Jean-Claude, a free doodler in the wild

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– Hello Jean-Claude. For the time being, I only know you through the graphic work you have just done for Emmabuntüs, but we would like to know you better. Would you like to introduce yourself in a few words or lines?Hello Yves, I am 40 years old, I am originally from the Lorraine region and I migrated to the Cantal department one year ago, to have a simpler life, closer to nature, to work differently, hoping to find more humanity than business in my life, to spend more time with my children, who grow so quickly… Good timing, my wife had the same wishes at that moment and we migrated as a family with our two children. Midlife crisis? 🙂

View of Cantal from Jean-Claude’s house.

– How long have you been into computers in general, and GNU/Linux in particular?

I started to use computers in 2002. That happened very late in my career, and it was a professional reorientation. I worked with Microsoft/Windows for a long time, then Windows 10 signed the end of me using of this type of system…

Not requested services launched, Start menus “polluted” by their suggested applications… I had the feeling that a salesman was hiding inside my PC…

From there, I stopped using Windows and I switched to “Linux”,. Then I tested about fifteen distributions before settling on Debian.

Some times after, with help of some readings, the great adventure of the librarian world reached out to me… And the questions concerning what is done with our data, how, why, the concepts of programmed obsolescence, among others, etc. We don’t want to go back afterwards!

– What was your personal approach: to bring your graphic design talents to the free world, or to develop this new talent within a community that needed them?

A bit of both actually, and “talent” is a big word, I figure that if I can help, that’s great. And then, it makes me work on subjects I like, it makes me learn… When I was a child, I liked to draw, but with my workload, my life at 100 km/h, I had stopped everything. Now I’m back to the drawing board for fun and if some people like my production, it’s great, it’s really a win-win situation.

Bucefalo theme for Debian Bullseye realized by Jean-Claude

– What is the graphic or artistic creation you are most proud of, and why?

Since I was a kid I made a lot of drawings, projects. I have no particular pride, I am just happy if my work can simply please and help others. However, I am very proud of not wanting to limit all my work because of restrictive patents, as some others do. We will soon have no possibility for future artists to create if everything is blocked/locked!

– Do you want to tell us a little bit about how you earn your living, besides free software?

To make a long story short, at the moment I’m renovating a house to make bed and breakfast, that’s my project. It’s on good tracks and I hope to open in July/August of this year.

“I’m not at all fan of selfies, but this way you can see my face”

How and when did you first get in touch with the Emmabuntüs collective, and our friend Patrick?

It’s a friend of mine, Stéphane, who is also into the free software movement, who sent me a message about your research to change the graphics of your new version of Emmabuntüs. By the way, thanks to him.

Indeed, with my construction work, I’m not too much aware of what’s going on out there 🙂

Then I contacted Patrick, we made a video-conference using Jitsi and the adventure was started.

– Why did you volunteer to help the Emmabuntüs collective in its search for a new look for its graphic designs for the Emmabuntüs DE 4?

I participate as I can within the world of free software. Before, when I had my “great job well paid but meaningless”, it was in the form of financial contributions, or donations. Now that I have less financial resources, why not a little of my time to support, help, draw graphics, etc.

In addition, a funny anecdote… (well, it was not fun at the time). I had taken a (very naughty) boss to the labor court, and his lawyer – trying to make fun of me – portrayed me as “the Abbé Pierre of the information technology“… that motivated me even more to team with you : I saw this event as a sign of fate 🙂

– What do you think about Linux in general and Emmabuntüs in particular?

I like the free software concept, the librarian ideology. I think we should not block everything with patents at the slightest beginning of an idea. You have to understand that, in the past, if all the great thinkers had blocked all their knowledge, there would be no content in school, and, for the most part, we would still be eating on tables without right angles or whatever else

I discovered your collective a little more in detail since these few months, when I see all the work you do to help people and the society, I take my hat off to you.

Of course each of us has to earn a living, business is not a dirty word, but not at any price, and not by impoverishing other people… With your collective you act the way I like, you push the cursor more on the human side than on the business one and it is very important at the moment. Thanks to you !

Study of the Emmabuntüs logo undertaken by Jean-Claude