Simon’s curriculum is not particularly exotic for a Swiss. Franco Schweizer, born in Fribourg, was on skis for the first time at the age of three and signed his first sponsorship contract at the age of 17. Today, the 33-year-old lives in Chamonix as a freelance artist. Besides the mountains, one of his favourite motifs is the sea, his pictures are so good that Patagonia prints them on her T-shirts. But first things first.
Simon grew up with his parents and two brothers in Fribourg, French-speaking Switzerland. Early on it turned out that the boy had a sporting talent and so soon the first sponsors knocked on the door. It wasn’t enough for a Full-On Pro career, but he earned a solid extra income and at the same time studied architecture in his hometown.
Life and work as an architect, skier and the hobby art
Simon participated in many freeride events, he drove some world tour qualifiers, his rankings were good, but the competition business was not his. He wanted to be free, unattached and so he preferred to look for steep, unexplored lines with his photographer and made a name for himself in the scene.
Also in the architecture it ran dazzling. The creative bolt won first prize from the university for the project he submitted for his diploma thesis, with this reference he could virtually choose the office. The environmentally conscious Swiss chose an office that planned energy-saving houses. He also took part with the office in various competitions, once the project came from Simon’s pen, they mostly won. Simon made himself indispensable, his career went steeply uphill, actually everything was perfect. But Simon wanted the sea. He wanted freedom. He wanted to get out of the suit, which was way too tight for him. His drive for freedom caused problems, Simon did the jobs, but he didn’t put his heart and soul into it anymore. The young Swiss realized that he had arrived at the end of this stage, he wanted to realize himself creatively, drawing houses was simply too stupid for the fine spirit.
Simon jumped in at the deep end, quit his job in 2013 and has been trying to become a freelance artist ever since. At the beginning it’s sluggish. But due to Vitamin B and his great talent more and more projects came in, Patagonia exhibited his drawings in Galerie Events in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Fribourg were to follow. Patagonia was so taken with Simon’s art that they even printed one of his pictures on their T-shirt collection. Among other things, he designed an event poster for Swatch. Meanwhile Simon has been living from his art for 5 years and paints for his life. He lives his dream and sometimes he can’t believe he actually made it. Now Simon squats on Bali, draws lines in the waves and waves on paper. But enough of the long speech. Pictures say more than words.
On the next page you can see some of Simon’s works and read the story of how they were made
If you want to see more of Simon and his art, check his website at https://www.simoncharriere.com/