Garance Vallée is an artist who currently lives in Paris. She’s 23 years old and is presently finishing her Master’s degree in architecture. She is pursuing a specialization in scenography to focus on smaller-scale architecture.
A childhood surrounded by artistic influences; she grew up spending much time in the painting studio of her father Kriki (kriki.com), immersed between paintings and punk music, Garance began to draw and create objects near him. Her parents raised her and her brother in an arty lifestyle. Her mother, who studied art history, made her work on her culture as much as she could, teaching her to have a thirst of “knowledge” which participates in her creativity today.
With a mesh of cultural and art background, an eye for sculpting, an educational background of architecture coupled with the love of ingenuity, Garance’s work speaks structural volumes.
When did you discover your love for art and how long have you been pursuing it?
Since I was a kid! I grew up between my father’s artist studio and my mother’s artistic literary world. They are my first sources of inspiration. I owe them this open-mindedness. They are the ones who shaped my artistic eye. I have always drawn and built little objects in my father’s studio. But I have only been showcasing my work for one year, thanks to my fiancé who pushes and encourages me every day.
Would you consider it a hobby or a lifestyle?
I would say it is definitely a lifestyle. Everything is a creation: walking, eating, talking, and even being. Even if we are not practicing any formal art; the way we perceive things, the way we pay attention and are sensitive about everything; that is what defines us. You begin to notice things around you more absorbedly, be more attentive and sensitive. Wherever I am, I cannot help but take a quick moment to write or scribble down an idea that comes to mind.
I spend time around environments and places that inspire me, because I like their ambience, their architecture; even music or fashion can be a source of inspiration. It is a wholesome attitude, an everyday lifestyle. It creates your own artistic personality. I am a very romantic person in my everyday life, and I like my work to reflect that and through my work I want people to feel it too.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I am passionate about contemporary art, design and architecture. I am continuously inspired by contemporary modernist movements and the young talents of the avant-garde influences. I love working with a lot of different types of materials, I like feeling them, building models, having a real contact with the textures that I use. What excites me most is bringing my drawings to life, to go from 2D to 3D.
My drawings are very geometric, probably due to my father’s love for straight lines, as well my architecture studies. But from time to time I like incorporating curves through a feminine figure that represents the women in my life. To me, drawing is like a step towards object design. That is how I currently consider it; as if everything I draw, everything I sketch and model, was destined to be built someday.
What differentiates you from other artists in your field?
I strive to incorporate everything; I am not locked in one technique or one inspiration currently. To me, experimentation is the key. I love it. Testing methods, observing the process, sometimes they do not work, trying, then trying again. At times succeeding with an idea the very first time, and never being able to recreate it again. It is truly the magic of experimentation.
Furthermore, in my architecture studies, I am currently receiving training in scenography which has helped me find my way of presenting my world, stage my drawings and objects in my own style, in a way that reflects my visualization of that particular piece(s). Every staging of a drawing becomes an installation in itself.
Who is your favorite artist?
Family first! It would be shameful not to mention my father Kriki [laughs]!
What is your favorite piece of art?
I am in love with the work of Meir Eshel, professionally known as Absalon. In his short career he achieved a lot and I admire in particular the “cells” as he calls them.
What role does art take in our world nowadays?
We cannot live without art. Art has an essential role in our lives, whether we realize it or not. It allows us to escape reality, to look further, to step out and beyond limits, be it our own or of others’. Every kind of music, art, cinema, dancing, painting, and culture in general, they are all instrumental in paving the way to open-mindedness. It allows us to engage and interact, to make things happen as we imagine them to, in our own way.
What is your goal as an artist, and what are your future plans?
I would not say I have one goal, but many! Experimentation in my work allows me the privilege to redefine art and to give the impossible a chance to survive. Not knowing where the unknown road leads us but we keep trying anyway. However, my guideline is to keep the volume of my work result-oriented. In the near future, I would like to have the space to develop my objects on a large-scale, and finally give life to the reality I imagine in my drawings. For now, it’s probably going to materialize through collaborations with young artisans that I have met… to be continued…
What were any issues you faced pursing what you love to do and what piece of advice would you give young artists?
Early on I often wondered if I should drop out of school as I did not have enough time to spend on my personal projects in order to start my career. I was afraid I would miss out on
opportunities due to time constraints preparing for this or that examination. But now I can definitely state that education has been the most useful and instrumental in moving forward. I am proud to be an architect, to be able to build something concretely, and it has added a whole new dimension to my work.
I am only 23 so it is difficult for me to give advice! I have given myself the means, I am working tirelessly with my education and with my art, and I constantly juggle with everything. I am very determined as I know we all have to struggle in order to attain our goals and to do what we love. I do not want to have any regrets, so I keep trying and completely devote myself to the project at hand.
And now a random fun question for our readers! What is your signature coffee drink?
I am going to say long coffee but honestly I am more of a tea person [laughs]! One in particular, “Gautama”, is my favorite!