Rolampont: the art of customization

Passion. Passionate about customizing motorcycle and bicycle helmets from an early age, Bastien Belgrand decided to get down to business creating Bb Art’s in 2021. Meeting with the self-taught artist.

Attracted to graphic design from an early age, Bastien’s parents had the idea to give him an airbrush (miniature paint gun) for his eighth Christmas. His parents were far from imagining that this gift would awaken such a vocation in him: “I did my first painting on a bicycle helmet and later I personalized the helmets of my family members and some friends.”

Originally from Bourdons-sur-Rognon, Bastien moved with his partner to Rolampont in 2015 and decided, in 2021, to become a self-employed entrepreneur in addition to his professional activities. Thereafter he set up a small separate workshop above his garage with two workstations equipped with extractor hoods. Very modest in appearance, this workshop does not prejudge the results obtained in any way, since the paintings produced are of remarkable realism and finesse. Bastien did not take drawing lessons and learned the art of airbrushing on his own using tutorials. Today’s tools allow the artist to produce paintings more quickly, but the work is still substantial: “Today, a painting on a helmet represents between fifteen and 35 hours of work depending on the details required. It was much longer before I was equipped with a printer and stenciling software. I previously drew the templates in pencil and cut them out with a scalpel”. To obtain a clean and long-lasting result, his paintings require many steps: sanding, applying a primer, sanding, painting and finally varnishing.

Helmets but not only…

Bastien customizes helmets for clients all over France: “When they are away, clients email me their requests and I send them a model of the final result. The last hull sent took the direction of Brittany. In two years as a freelancer, Bastien will have personalized more than 50 helmets for motorcycles, bicycles… and especially for firefighters: “I have many requests for customization of firefighter helmets that are offered when people retire.” Bastien also customized some larger parts such as car bodies and motorcycle fairings. In addition to paintings on helmets, other decorations are made on more atypical supports: knife handle, drumstick, golf club or even kayak. Thanks to the acquisition of his new equipment, Bastien currently diversifies his activity with flocking and sublimation techniques. Textiles, cups or water bottles can now be personalized in the Bb Art workshop.

Sublimating the supports entrusted to him, this Swiss army knife of personalization has great prospects for the future linked to his artistic activities and plans to expand his workshop to meet the growing demand.

From our correspondent Mickaël Thabourin

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