The hypnotic and imaginative world of Maud Vantours

Maud Vantours is a young Parisian visual artist known for her amazing multicolor, 3D paper sculptures. A graduate in textile design and research materials from the French capital’s ESAA Duperré, she now creates artwork for contemporary art galleries and international brands, to appear in advertisement campaigns or make a boutique’s windows unique. Vantours mixes elements of graphic design, set design and visual merchandising, pulling everything together with a touch of poetry and creating oneiric and futuristic landscapes, full of saturated hues. She has worked for luxury leaders such as Cartier, Christian Louboutin, Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent; fashion innovators like Victor & Rolf and Issey Miyake; and beauty multinationals like Guerlain and Lancôme. With creative imagination and precise production methods, Vantours seems to cast a spell on those who watch her transform a simple piece of paper into a unique and precious object. We interviewed her and asked her a few questions...

What project are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished a really nice project I developed with Kenzo's perfume, Flower. I had to reinterpret the iconic poppy flower in a 3D paper sculpture. Working with the team was great, and I really like how the campaign turned out. Perfect project!

How did your passion for art begin?
When I was a kid, I wanted to have a job that consisted of drawing all day long… that would have been perfect! That’s how I started my art studies and how I became a designer.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is also the most difficult: it's the challenge to evaluate, find new techniques, create new aesthetics. When clients contact me for a project, I’m really excited to find a story, a concept, a new idea that can fit their requirements. Each request is a chance to create specific designs, graphisms, color palettes – and I love that!

Who would you like to collaborate with?
My dream project gives me "carte blanche" to do anything I want. I love that because it allows me to blend my universe and the brand’s. There are so many brands or people I would like to work with… It’s impossible for me to choose only one name.

What inspires your projects?
My inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes I have a list of themes that I want to explore, which might be inspired by different cultural aesthetics, maybe Russian or African patterns. Or sometimes I have no idea where my inspiration comes from. The inspiration will just appear in my imagination, or something will pop up from my memories. Most of the time it’s not a well-planned, thought-out process.

What was the biggest break in your career so far?
The turning point was when I was selected as “Talent à la carte”: that gave me the opportunity to present my work at Maison & Objets, the interior design fair in Paris. Thanks to that experience, I met a lot of people and started working with big brands.

You have worked for big brands like Louboutin, YSL and Lancôme. Which collaboration are you the proudest of?
Many collaborations consisted in great projects. The ones that impress me the most are the ones where my work is printed in large formats in subway stations, or in magazine advertisements. And of course I’m very proud when I finish a window display.

Do big brands give you a strict brief, or can you suggest what you prefer?
It depends. Some brands want me to develop my own vision, but sometimes projects are more specific. 

Can you tell us an anecdote from your work?
When I started, I was working from home. My cat was my biggest supporter, sitting on the desk watching me work all day, giving me his good vibes. Sometimes he fell asleep on my paper… and it was impossible to move him to continue with my cutting… 

Which sector do you prefer to work in? Set design, visual merchandising or design?
The challenge is to always be in progress, trying to reach perfection in my work. Every project I finish is a kind of victory.

Do you use social networks to promote your work or contact people that you would like to work for?
I share the studio's life, work in progress and projects on social media like Instagram and Facebook. It’s a chance for us to show our work and discover other artists all around the world. It even helps meet people. A few months ago, I met another paper artist from Australia which contacted me online. It was really funny to meet someone in person after following them in the virtual word and through works that I loved.

What kind of advice would you give to young creatives that want to follow in your steps?
Of course, to follow their dreams. To try to reach their goals…always!

Interview by Barbara Palladino

© Maud Vantours

 

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