Spring Summer 2014

Spring Summer 2014


Our close friend Leslie David is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator living in Paris, France. She works for high-profile clients worldwide and has a very impressive body of work. Aside from this she continues to design patterns for the Surface to Air fashion label. She is also a lover of green tea and isn’t afraid of the odd oyster.

I stopped by her studio space close-by Grands Boulevards in Paris (that she shares with other freelance designers and a Parisian music label) to see what she was up to and have a chat. The studio is a peaceful well-lit space with high windows, an enviable wall of books and magazines (many of which are her own creations) and a balcony overlooking the classically symmetrical Parisian street below. Making it the perfect place for Leslie to work and enjoy her many cups of green tea.

Karl Henkell
Did you grow up in Paris?

Leslie David: No! I grew up in the south of France, in a really small village called Sauzet. My house was an old farm and a long time time ago our living room was a pig sty! There were only twelve of us in the school I was going to, called “classe unique” in french, which means that the teacher was doing the class for all different levels at the same time. A bit like in “Little House on the Prairie”! Of course I watched that show and hated Nelly Flanders.

KHIt sounds like a very romantic upbringing! Do you miss the south of France?

LD: Haha, I guess the pigsty sounds romantic. Yes I miss it sometimes, in this case I go there for a few days and work from there. It’s my own “prairie” office.

KHAre you converted to the city now?

LD: Totally, I couldn’t live in a smaller city for sure.

KHWhat do you like most about living in Paris?

LD: The fact that there’s always something new to discover in Paris; new galleries, new shows, new people, new clubs and new restaurants. I can’t always follow it all which is frustrating.

Ah! No, I know what I like the most! it’s going to Aligre’s market on the weekend.

KHWhat can you find there?

LD: Oysters! That and vintage stuff from the flea market.

KHWhat projects are you currently working on?

LD: I’m working on the identity of a new parisian music label. It’s always really exciting to be part of a new project with passionate people.

I’m also working for Hermès, Chanel make-up as well as doing a few CD covers.

KHDo you prefer to start an idea by hand or on computer?

LD: I usually start by hand but it depends of the project. I have no rules!

KHWere you good at drawing as a kid?

LD: Yes, I loved to draw. My mum who is an artist had an atelier at home and I would stay on her side for ages, playing as being her assistant. She was always giving me little exercises, like fruit or flowers to draw in still life.

Then later I wanted to become a stylist because I was in love with Jean Paul Gaultier – I was drawing very ugly dresses and hats!

KHDo you see graphic design and art as two different things?

LD: Of course! You have total freedom when you’re an artist, you don’t have clients and briefs. Which can be cool but scary at the same time.

KHDo you make art? Or draw just for fun?

LD: I draw for fun, but less and less unfortunately.
It was cool actually, I did my first “art” exhibition this year.

KHWhat does your mum think of your work?

LD: I think she likes it, I hope so, because she’s one of my clients too!

KHWhat other artists/graphic designers/ illustrators work do you like?

LD: Just to name few friends/graphic designers/artists whose work I like: Andrew Woodhead, Atelier 25, Charlotte Delarue, Pierre-Alexis Delaplace, Gonzague, Sandrine Pelletier, Estelle Hanania, Gregoire Alexandre, So-Me, Deanne Cheuk, Wakey, Partel Oliva, Sanghon Kim, Check Morris, Gesa Hansen…and a thousand more!

KHHow do you like your coffee?

I only like coffee when it’s in a tiramisu! I drink green tea all day long. Everyone in the office is always making fun of me and my cup of tea!


Check out some of Leslie’s work on her website here.

Photo Credit: Carol Burri

‘MEET’ is a series of interviews with friends of S2A where we catch up on their lives, their current projects, their creativity, inspiration and whatever else happens to be on their minds!



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  1. [...] originally appeared on Surface to Air Journal. Photos by Carol [...]

  2. [...] Credits: Leslie David / Quotes here and [...]

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