Interview: The Personal Nature of Art with Frederic Forest

Frederic Forest is a Paris based artist and co founder of design studio Forest Giaconia. He now dedicates more time to his own studio in the 7th arrondissement and his passion, drawing.

How long have you been drawing?

I grew up in Annecy in the French Alps and I spent my time skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding and drawing. Drawing allows me to think about something else, to ease my mind.

I have loved to draw for as long as I can remember. Just draw and think about something else.

Like everyone else, I started drawing before writing. I didn’t stop there and I love that. It’s a viral emotion. But I always wanted to study product design because it was not about drawing for myself but for a project, for something larger.

Did you formally train as an artist?

I graduated from ENSCI/ Les Ateliers in Paris. While being a student there, I worked alongside on projects for Cartier. I left France for Italy and the Adidas Advanced Design Studio in Montebelluna, where I designed for the brand’s high end sports shoes range. Then, for international luxury firms, I used my approach for brand image, visual identity and product design. In 2008, after various experiences working with designers, Clémentine Giaconia and I set up our own design consultancy studio FRST partnering with houses and brands and an eponymous studio Forest Giaconia focusing on furniture and interior design with editors and private projects.

When did you decide to make art full time?

It all started off very personal and today the drawings are sent worldwide. Instagram has become a new part of my life and made my drawings evolve and reach a new audience.

They are first and foremost personal pieces, which is also why I choose not to sell all of them.

Presently, there are two people who work with me on both art commissions and shipping works and I collaborate with on exclusive and limited prints.

Did it feel like a brave decision to start selling your art?


What inspires you?

When I have some free time, I like to go to Musée de l’Orangerie and bask in the light of the Water Lilies by Claude Monet. I love the Brancusi workshop and the Musée Rodin as well for their energy and quietness.

I am still so inspired by the romanticism of this city.

My tastes are quite classic and, from time to time, I still find myself going to the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. As an artist, I sometimes am granted free entrance, so sometimes I will go in just for 20 minutes, to find inspiration. I like walking throughout a museum and seeing works that I’ve seen before, to study them from different angles. It is always impossible to see everything in one go.

Why, do you feel, is your work so well received?

I think that it is because I don’t draw faces. Not so much. I used to but I didn’t find the right lines. So, I guess that is the main point: everyone can think about them in some specific way because the drawings are focused on attitude, moment and gesture.

What story does your art tell?

I grew up into a feminine family, with a mother, sisters, aunts and grandmothers. But I draw males, landscapes, architectures and still lives too.

I draw women like they are, not like I would like them to be.

Women have always been a main inspiration. Their attitude, their gesture, their pose, their shapes. They come from the magazines or from walking the streets.

Does the act of creation feel spiritual to you?

Not for me but I can understand that it can for other people.

Is your art separate from you or an extension of who you are in the world?

It is a piece of me, definitely and its intensity moves from the artwork that I do.