In talks with – ALMASTY.
Almasty are Anna Apter and Charles Bataillie. A duo of graphic designers and art directors from Paris, France. As-well as running their creative studio, the guys are also creative directors of a new French magazine called ‘Usbek & Rica‘. Here are 10 facts from their website that they tell us we should apparently know about Anna and Charles.
1. Their name Almasty comes from a legendary wildman living in the Caucasus mountains.
2. Anna is a vegetarian; Charles loves filet mignon.
3. They usually whistle Italian pop songs and make weird animal noises while working.
5. Charles looks very much like a lemur.
5. Anna works on a mac (C: damn you hipsters), Charles on a pc (A: ew).
6. They both love to ride their bicycles, although Anna’s has been stolen
(A: FYI her birthday is on August 28th *hint*).
7. Charles is trying to grow a beard. Anna is not.
8. They never played Frisbee together.
9. Charles likes to watch football with a cold beer, Anna likes to watch Grey’s Anatomy. With a cold beer.
10. No, they’re not a couple.
As detailed as these fine facts are I decided I wanted more, so I recently caught up with the duo that is Almasty for a chat about the work they do and how it all goes down.
Hey, how are you guys today? I say ‘guys’ because there are two of you right?
Hey, we’re good thanks. Yeah, we’re Anna and Charles, thanks for asking us to do this interview.
Can you tell us about Almasty and what it is that you do?
We decided to name our creative studio Almasty after our favorite pet. Charles chose the Almasty (the legendary wild man living in the Caucasus mountains), Anna was sad because cutepuppies.com was already taken. Other than that, we are graphic designers and illustrators.
I’ve visited Paris a fair few times and I must say, what an awesome city it is. How do you find working in the city? What are its best points? And what is the world of art like there, in your mind?
We love Paris, it’s an amazing place to live, glad you liked it here. We wish we had more time to enjoy it though, we usually stay all day long working in front of our computers. When we do have time for ourselves, we like to ride our bikes through the city. Charles loves to go to the Natural History Museum in the Jardin des Plantes, there’s this room full of dinosaur skeletons; it’s pretty awesome. Anna also likes to go to the design flea market in St Ouen, and we always enjoy a drink in the sun, when it dares to show up. About the art scene, we have lots of beautiful museums here in Paris, with great classics, but we think there’s a lack of creativity and spontaneity, unlike Berlin or New York. Oh, and we want more bike paths.
Can you tell us about the magazine that you are the art directors of; Usbek & Rica, what’s it all about?
Usbek & Rica magazine explores the future in various fields, such as geopolitics, society, science and culture. In the April issue there was an article about the history of hackers from the 60s to 2030, and how we could possibly live in an open source civilisation. We like to feature some great illustrators from around the world, as well as some of our own illustrations.
Working together as you guys do, where do each of you draw your influences from towards your work?
Individually, we have very different tastes. But when we work together, we always come to similar conclusions. We like our work to be colourful and generous.
What are your individual backgrounds?
We both went to Esag Penninghen in Paris to study graphic design. That’s how we became friends and started to work together on school projects. We graduated in 2010 and decided to have our own creative studio right after that.
Your commission illustration that you did for Emirates looks so awesome, the soft yellows, oranges and blues look so rad when applied to things like fighter planes and tanks. Do you have your own personal favourite projects that you have worked on?
Thanks! We had fun doing this one. We’re very critical of our work so it’s hard to say if we have a favourite. But we really like the Taxidermy posters, they’re going to be featured in an exhibition at the Café Caché du 104, which is a cultural place in Paris, on June 29th. We’re really excited about that.
Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
A collection of books for a French publishing house as well as the next issue of Usbek & Rica! Stay tuned.
A lot of your work base seems to be GIF related, why is this?
Probably because it allows us to bring our inanimate print illustrations back to life. We love internet trends and phenomenons, we spend way too much time on 9gag (not too proud about that).
What are you listening to at the moment?
Right now? An advert on Spotify.
Thanks Ed. Cheers!