At the Collection, we love collaborating with talented designers. Marina Vandel, who graduated from the Saint-Etienne School of Fine Art is a young French illustrator with a huge talent. She has designed projects for Fragnonard, Anthropology, The Little Fashion Gallery, John Derian and her work has been featured in countless magazines.
For the Collection Editions, she created five different wallpaper panels.
Poetic, sweet and colourful, they rank in our list of favourite products.
Continuing on with our series of interviews with designers, we took a little visit to Marina.
What made you want to work in this field ?
An exhibition by the painter David Hockney that I was lucky enough to see at the Centre Pompidou in 1997. I was 15 but I was literally caught up and really moved by the use of colour. I had already been doing drawing and painting lessons since I was 11, so it really encouraged my desire to emmerse myself in this world . It was the event that started it all.
Talk to us about how you work on a new product or a new collection ?
Most of the time I receive a brief by email. I take time to try and not start immediately researching on the internet. I try to let the ideas and different directions brew…
I draw quickly to put things in place and I also make notes right to make things clearer. Once the first stage of the work is done, I look in books or on the Internet. I have an “ideas” folder where I keep images that inspire me. They come from different sources; it could be a beautiful cookery picture, the colour of a fashion garment like a designer jacket, scientific drawings, paintings….then I get to work.
If the brief is well done and the customers’ requirements clearly defined, then I can work more rapidly because I’ll understand the universe in which I have to immerse myself. When I’m stuck on with a subject, talking it through really helps with finding ideas.
What is your idea of a perfect working day?
I arrive at work by bike. Generally I am more productive in the morning. I am organised so I’ve got my reverse planning in my head as I don’t like to be caught out by lack of time.
I use the morning to get my ideas in order, answer emails, and do some preparation. I have lunch together with my colleagues at the studio. I like feeling I have time plenty of time. In the afternoon, I can work confidently, knowing that I’ve put in place everything necessary for the project.
Where do you work from and what does it look like?
I worked from home for a long time; it was difficult to balance my time – to wake up in front of my computer, I wasn’t able to have a break !
I’ve been sharing a studio for a year with other designers, illustrators and screen printers. There are 14 of us but it isn’t like a summer camp. Everyone has their own defined workspace and there is a shared kitchen.
I’m in a large open space with 4 other people, with great light like in painters’ studio! The atmosphere is work orientated, the toughest is agreeing to what we listen to. We have fazes. Right now I’m enjoy listening to France Musique all day long but I am not alone.
Does your home resemble your work? Do you use your own designs in your home?
Apparently my chimney resembles me! It’s a collection of pictures, succulent plants, little ceramic animals. It is a concoction of things I like, it has a “moodboard” feel to it, still life / composition / chic – the things that are found in some of my drawings.
Other than that, I am not into making my home a museum! My drawings are in boxes or I give them as gifts to my friends. My walls are very plain, I have a collage poster from Yves Saint-Laurent which says “Love 1982” and framed butterflies.
It might be paradoxical for somebody that does what I do, but I enjoy having white walls. It allows my eyes to rest. I have so many images that go through all day long, that it is essential for me to have some empty space.
Who are you’re the people that have inspired you or what are your design inspirations?
Elizabeth Peyton, David Hockney, Sempé, Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Charlotte Perriand.
Which are your 3 favourite shops in Paris (or elsewhere!) ?
What is the object that is most precious to you, and why?
I have a few mid-season jackets with tapistery prints that I’m mad about, they make me feel good, I feel like me! I really like crockery and nice fabrics. I like things that create comfortable interiors, simple, well chosen objects or fabrics.
What are your favourite books / blogs / music at the moment?
I just read “Rosa candida” the story of a young horticultural apprentice discovering fatherhood. I am reading a graphic novel “Olympe de Gouges”, about the woman who wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen’s life. It is by the authors of “Kiki de Montparnasse” both published by Casterman.
I am fascinated by the lives of women with strong temperaments and conviction. I finally saw “The Eye has to Travel” about Diana Vreeland: a treat. “My Life” by Isadora Duncan and “A Life of Creation” by Charlotte Perriand are the sort of books that I really enjoy!
Music: my boyfriend is like an encyclopaedia of Rap music, so I get to listen it and and discover lots of new things. But I also enjoy classical music. Saint Saens and Bach’s cello suites.
If Marina Vandel were a food / recipe, what would it taste like?
Coconut chicken! I like I simple but spicy and tasty dishes, that dare to blend flavours! I’m not afraid of sweet and savoury.
Is the Marina Vandel glass half full or half empty?
According to those around me – half full!
New exciting projects for Marina Vandel?
Yes! But I can’t talk about them since that are not published/ out / or for sale in shops yet.
Thank you Marina! Marina Vandel for the Collection Editions is available here!