He loved to pencil, sketch, erase, colour, brush, paint and repaint, on all sorts of supports and with all sorts of materials. And since then, he has never let go of his brushes. For a very long time, he only used this box of watercolour offered by his grandmother and when he had finished a colour, it would fill his empty buckets.
Jean-Baptiste Gouraud only abandoned watercolour in favour of acrylic when he joined the Pivaut art school in Nantes, the first private art school in Nantes with a professional vocation, based on drawing and its fundamentals. Thanks to his talent, the young man managed to enter the first year without going through the one-year applied arts upgrading. The years of study were very dense for Jean-Baptiste. He sometimes even had to work up to three sleepless nights a week to ensure that projects were completed on time. It was during this period of intense practice that he really forged a creative and artistic personality. Thanks to his perseverance, patience and above all his talent, he was able to finish at the top of his class.
A perfect mastery of painting techniques
During his years of study, Jean-Baptiste Gouraud was able to perfect his acrylic working method through student work. Acrylic is a kind of resin, a synthetic plastic material. Acrylic paint is therefore in reality “an acrylic resin-based paint”. Its advantage is that as it dries, the paint hardens and becomes resistant, like plastic.
It was the beautiful landscapes of the city of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France that suggested him to reuse watercolour years later, as this type of paint is perfectly suited to it. In fact, watercolour is a watercolour painting, based mainly on the transparency of its colours. It is a very well known and widespread technique, it is simple in its execution, but quite difficult to master completely because it is very delicate.
Although his preferred technique remains acrylic, Jean-Baptiste Gouraud would like to work with oil paint, the most famous of the pictorial arts. His source of inspiration remains artists such as Scott Waddell or Gottfried Helnwein. While waiting to have a studio to make his paintings, he nevertheless continues to admire the works of his favourite painters and at the same time take an interest in other forms of art.
Question : Is Jean Baptiste Gouraud passionate about painting?
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