As far as I can remember my youth in France, I always had a passion for everything American custom culture (Dean’s & Brando’s movies, rock & roll, hot rods, Harley’s, Von Dutch art, etc). For example, I became the coolest kid on the block by customizing my model cars and motorcycles. I had to have my first bike stolen in the street of Paris, an electric blue Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, to realize I was so much in love with her. I was inconsolable, heart broken, with no money to replace it. Certainly the 1st time in my life than an inanimate object (but is it?) caused me such pain. Then intense business life in advertising in a big city prevented me to ride much until a new love, human this time, and American, of course, made me settle definitively in the US.
America became my escape route to find a new place in my life where I could merge my 2 passions of designing and motorcycling. Riding the big landscapes of the West made me feel like starring in a biker movie. Customizing for my friends was exhilarating and made me access the trophies stage of the most prized bike shows in Daytona & Sturgis. Rich people liked my unusual designs mixing pure Californian hot rod stance with European art deco details while following a very Zen approach where simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. America always fired my dreams. Now design & motorcycles forged my new professional identity: custom motorcycle designer & builder.
My mission is to give each client’s motorcycle an added value aesthetically, technically and financially. For this I must define a unique “motorcycle personality”. I hate improvisation. All my designs have an objective, a strategy and a justification in my eyes and the ones of my client. As an art director I am in charge of “writing the storyboard” of the new motorcycle. All projects, simple or sophisticated, are first designed on paper: research of a theme and name, drawing of the bike under different angles, sketch and final blue prints of the custom parts, seat design, graphic research, layout and choice of colors for the paint job etc. It is only after client approval that, under my supervision, my team of craftsmen handles the fabrication, molding, painting and final assembly process. I am a designer loving motorcycles more than a biker customizing bikes. I want my custom motorcycles to be time enduring rolling pieces of art.
The way I see it, succeeding a custom motorcycle is to conceive it such a way that it will become both an object of intense pleasure and affection for the client and a “star” in the motorcycle world. The process of creation and customization has no visible end. It means that probably like all true artists I am obsessed with reaching perfection and always over doing everything beyond client’s expectations. Trying to become both a master of design simplicity and beauty and at the same time a master of technological complications require an exhausting amount of love and dedication. I will never design and build a custom motorcycle just because somebody could buy it. I never count billing hours, just expecting from my client fairness and appreciation. It’s probably the difference between a motorcycle shop doing custom work and a true custom designer and builder. I customize as much for myself than for a client because creating something never done before, beautiful, working better than the competition, appreciated by its owner and admired by the public at large is the greatest joy anyone can get in any profession.