Hf: Fill us in on your background. How did you become what you are now?
M: I come from South of France and have been travelling with my family and drawing a lot since I was a kid. At 16, I started art school. It was then did I first consider art to be my future job. After high school, I continued art school in Belgium for three years, which was amazing because everything there was so artistic. While studying in Belgium I started to really travel, I’ve been to New York, I started to doodle, all those travel notebooks with my illustrations, my text. After that my dream was to work in an advertising agency in Paris.
M: After one year of advertising, I just wanted to see the world. I left all I owned and went to New Zealand for six months. Since then, I’ve never stopped travelling as I really enjoy this kind of lifestyle as a freelancer. Two years ago, I lived in Indonesia, then Hong Kong. All those trips made me grow up faster because I get to meet so many people every day.
Hf: Have you ever felt that you’re tired of travelling? Do you want to settle down?
M: I’ve been travelling for four years and for the first time I feel really at home in Hong Kong. It’s Asia but it has lots of Western elements. You make friends easily here so you can have your life and feel at home easily. I start to think I’d settle down in Hong Kong a few years but I won’t settle down for life. When I’m travelling, I don’t say I want to go travel there. I always say I want to live there for a few months or few years.
Hf: How many little notebooks have you accumulated over the years? Can you share them with us?
M: I’ve got too many! I’ve got a collection in France and I’m starting another collection in Hong Kong. I always bring one with me. It’s easy for me to write down my feelings, and look back again for future drawings. It’s almost addictive! So far I have up to 30 notebooks. They are very precious to me, especially when you look back after a few years.
Hf: How has travelling inspired you?
M: When you travel, everything is new, crazy and beautiful, so you have the eyes of a kid. You try new things, meet people, different cultures… It’s very exciting!
Hf: I see you draw a lot of streets. What is so fascinating about the street as a subject matter?
M: Streets are very inspirational. When I was in New Zealand, I loved it, the lakes, etc. but it was very hard for me to illustrate because nothing much is happening. Streets are not static. Things are always moving in busy streets like in Mong Kok and Jakarta. Things never stop even during the night. It’s amazing for illustration but crazy to live there!
M: During my first time in Kowloon, I experienced some shock because Kowloon streets are a bit messy – you don’t know where to watch! – whereas France is so quiet. Mong Kok streets are intense – the Thai massage signs, the markets… it’s a paradise for somebody who wants to illustrate. Illustration is always more interesting when there’s something happening. I might start a notebook solely for Mong Kok!
Hf: As a freelancer, how do you establish discipline? How do you de-stress?
M: I make a schedule to ensure I really work. Sometimes when I’m working I don’t want to stop so I set apart time for blogging, illustration and copywriting. You don’t have to inform your boss three months ahead if you’re going on a holiday. But sometimes you have to work while you’re on holiday when the clients need you. It’s great being a freelancer in Hong Kong.
M: I love travelling within the city in my free time. I love reading travel posts online, and writing on my blog Miles of Happiness. It relaxes me. And of course, I need my daily time of sport.
中: 閒時，我會在城中遊覽，我喜愛瀏覽旅遊網誌，亦喜愛在自己的網誌Miles of Happiness上分享旅遊見聞，這會令我很放鬆。當然，我每天都必須要做運動。
Hf: What’s your next destination?
M: Bangkok! I will head up to Thailand next October for a travel blogger event, and I can’t wait for it. Be sure to follow my adventures on my blog, Miles of Happiness!
中: 曼谷！我將會在10月參與泰國的一個旅遊博客活動，很期待呢！大家記得留意我的網誌Miles of Happiness！