Joseph Jeantet, founder and film maker

Tuesday, 7 February 2017 12:58:00 Europe/London


The Interview.

Joseph Jeantet │ Swimming Poulp

Joseph Jeantet is the founder of Swimming Poulp, a creative label launched in Paris in 2007. Working in varied media, from graphic design, illustration, videography, and photography, to scenography and artistic direction, the company produces works of design, events, and audio-visual content. Co-founded with his scenographer brother Nico, and joined by a graphic designer, Bastien, the Swimming Poulp trio unite their disciplines around the pursuit of a great idea. And over the last eight years, Swimming Poulp has developed creative solutions - and found great ideas - for brands, magazines, and music labels including the Marie Claire Group, Coca-Cola, Philadelphia, SFR, Maison du Chocolat, and Naf Naf.


Joseph Jeantet

 Joseph in The Founder's Crew Neck Navy T-shirt.


Joseph began his narrative in South London, at University of the Arts London, Europe’s largest school of art, design, fashion, communication, and performing arts. The school, which aims to inspire curiosity, inquisition, and ground breaking and adventurous ideas, has for over a century been enriching its local area with the young students who live and work there.

Now back on his home ground, Joseph works from the Swimming Poulp studio on rue Saint Denis, in Paris’ red light district where the sex shops close as he starts his day - surreal at any time of week, but particularly on an average Wednesday morning. He doesn’t inhabit the cliché of Paris. And he is no bored Parisian, bemoaning his surroundings, and undervaluing their significance. Instead Joseph sees mixed cultures, never-ending parties, and astonishing beauty. 

He also pursues projects of his own, most recently adding a short film to his reel, Le Chat et La Tortue, a mystery exploring the fate of a little boy and a little girl who suddenly, inexplicably, both stop sleeping. “There are a lot of stories I want to tell, and this little film is the very first one of all.” “You find out a lot of things about yourself… I fell in love.”


Twenty Quick Fire Questions with Joseph Jeantet


What did you study?

Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Arts, London.


What made you do what you do?

The inability to choose.


What kick-started your career? 

At first, it was just a matter of luck. I got along with this incredible lady and she gave me my chance.  


What happened next?

We were lucky. I’m really bad at being commercial. It was a word of mouth kind of process.


What does Swimming Poulp do for those who know nothing about you?

Our company is a creative studio that can provide any sort of solution on any type of media, as long as we come up with a good idea. 


And why Swimming Poulp?

I can make up some story, but honestly, I woke up one day, and this nonsense name came to me. I went to my brother, and said “swimmingpoulp”? And he said “yeah!”, and that was that. 

… Well… He laughed, and said “yeah!”


What’s your approach to a new project?

Like Freud. Start over.


What’s your creative process?

Drink beer, think hard.


What’s essential for your work?



Who or what has been the biggest single help to your progression?

My brother, with whom I founded Swimming Poulp and have done many stupid things. 


What do you think beauty is?

Something that talks to you, and you can’t even understand why.


What inspires you?

Little moments of happiness.


What drives you?

Making something we can be proud of.


Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?

My history.

….. My father, my mother, Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Tàpies, old films, cooking. Many things. 


What have you learned about yourself?

You are dependent on your freedom.

…. And you are no-one without others.


What is the dream?

To work for myself… Making films for myself, living on some beach, on some Greek island.

Maybe. Or maybe not.


What is success?

Being happy.


And…. What’s your favourite bar in Paris?

Le Sans Souci in Pigalle. It’s rough, cool, and lively.


Your favourite restaurant? 

Lately…mmm….The Clown Bar. Very innovative.


And your drink of choice?

A glass of red burgundy.




Visit │Swimming Poulp │183 Rue Saint-Denis, 75002, Paris 



Watch Le Chat et La Tortue │www.lechatetlatortue.com


Drink│Le Sans Souci│65 rue Jean-Baptiste, 75009 │Metro Pigalle


Eat │The Clown Bar │114 rue Amelot, 75011 │Metro Filles du Calvaire or Oberkampf