They say being a hyper-active and overachiever creative can hurt you in the long run, but nobody ever set how long that run should be. Jimmy Delatour was a jack of all trades once – and only after trying his hand at various internships, opportunities and skillsets was he able to find the thing he loved the most.
Jimmy is now a Freelance Art Director and Designer, and founder of his own studio Delatour Design Paris in... well, Paris. In his career, Jimmy's had the chance to work for and with several international clients, from Nike to McDonald's and more. And he keeps fighting every day to ensure that the work of every designer in the world is recognised and valued for what it's worth.
For this Member Spotlight, we are learning more about Jimmy and what led him to pursue a career in the industry – from his first drawings as a kid to his numerous internships early on in his professional life.
How did you get into the industry?
I think that anyone who calls himself a designer was a one point fiercely and intensively drawing. I obviously fit the pattern! I guess that drawing is the first possibility of creative expression as a kid, and the persistence of it might define what one will do with his life. I did many internships to make sure which creative path I wanted to follow: internships in product design, 2d animation, photography, graphic design, advertising…
I got the opportunity to learn in one of the best French school of applied arts, The ESAG Penninghen in Paris, where I could perfect myself and learn the creative trade. I came out with a M2 in Art direction and graphic design, and directly opened my studio Delatour Design Paris, which allowed me to juggle with all the creative fields that I like, with a strong expertise on branding and packaging design. On the side, for pleasure, I do furniture design.
Where are you based now and who do you work for?
I and the studio are based in Paris France, but it doesn’t stop us to work with French and international clients, from small to big or very big accounts, whether they belong to the food industry, cosmetics, luxury goods, technology, retail or culture (Ladurée, Hédiard, Peugeot, Orange, Fleury Michon, Musée Rodin, Opéra de Paris…).
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
Internet considerably affected our work at the studio, nowadays clients come from anywhere on the globe, whether is it from word of mouth, our website or even instagram. Internet gives the ability to work with anyone from anywhere. I truly think that I have the best job in the world!
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
When you are independent, you are your own motivation engine, and your job isn’t actually a job, it’s a side personal project, like learning piano or writing poetry. So you do it because you love it, and for no other reason. Inspiration comes from anything, and it’s really interesting how things can cross over from one field to the next. An ancient African tribal art exhibition will somehow give you ideas for your next packaging project. How incredible!
How do you recharge away from the office?
Nature to empty the head, and art exhibitions to fill it.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
First, promote yourself, no one will do it for you.
Don’t be greedy, you do this job because it’s your reason to be alive, not for money.
Treat every project with respect, whether it’s a small or a big one, if both are worth doing, then they are worth doing to the perfection.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
I think that most designers hope for the same, mostly for their work to be acknowledged and valued as such. Of course it’s a fun job, but it’s definitely not all that there is to it. There is skill behind typography and graphic design, necessary knowledge of marketing and strategy in branding, listening and synthesis abilities to transform a clients’ pitch into a strong and smart idea. Everyone can learn to use a software, but that doesn’t make him or her a designer.
The profusion of designers that appeared with internet, started to make our line of work look like child’s play. The creative industry isn’t the art industry, it’s applied arts to a specific market target. We hope for the clients to see the real value that we can bring to their project, and that they will ask themselves before choosing a designer: will this person’s work bring value to my brand?