The project

When your morale is low, when the day seems dark to you,
When work becomes monotonous, when hope is not there,
Get on a bike and ride without thinking about anything other than the path you are taking.

Arthur Conan Doyle

At the beginning

It was in the fall of 2020, during the second lockdown, that I started jotting down people on bikes. So frustrated at not being able to pedal freely, I tried to compensate for my lack of cycling through illustrations, trying to transcribe this feeling of freedom and joy that comes from cycling. A little out of curiosity, I posted a first illustration on twitter, then another… the enthusiasm of the cyclosphere was so encouraging that, following several requests, I decided to offer a few A3 and A5 prints. Without really believing it, I launched my Ulule page on November 28th.
And there, ̶P̶A̶F̶ PSCHITT !! The goal reached 200% in less than 24 hours!
As much to admit, I panicked a LITTLE like when I ride on a secondary road without a cycle path. I had promised deliveries before Christmas, and now I find myself with dozens and dozens of packages to prepare. So I put on my best lycra and became a regular at the Carré Pro post office throughout the month of December. The 142 orders arrived safely and the Ulule campaign ended with a final goal of 473%.
After this Ulule campaign, which ran like a Nexus 8, I started working on new illustrations to bring the Paysages à Vélo online store to life.

Cycling landscapes

Through this series, I try to transcribe simple moments of life on a bicycle: there are so many different uses, people, roads and landscapes! The use of the bicycle is so beneficial that it is precious for me to share positive feelings: simplicity, good humor, fun and sharing. On the graphic side, I like to work with these solid shapes and solid areas of color. Technically, this is a real challenge for me who am used to drawing with lines, but it allows the colors to fully live without them being enclosed by thick black outlines. I realize all my illustrations with vivid and expressionist nuances, which give a dreamlike aspect to these simple moments of life.
I start by scribbling a first sketch in Posca first, then use the Procreate software and an iPad pro to continue my illustration. I also always do a photographic research work for the landscapes, the positions of the characters and for the choice of the frame!

The author

My name is Cécile Ricordeau, aka "cecillie", and I am artistic director and freelance illustrator in Montreuil. From visual identity to website, including packaging and advertising campaigns, I worked for 15 years in different Parisian agencies, as artistic director and then creative director. I ended up finding my balance practicing on my own, a position that allows me to be more creative and freer.
On the little queen side, I have been a moped machine for years, and my little family is 100% cycling every day. Our garage has a Genesis (my flawless bike), a Petit Porteur (my crush), a Louison Bobet (my darling), a Kalkhoff and a Bullitt (the SUV of Narno), our son’s Btwin and his Puky balance bike that we can’t seem to part with.
With this project, I combine three things that I love: drawing, cycling and working with colors. I hope these series will please, and that this is only the start of a great project!


Many thanks to Narno for the development of the online store and for picking up all the Bullitt posters from the printer when I had death sore throat. , to Rachael and Urban Cyclist for their advice and unfailing enthusiasm, to Sylvia Hansel for proofreading my texts, to Emma without whom I would never have managed to pack everything in time, to Leaaax for packaging advice, and to my printer A-print who does don’t skimp on BAT. Thank you to Montreuil residents, cyclopaths and queens who were the beta testers and testers of my Ulule project.
Thank you to all those who came to collect your orders from my workshop, it was so good to see people in real life. And above all, thank you to all of you who supported me, motivated me, and who continue to do so. Thank you to you who share your moments of happiness on the bike and who give me the inspiration to draw. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to this project. The bike will live, the bike will win!

Bicyclettement vôtre,

Image of cecillie