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Maud Vantours on the unlimited possibilities of paper and the Antalis Creative Power Awards

09 Jun 2022 —
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Maud Vantours

Maud Vantours’ unlimited imagination for the possibilities of paper is the bedrock of her creative career. In honour of the upcoming awards, we sat down with Maud to discuss her creative journey from her earliest design memories to the founding and subsequent success of her design studio, as well as her process and contribution to the Antalis Creative Power Awards themselves.

Maud Vantours’ unlimited imagination for the possibilities of paper is the bedrock of her creative career. In honour of the upcoming awards, we sat down with Maud to discuss her creative journey from her earliest design memories to the founding and subsequent success of her design studio, as well as her process and contribution to the Antalis Creative Power Awards themselves.

You may not yet know Maud Vantours by her name, but chances are if you have ever strolled the streets of Paris you have seen her exquisite work catching eyes in the shop windows of prestigious French brands. Or, perhaps on the pages of glossy magazines where her intricate designs often appear in perfume adverts. In fact, with clients like Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Lancôme, Kenzo, Chaumet, and so many more, it’s nearly impossible for one not to have come across Maud’s creations.

Maud Vantours’ unlimited imagination for the possibilities of paper is the bedrock of her creative career. But her passion for manipulating materials into dreamy design scapes and artful objects is not limited to paper. She is constantly exploring new ways to express herself with other materials, such as plexiglass, metal, and wood. In her range from whimsical to chic, and from graphic to realistic, one thing is for certain — her creations are incredibly calculated with precision and attention to detail, making her a true master of her craft.

 

 

Maud Vantours commercial work

Some of Maud’s commercial work for Dior in leather and Louis Vuitton in white Keaykolour

 

 

Thus, Maud Vantours seemed the obvious selection when it came to choosing a creative to design and build the Antalis Creative Power Awards. An initiative that celebrates the power of creativity and the designers and printers whose ideas and expertise give character and personality to paper. Thus, it was paramount that the awards themselves be an object of such achievement. 

In honour of the upcoming awards, we sat down with Maud to discuss her creative journey from her earliest design memories to the founding then subsequent success of her design studio, as well as her process and contribution to the awards themselves.

 

 

What are your earliest memories of designing? What led you to a career in design?

When I was a child, I wanted to have a job that consisted of drawing all day long- the perfect job. That’s how I started my art studies and how I became a designer. I graduated from Duperré in Paris where I followed Design Training with a specialisation in textiles and materials research.

 

 

What does a day of work at your studio look like? 

There is no normal work day in a design studio — every day depends on what kind of project we are working on. The team and I arrive at the studio at 9.30 am. There are four of us working at the studio, each one with a specific skill. I start with emails and a cup of tea, then I continue to work on projects in progress. It could be designing on the computer, researching prototypes, or producing displays. After a quick lunch at the studio we continue on artworks in progress, and the afternoon is fuelled by many cups of tea.

 

 

Maud Vantours with her design team
 
Maud and her design team, each with a specific skill by Rebecka Oftedal

 

 

Can you tell us about the role paper plays in your work? (i.e. why paper?)

Paper is one of my favourite materials because it is fragile and malleable, its thickness is almost imperceptible, but accumulated it becomes dense and tough. I superimpose it, then cut layer after layer until it gains volume and a third dimension. I like the idea of using a basic material that becomes “noble” after working and sculpting it.

I’ve been working with paper for a long time and there is always a new way to use it. Paper is a material that offers many textures, aspects and colours, and I like to mix all these possibilities. I also like mixing paper with other materials like metal, plastic, and leather to create rich aspects and surprising aesthetics.

 

 

Examples of Maud Vantours' work
 
Some of Maud’s work in Keaykolour, Curious Skin and Curious Matter

 

 

What other mediums do you enjoy exploring?

One of our last projects was made of oak wood. A cognac decanter for Louis XIII, made of thin layers of oak wood nested into layers like a pop-up system. Finally, we tried to use a paper technique but with a solid wood for a surprise effect. 

Layers evoking the cycle of time and know-how inherited from past generations of cellar masters. The studio worked with one of our great partners to build fine oak layers to give volume to the Louis XIII decanter, obtaining its perfectly recognisable silhouette.

 

 

wooden cognac decanter design
 
Wood cognac decanter for Louis XIII in wood


 

Do you have a favourite project to date?

What I love is working on different projects, for many brands, with lots of people. Every new project is a creative challenge. My biggest challenge is to evolve, find new techniques, and create new aesthetics. 
I’m very excited when a client contacts us for a new project — to find a new story, a new concept, a new idea in adequacy with the client’s needs. Each request is a new chance to create a new design, graphism and colour matching, I love that! The challenge is to be in constant progress.

So, my favourite projects are when we find an aesthetic result or shape that surprised us, when we had no idea what the result would be at the beginning. But, after difficult research, reflection, and technical development, we find the answer and all the team agrees. 

 

 

Maud Vantours designs with Keaykolour, Pop’Set, Curious Metallic and Curious Skin papers
 
Some of Maud’s work for the Atelier Cologne in Keaykolour and Pop’Set and for Moët Hennessy in Curious Metallics and Curious Skin

 

 

How did you find inspiration for the design of the Antalis Creative Power Awards?

We built the awards like a pyramid of stones in balance. The symbolic stones evoke the delicate equilibrium from pure creation to all the steps required to achieving a work of art. All the creative processes, the idea, its evolution and transformation into a medium to reveal its complete realisation.

 
Creative Power Awards categories
Examples of the awards to be presented to category winners.

 

 

Can you tell us how they are constructed?

We designed it in 3D on a computer, and once we were happy with the shape, we cut it into horizontal layers to translate it to paper. Every layer has a different shape to complete the overall design. The paper pieces are cut with a plotter. Then, we composed the vertical puzzle layer after layer. Luckily, we numbered all the 65 paper elements or the construction would have been a headache and never ending puzzle. Lastly, for each category, we chose a corresponding colour.
 

 

You also created beautiful digital animations for the digital communication of our Antalis Creative Power Awards. How do you translate your work with tangible mediums to digital design work?

The animations were designed on illustrator, from the early graphic design to the scripts for each category. After that, we had to create the cut files and separate all the elements by colour, to cut with our plotter. Then we had to construct all the designs and glue everything together.

The most interesting part was the photoshoot because it permits a certain freedom to find new ideas while interacting with the physical materials. It’s always easier to find animation ideas with the real displays instead of on the computer.

To learn more about the awards or Maud Vantours, you can check out  respective websites below.