Paris By Alistair Casillas
I’m a graphic designer, art director and obsessive interior re-arranger. I grew up outside of Los Angeles, with my entire family living in California, always exploring nature, always driving, surfing, having all the animals and being a general teenage nightmare for my parents. As an adult I’m still curious, overly empathetic, but just have the one animal.
I live in Paris, where I have been for 3 years now. I decided to quit my whole life in Philadelphia to go to school here and get my master’s degree – then I couldn’t stay away. The city is so alive with beauty. Every day showcases countless scenes that influence the aesthetic signature of my own work. It’s just part and parcel with the city itself, which so uniquely combines history with the avant-garde. It’s a natural fit for my creative impulses. My creative home.
Objects Of Desire
I love creating scenes and set-ups of natural things, so I typically grab flowers, fruits, rocks, shells, paper, found objects, and of course a camera. I love taking these images and using them as textures, focal points or collages in my graphic work. I’m starting a new project with my partner in designing our new living space in Paris. It’s funny and unconventional as we will have two apartments – separate, but connected only by an outdoor courtyard. It will be an interesting challenge to combine and design the interior spaces to match one another.
A Sea Of Inspiration
When I went to university, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I studied it for a year before I realized that perhaps I was better suited for art and transferred to graphic design. I’ve always been obsessed with nature, especially the ocean and it’s something that will always feed my creativity and provide never-ending things to discover. This inspiration remains present in my work. Nature is a constant reference point, my commitment to its beauty helping to ground my designs in core values over commerciality.
Paris In The Springtime
Since living in France, I use a lot of my surroundings as themes in my creative work. Just living in a completely different culture, language and place has been a general theme in the last couple of years. Especially walking around, grabbing flowers, visiting outdoor markets and wandering through streets I’ve never walked down. I find so much more inspiration outside and in museums nowadays whereas I used to hunt for images online staring at a screen for hours.
My favourite spring pastime in Paris is visiting the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and admiring the blooming trees, the sunlight dancing off the flowers, whilst lying in the grass next to my dog. The sun on our faces. To be so close to nature in a city likewise so alive with culture is a real gift, while I believe that one draws upon the other. I am at my most creative when in touch with my living environment. Even though this is a very ‘cosmopolitan’ city, you are also never far from nature if you seek it out.