Juliette, a graphic artist in balance

Classé dans : Distributions, English, Interview, Photos | 0

– Hello Juliette. We know you a little bit through your website and the graphic work you have just done for the new version of Emmabuntüs, but maybe would you like to tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Hello Yves, yes of course. I am passionate about comics and I draw very often. My academic career was focused on graphic design and computer science. So it’s quite natural that I turned professionally toward interface design, a discipline that links these two fields. My free time is usually divided between sports and drawing.

Sketchnote explaining the use of notebook Jupyter
in the frame of the OpendreamKit European project

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

I was attracted by computers as soon as our first personal computer arrived at home (a Windows 98 I believe…). My father quickly switched to GNU/Linux when I was in high school, and this OS fascinated me: you could do actually everything on it! I had loved to tinker with my Windows, often beyond all repair possibility, and I felt that a GNU/Linux OS would be able to satisfy my curiosity. As soon as I got my own computer with a GNU/Linux OS, I had a blast modifying themes and testing desktop environments. I had a lot of fun and, above all, I learned a lot.

– What was the process that led you to work on Debian some time ago?

I was still a student when I saw the call for contributions for the release 8 theme, while I was looking for a Debian ISO. I had some free time between classes and revisions, so I started to work on the theme. I was surprised and glad to see that it was chosen! (1)

Debian 11 wallpaper designed by Juliette

– What is the graphic or artistic creation, and not necessarily in the field of free software, that you are the most proud of, and why?

Without hesitation, it’s my comic book “Pole Dance, ma Vie en équilibre[Pole Dace, my life in balance], published in 2020 by Glénat Editions. It is my first published comic book, and I am very proud of it!

Juliette during a book signing session

In what circumstances did you first get in touch with the Emmabuntüs collective, and our friend Patrick?

The call for contributions was posted on the Mastodon network, on which I communicate. Several people mentioned it to me, and that’s how I discovered the Emmabuntüs project.

– Why did you volunteer to help the Emmabuntüs collective in its search for an updated Emmabuntüs DE 4 graphical look?

When an operating system works, and this is the case with Emmabuntüs, the very last step to make it more accessible, used and appreciated, is to attach a graphic personality to it. It has to be strong enough to make the user feel like being taken into account (we go out of our way to make him/her appreciate the distribution and feel comfortable with it), and, at the same time, subtle enough so that he/she doesn’t feel crushed (it’s their machines after all). I wanted to bring that extra “look and feel” to Emmabuntüs. I have a hard time to resist calls for projects when they concern open source and graphic design!

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

I think it’s important to have a choice among several operating systems so that everyone can find one that suits their own needs. I didn’t know Emmabuntüs at all before I got interested in it for the theme, and I was delighted to discover both the collective and the distribution. Having an OS that is not too greedy and that works on new or refurbished machines is a good guarantee to be exported across the world. From a more personal point of view (and thus, totally biased), I only have eyes for XFCE, so one good point for Emmabuntüs who embeds it.

– Any questions I forgot to ask you?

I think if you had asked me “would you like to bring other kinds of graphic design to the open source world?” I would have answered that I would like to make a comic book about it, a bit like Hiroshi Seo’s Ubunchu!, a project that I loved!

Cover of the “Pole Dance, ma Vie en équilibre[Pole Dace, my life in balance],
comic book published in 2020 by Glénat

Note 1 : Later on, Juliette was chosen to design the Debian 9 and 11 official themes.