Friday, January 5, 2018

Behind the Seams with Axelle Valentin!

Today, on Making It Fun, we're going Behind the Seams with our new licensed designer...
*photo credit: Sophie Masiewicz
*photo credit: Sophie Masiewicz
Axelle Valentin
Location: Nantes (west of France, 1 hour and a half from Noirmoutier's Island!) 
I am 39 years old, married (since 10 years this July ;)) and have two kids: a boy 9 years old and a girl nearly 7 years old. I've decided to work from home to become full time a surface pattern designer and to raise my kids. 

Q: What's your favorite piece of work that you have created, your favorite project or your favorite part of the work day?
A: One of my favorite piece of work I was really proud of is my painting for the anniversary of cinema, made when I was 17 years old for a national contest. It has been exposed during one month in the "Cinematheque" inside the Palaisi Chaillot in Paris just in front of the Eiffel Tower. Now I've offered it to my son for his bedroom.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am preparing new autumn-winter patterns collection for Premiere Vision Design trade show in Paris, where fashion brands will come from every country. And I am thinking of a few new stationary products for local Christmas markets.
*Axelle in her studio *photo credit Helene Petit Village
Q: What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
A: I wish I could create all my life long, as I do not even know if it will be enough to draw all my ideas!
When my kids leave home, I wish I could organise creative workshops with nice tea times and home made cakes... Meanwhile, I would like to learn always new techniques, meet other designers and follow some summer courses at Saint Martin School in London...
*Axelle creating in Proce park *photo credit: Sophie Masiewicz
Q: What are you doing when you're not creating or at work? What hobbies do you have?
A: I am fond of cooking, especially pastry... even at the London College of Printing, my personal project was a recipe book...
And I try to swim and run once a week to keep healthy mind in a healthy body... and it's always when I am outside that I find new ideas!

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: My godfather gave me a second name "Fleur" which means flower in English... and honestly flowers are what I love the most to draw, funny isn't it?

Q: Do you have any favorite blogs/magazines/IG feeds that you follow or read? 
A: I love the fresh but also stylish IG of my friend Helene (who came home to take pictures of me yesterday especially for you!) helene petit village
And since I've signed with MMF, I enjoy reading inspiring posts from Sarah Jane Studios.

Q:  Where else can we find you? 

Q:  What else should we know about you and your work?
A: Both of my parents like to paint, and the colorful portrait on my office table has been painted by my dad! 

*photo credit Helene Petit Village
In my childhood, my really first drawings were flowers and rainbows... and the funny thing is that they were already repeated!! Later, I've taken a few classes on Wednesday afternoons: drawing, painting, sculpture and later on silver jewelry when I was in London. Also, I've been a member of a photo club for a few years to be able to get my own black & white pictures when I was living in Paris and start using colors only when I've decided to change my way of life and arrived in Nantes! I've learned Illustrator at the London College of Printing where I spent a lot of time in charity shops and flea markets to find vintage clothes with nice patterns.
*photo credit: Sophie Masiewicz

When a friend of mine, Domitille, taught me how to sew, I did not find in the shops the the fabrics I've had in my head, so I've decided to create them...

My main inspiration is nature, which I like to stylize to get fine lines and add colors from my own.

Q: Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? 
A: For style, do really what you love. .. It's often the designs I've done for myself or presents for friends which has been sold first!

For those who wish to learn how to create patterns, it's really useful to take some classes on Illustrator or Photoshop (some are free online), you will save precious time!!

Q: Do you admire any artists / people? (famous or not!) 
A: In my town, I've met these two artists who are as nice people as talented artists: Izumi Idoia for her Japanese style and so delicate paintings and Dominique Le Bagousse and his funny little bears.

Q: What is your favorite....
Color: green
Animal: birds as they can fly
Season: I would say summer even if I like a lot of spring as well for the flowers...
Movie:"The Party" with Peter Sellers, which I find so funny and original.
Book: "Grain d'aile" my first book of Paul Eduard with the wonderful watercolors of Jacqueline DuhĂȘme, the story of a little girl who wished to fly...
Vacation Spot: Noirmoutier, a lovely island where I like to camp with my family to get closer to nature and do a digital detox ;-)

Food: the Nantes' cake, the original pastry of my town, with almonds, which was really rich in rum to be kept during days for sailors on boats. I've even create a poster for my relatives as they always ask me for the recipe
Axelle's debut line with Michael Miller will hit stores in February! Here's a sneak peek of Strawberry Tea...
If you'd like to win a fat 1/4 bundle of Strawberry Tea before it arrives in stores, just comment and let us know what you'd make! 

Congratulations to Michelle for winning the Strawberry Tea bundle!
"I would make a quilt for my oldest daughter (about to turn 15). She would love this color palette!"