Lapin draws the Grand Salon of the Casa Batlló

"I define myself as a mobile illustrator", the renowned illustrator Lapin visits the Casa Batlló for his upcoming book

This week we had a very special visit, as French illustrator Lapin visited the Casa Batlló, a jewel of modernism created by Antoni Gaudí. Lapin drew the Grand Salon of the Casa Batlló, an illustration that will form part of his book dedicated to Barcelona, as part of a four-book series on European cities. At Casa Batlló, in light of the special visit, we took the opportunity to get to know him a little better.

Lapin defines himself as a ‘mobile illustrator, who is always travelling the world, as well as an urban sketcher‘. After six years dedicated to graphic design, Lapin has spent the past ten years focused on drawing whilst carving out his own personal style.

Lapin has that stylistically French bohemian look, aided by the hat that never leaves his head. He does not go by unnoticed; it’s impossible to walk past him without peeking over at his notebook, or rather his accounting book that he carries with him to draw in – even his choice of drawing format is unique. Instead of choosing the typical Moleskine book or sketch pad, Lapin is in love with flea markets, in particular the Encants market in Barcelona. There, among the objects filled with history, he discovered the old accounting books and he loved them for two reasons; first, for the childhood memories they invoked, and second, because they were the books they used to use in the first scientific expeditions to illustrate what they were discovering. Now, he also portrays his discoveries through marker lines and watercolour brushstrokes.

Lapin’s first illustration of the Casa Batlló was nine years ago, when he drew the façade in 2008. When we ask him how his second visit to Gaudí’s masterpiece is going, Lapin recognises that he now knows much more about modernism, and focuses much more on materials and textures, and of course his work is more precise and his palette is more colourful.

lapin casa batllo 2008
However, there are always challenges, ‘the ideal drawing’, Lapin confesses that he’s yet to explore Latin America, and so we hope that he will soon be able to achieve his dream when he finishes the project he is currently working on; four books on Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Lisbon.

To finish the meeting with Lapin, we wanted to know how he saw the world of illustration at the moment. The French artist recognises that the standard is very high in Barcelona, and that there are increasingly more players in contemporary illustration. He also observes that the public is appreciating the value of illustration more and more, particularly the urban sketcher trend.

Thank you Lapin for visiting the Casa Batlló, and for letting us get to know you better! We wish you all the best for your project of illustrated books of Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon and Berlin…

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