Artist| Women Series | Maud Vantours
Women series is a monthly edit to explore creative entrepreneurship amongst women globally. Through this series, we wish to understand creative journeys, challenges, inspirations and develop a community. This month we spoke to Maud Vantours, a visual artist based in Paris, who work with paper as a medium to create installations.
Tell me about how your creative journey started. Did you have creative influences growing up? What education/ training did you receive?
When I was a kid, I wanted to have a job that consisted of drawing all day long…a perfect job. That’s is how I started my art studies and how I became a designer.I started my art studies in Duperré school in Paris for 3 years. My speciality was textile, materials and surface.Right after my graduation, I started to work as a freelancer in 2009.
What has been the source of inspiration for you( people, travel, places, cultures etc)?
One of my first creative inspirations was a visit to Cuba. The colonial architecture that I saw had walls that were painted with bright colors, but because of the extremely wet weather in Cuba, the layers of paint were damaged and people had covered it with other layers of material and color. That led me to start researching topics like accumulation and superposition. In the end, I started to experiment with cutting different materials, which led to designing in 3D, which is where I am now.
But inspiration can comes from anywhere. I’ll sometimes have a list of themes that I want to explore, which might take inspiration from different cultural aesthetics, maybe Russian or African patterns. Or sometimes I have no idea where my inspiration comes from. The idea will just visualize in my imagination, or something will pop up from my memory. Most of the time it’s not a well-planned, thought-out process.
Can you also talk about your experience of working in India and Paris. Do you think your cultural identity brought influences at work?
I think India influenced me with all colors, patterns and mix and match. It was really inspiring to live in Bombay for a while.To work in the textile Indian industry was an intense and rich experience.I don’t know if Paris influenced my work, maybe in an unconscious way, because I was formed as a designer in the city.
What is the step forward for your personal projects? Would you like to share any? Could you comment about 'being a creative soul' and How does travel facilitate your ideas?
There are four steps in my process of creating work. The first of creating work. The first is to brainstorm an initial creative concept or idea.After I have a concept in place, I’ll begin with a small pencil sketch and work it out digitally. The idea is usually 3D in my head, but it’s still 2D in my digital design.The third step is to find the perfect color combination. It can take me several hours to days to find the perfect color palette.Finally, I’ll cut the different layers. When everything is cut, I will create a sense of depth and volume. This is where the work really comes alive.For all my personal everything is hand-cut. My cutting is very precise. I’ve been doing it since a long time, so I’m almost like a robot. When the work is for a client and is really big, I’ll use a machine.
Could you comment on the current landscape of independent artists and how brands are more open to experimentation.
I always wanted to be an independent designer, a freelancer because I wanted to be free to continue my personal work and to experiment. It’s absolutely necessary because my personal work feed my commissioned work.I think to work with a freelance is interesting for brands, to have a different vision and try a new vision and experimentations.
Would you say being a woman creative has its pros and cons?
I think my work could be really feminine that’s why I work a lot with cosmetic brands, but not only. I have to work with the brand identity and sometimes to put my personal tastes on a side.