After more than a decade, Parisian graffiti artist Vincent Sillard started SHRIIIMP, an online forum that let’s graffiti artists all around the world share their work of art on that is drawn onto the body of beautiful models.
Vincent Sillard began his career as an artist agent in the mid 90’s, and as an agent, he represented talented artists to sell their art by auctioning or selling their masterpiece to art connoisseurs, turning their passion into a lucrative business. When he’s done representing his clients making a name for themselves, he turns to his real passion, graffiti, and hit the streets to make a name for himself. With his undying passion for art, along with his tenacious entrepreneurship, led him to start an illustration agency called Colagene in 2001. His agency helps worldwide artists, such as illustrators, storyboard creators, motion and graphic designers, to work with big-name brands in the advertising industry. His business grew recognition just within two years, and Colagene became a prominent talent agency among big brand names in consumer and manufacturing industry.
As his agency continues to flourish, Sillard then ventured to something when he became aware of the internet becoming the forefront medium of communications in the early 2000s. “At the beginning, I just wanted to have my own, not porn, amateur website. A forum where Graffiti artists showcase their talents, but the catch is, their girlfriends are the blank walls/canvases.” He came with that idea because he does it himself to his girlfriend. “…I guess so, because I do it during my past time with my girl,” elucidating it with an embarrassment along with humor. After procuring countless pictures of girls with graffiti drawn onto their body from close friends and numerous images that already existed online, SHRIIIMP went live online on the mid-2000s. Sillard quickly realizes that graffiti artists around the world share his fondness of drawing art on their girlfriends/models, and the forum became a sensation in the online graffiti community since he was receiving original artwork from graffiti writers all over the world to showcase their work along with their girlfriends.
I sat down with the man behind the provocative website and how it became the destination of those who love to write graffiti and women love to be drawn on, creating a provocative and yet enticing art.
First of all, why is the title the website SHRIIIMP?
I would like an original name first, without any link to graffiti. I think I ate a shrimp at the time I was coming up with the name for the website? But overall, I couldn’t recollect how I came up with the name. It just manifested. As for the three “I”s, it’s simple; when I tried to register Shrimp.com, it was already registered to a domain. So I thought if I added two more I to the website domain name, it’s going to be similar to the xxx relating to porn category because porn was originally categorized x but Motion Picture Association of America changed it to NC-17. So the triple I on SHRIIIMP is its signature, graffiti on girls.
So how did SHRIIIMP started?
When I started Shriiimp in 2005 I never imagined it would take off as it did, or that there would be such a craze for it. The basic concept is very simple: most graffiti artists, including myself, have already painted on their girlfriends. Hence my idea to launch shriimp.com. It’s the only website totally dedicated to graffiti on girls. Over the years the site has grown in popularity to a current community of over 60,000 fans and more than 10,000 photos posted (and just as many not approved) by members from all over the world. It was getting one million web pages viewed per month!
Where is SHRIIIMP official headquarters?
First I lived in Montreal, Canada. But then, I returned to Paris, France. Now I just recently moved to a different city, but still in France. But SHRIIIMP is worldwide and is in life because of all the writers who contribute from all around the world. It’s not just because of me that there’s a community of graffiti writers who love to showcase their graffiti style on the body of beautiful women, whether it’ll be the boyfriend who is the artist or female artist who loves to draw onto their beautiful friends.
How many submission does Shriiimp receive on a weekly basis?
It depends on the exact week. Average 20 to 30 pics per week. But a small percentage is approved.
Don’t you think that SHRIIIMP objectifies women?
I don’t see it that way because we’re not showcasing their body as a sexual object. Our point shows the beauty aesthetic of the graffiti art and the appeal of a woman’s body to the general audience.
Does SHRIIIMP have an in-house artist and models?
Nope. Only writers and model from the Shriiimp community.
Are there restrictions to what you can submit to the website?
Yes for sure. First, it needs to be graffiti on girls! Then each submitted work of art is judged on 3 criteria: Production quality, Model, Picture.
Could you tell me what was the most risque submission Shriiimp received over the years?
I can’t tell you! But it’s not online (laughs.)
Is there a special SHRIIIMP collaboration or projects that you are working on towards the future?
As of now, we are I’m working on another Shriiimp project call Shriiimp, Gold series. It’s an extension of SHRIIIMP but with a different approach to the concept showcasing graffiti art on a girl. SHRIIIMP Gold’s goal is the artist chooses a photography to illustrate it on the body of a model, which is the canvas, and showcase their art and style of drawing with exceptions of any other colors other than the colors of gold, black, and white. After collecting a sufficient number of pieces, We will organize an exhibition. First in Paris, then in major cities around the World, and, if the project is successful enough, we will be published a book for the occasion, and release a limited edition posters for the project.