“Making a travel diary is every kid’s dream! My passion is to explore the world by observing a culture; detailing the landscape and immersing myself into a scene to enable myself to capture the essence of both the people and the setting. Being able to capture a moment in a travel roll means it can be remembered forever. I always strive to capture the authenticity, depth, sensitivity and truth of the people. Creating them in Cambodia has given me such an appreciation for the grace, joy and humility of the Khmer culture which I hope to share.”
Arrived in Cambodia
Asia, and Cambodia more precisely, was only to be a stop like any other in a world tour trip where nothing was planned! After having travelled through several countries, it is alone and without money that one day in October 2015, I wake up in a somewhat filthy inn in the south of the country, with a seedy mattress and a monsoon wet smell… where you never know if it’s you sweating or if it’s the sheets that are just wet!
The meagre savings I had, enforced a difficult choice to me :
- Going back to Europe and agreeing to abort dreams of adventure, no longer being able to draw in my travel diaries…
- Or take the risk of spending the last few dollars in that “child dream” !
Cambodia is one of the countries where opportunities seem more accessible. A lot remains to be done, which is one of the reasons why I said to myself: “If it’s not here, it won’t be anywhere!”
Through drawings and writing, where graphic arts, journalistic reporting and human sciences are crossed each other : the travel
diary is the story of an adventure, it represents a hybrid art that can bring together views from different horizons.
Before I arrived in Asia, I had already decided that drawing in rolls of paper would be better suited to the approach of culture than using sketchbooks. Turning pages of a sketchbooks cuts off the overall reading. After all, the scroll is nothing more than the ancestor of the book: the volumen!
Creation of Travel Roll
Then it was several weeks of trouble to find the printer able to reproduce 15 cm x 150 cm rolls for me. Finally, at the end of 2015, “Travel Roll” was created. I move to the night market in Siem Reap around Christmas of the same year, for $5 a day you have the right to sell your products to the public. That same evening I sold my stock and went to eat only things that had become too rare in my stomach!
Today, the rolls are sold in different places in Cambodia and on the Internet. Thanks to the people who offer them to themselves, I can now live “from a childhood dream” but above all contribute to my final project of publishing in French, Khmer and English to be available to children in schools in Cambodia.
At the beginning the experience was finally only a life test, the time to restore financial health and then we will see what happens next. Finally, I have been here for some time now and several different editions of travel diaries in the form of rolls have been released. I try to illustrate this country “in-situ”, by going out of the beaten track as much as possible. I’m riding around the country on my old 1993 Honda Baja 250cc bike to “go see…” It’s still a few thousand kilometres now, sometimes with problems, accidents, tiredness, but nothing bad !
Cambodia has given me a lot humanly and inner. I am simply happy to have found a form of freedom, and to participate, on my own scale, in the “culture of the country” through art. I try to share a view of this country that is neither arrogant, condescending, self-centered, nor pretentious. If I can living while pleasing others, then why not!)
17-19 Nov. 2017 : “Les rendez- vous du carnet de voyage” – Clermont-Ferrand – 18ème Ed. – 15’000 visitors. The biggest festival of its kind in the world, winning 2nd place for the public price.