ARTIST FEATURED IN MINIMAL | VOL.3 | ISSUE.3
I am Hubert, artist and founder of the Maison Mardi art studio. I am living and working in Paris, and Mardi is from my artist's nickname. As long as I can remember, I've always drawn. I then naturally pursued a master degree in Arts where I learned about: composition, printing, drawing, production techniques, e.g. serigraphy etc. Later, I discovered another of my passions: the digital world. I first learned how to create websites and then I got interested in computer language and machines, especially drawing machines. Maison Mardi is the meeting point of my different passions. Maison Mardi is an Art Studio, based in Paris, that presents my prints made on recycled paper by a robot.
Q. What made you interested in starting your own studio?
I always wanted to set up an art studio to promote my prints. For a while I have been passionate about entrepreneurship in art and digital. I launch this small structure to make different collaborations with other artists and different personalities in fashion, lifestyle. My ambition is to create a brand around my productions. I have a deep passion for developing, experimenting, communicating, delivering. It’s very exciting and motivating to do business in art.
Q. Why do you love the minimalist style?
After diverse circumstances, I decided to choose a pen-holder as my main creation tool. The restraint of this type of device is that it draws only lines. I started with technical constraints and possibilities before finding my style. I explored different voices, several genres, during a long phase of experimentation. It was by seeing the minimal works of Frederic Forest and the energy that emanated from his drawings, I decided to simply make academic nudes with lines. Himself, he is very inspired by the drawings of Matisse and Picasso. I appreciate the simple forms, close to the naive, without artifices; with simple lines and the aura that it creates.
Q. What made you realize you wanted to pursue this as your passion?
Simply - I am passionate about art.
Q. What was it like starting and growing your own brand?
It's a lot of work. You have to be ready to take on different roles: creator, communicator, web designer, community manager etc. You also have to be organized and stay focused. I’m learning a lot of exciting new things. To simplify things and have the most impact, I focus on digital communication and social networks. It allows me to connect directly with my audience, to meet beautiful people and to create some cool projects. Women and girls from all around the world are invited to share their stories, and Maison Mardi commits to post their portraits and testimonies on the Instagram page @maison_mardi page under the hashtag. #femmeetonnantes (amazingwomen). Maison Mardi Art Studio has the ambition to expose universal feminine beauty. Art is the ultimate license for expression. Through my project, I share the stories of the women models I draw. On the social network, Maison Mardi becomes a platform which reflects strong and inspiring women, and acts as a creative, modern and militant in the fight for gender equality. I draw portraits and naked bodies, free, non-stereotypical, natural, while being sensual. Each woman is strong in her femininity, and it is this femininity that I want to expose.
Q. Give 3 words to describe the style of your work.
There is a little sentence I use to describe my studio: "A balance between art and design, print and digital, crafts and industrialization”.
Q. Is there a strong competition for artists in Paris?
Among artists of the same level, we stick together and we help each other. We are not in competition. I got to meet other artists in Paris and we are going to do different collaborations. The collaboration will consist in thinking of a common design and making it into limited series, capsule collections, which you can find on my shop maisonmardi.com
Q. Tell us about what inspires you to create these pieces.
Initially, there is the work of Patrick Tesset. His mechanical installations sketch portraits from computer algorithms. It opened up my field of possibility. Subsequently, two Parisian artists gave me shape and style, Frederic Forest and Quibe. The true original artworks are the drawings of Matisse and Picasso. To me they represent the simplest and most effective forms in the art world. I can quote the drawings of Cocteau that I saw in an exhibition in Arles, which touched me a lot. I find daily a lot of photos on Pinterest and Instagram that I use as material and enrich my universe.
Q. Explain the process of creation for one of your prints.
My drawings are first drawn on a digital tablet. Each print is made with a mechanical assistant driven by a computer. The machine, a pen-holder, handles a calligraphy quill that draws sensual lines. This technique allows me to produce copies of the same drawing that will all be unique: each print has its own little printing mistakes that makes it sensitive and of great quality. It creates a new way of doing crafts in a mechanical way. The idea of this technique is to humanize the drawing, first drawn of a digital device. Making these drawings alive on a paper, gives them consistency and warmth. Adding some little chaos in the creating process gives them uniqueness, as any single human being. The idea here is to re-route the digital or robotic medium, so their creation is not cold or boring anymore.
Q. What does the Maison Mardi studio offer?
All the sketches are printed on recycled paper. The paper is furnished by a cooperative specialized in sustainable materials. The packaging is certified environmentally friendly, and the inks are organic. The sketches are produced in a limited series of 50 copies, printed-on-demand only. They are signed by the artist, stamped and sent with a certificate of authenticity. The principle of the studio is to reproduce the drawings using a system that manipulates natural tools, printing small defects. Thus each print is subtly unique and of superior quality. My subjects are nude, portrait, plant, hands and mythological figure. My formats are 20x30cm, 30x40cm and 40x50cm.
Q. Where can our readers purchase one of your prints?
My web-shop: maisonmardi.com
My gallery Instagram: @maison_mardi
And facebook, but I am not so present: @hubert.mardi
Q. What advice do you have for beginner artists starting their brand?
Be regular, work, and show you. Many artists like to get out of their comfort zone to experiment and keep their art secret. Conversely, I have created a comfort zone to experiment and develop my project and I show my work constantly. In the end, launching your brand does not require a lot of resources but time and persistence. Stay authentic but above all, stay consistent. Use with intelligence all the digital tools at your disposal to create your notoriety.
Q. Where do you see Maison Mardi in 2-3 years?
I still don't see how Maison Mardi will be in 2 or 3 years. I have ambition for this project and my vision is clear. I have organized my roadmap for the next 6 months, but no more. In my dreams, on the other hand, I see a showroom in a typically Parisian Haussmannian apartment and many collaborations with other artists and perhaps luxury brands. I also put my graphic designs on exclusive clothes like shirts or dresses and later develop a number of products, such as pottery, perfumes, carpets etc. Finally, I put every effort to create a small reputation in the field of Parisian.
Artist: Hubert founder of Maison Mardi