LICENSOR SPOTLIGHT: Michaël Cailloux
Every now and then you come across a designer and think 'wow, we MUST work with this person.' This was the case with Michaël and the result is three unique collections of over 40 designs. Born in Paris in 1975, Michaël Cailloux has been passionate about drawing since childhood. Michaël has worked with some of the leading fashion houses in the world, such as Dior, and prestigious brands such as Lenôtre, Bernardaud, Baccarat, Cartier, Habitat, Van Cleef & Arpels, and S.T. Dupont. He is well known for his exhilarating and unique design style, and his signature symbol is the fly.
We are always enthusiastic to share the stories behind our wonderful products, and so we had a chat with Michaël to take a deep dive into his work with The Art File. Read on for a fascinating behind the scenes into how a talented and revered artist works!
What’s the story behind Michaël Cailloux?
I started working on etching and sculpture in 2009. For 4 years I worked on technique, and then I presented my work in a gallery in Paris in 2013. Everything went very quickly after that, and other exhibitions were held and organized abroad such as in London, Tokyo, and Switzerland. I have a very personal artistic process - I create without thinking about the commercial side. I do what I want, because freedom is important! At the same time, I offer design variations of my work for brands that ask me, and also for greeting cards.
Who is the man outside of the artist?
I was born and live in Paris, and graduated from the Duperré art school (École Duperré School of Design). I like to draw and I do this all day. It's like therapy. I really like Paris - I feel good there, it's where I grew up, and I have all my friends there. I like going out to visit museums, exhibitions, theatre, and above all I like concerts. I am talkative, I like to chat with my friends, and I like to go out on the terrace or in the restaurant. I can talk for hours…
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
I always have a notebook and pencil in my hand, and I walk around for inspiration. Often it is nature that inspires me, but that’s not the only thing. There are also pets, architecture, the human body, and recently I like to draw human faces. I travel a lot to discover other cultures and other landscapes, which is important for my sources of inspiration. My influences come from France of course, but also all of Europe: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Japan which I have a great passion for, and also landscapes in the United States such as the valley of death. I hope to be able to travel to South America soon too. Art History also fascinates me. I like to scramble the codes and mix the influences. I am in constant search…
How you choose your colour combinations?
It is the design application of my work that requires colorization. In this case, I can spend several days researching the combination to find the harmony that suits me. I want it to be unexpected and it’s important for the result to bring poetry and joy.
Do you have a plan before you begin, or do you go with the flow?
Never... I have no plan in mind. I am free and I never set myself a certain result. The greeting cards are adaptations of my etchings and artistic work in books. It was Ged Mace who came to my studio in Paris and had the idea to put my work on greeting cards. I didn't necessarily create specifically for greeting cards, I adapted my existing work.
Can you share a little about your design process?
My work comes from observation. I can spend hours looking at an insect, flower, bird, or piece of architecture to draw what I interpret as my reality. Then I sculpt and engrave on copper. Then I can scan the result and colorize it for the needs of the greeting cards, which are not completely altered but are adapted for greeting cards. I listen to music all the time when drawing, sculpting, and engraving - it's my other passion. I particularly like Serge Gainsbourg.
How do you enjoy working with The Art File?
I was very touched by Ged Mace's visit to my workshop and interest in my work. Ged was the one who had the idea of adapting my etchings onto greeting cards, which resulted in the ‘Fossile’ collection. He also had the idea of ??using extracts from my book ‘Merveilleuse Nature’, creating the ‘Merveilleuse’ greeting card collection. It's always a pleasure when someone loves your work and comes up with a new way to present it to the public. I find that this format is a great way for people to access my work with more ease and less expense.
Michaël Cailloux’s collections are an explosion of colour and fun, destined to turn heads. A hand-picked selection of his cards can be found on our online shop, and trade customers can browse the comprehensive collection by logging in or signing up for a trade account. ‘Grand & Graceful’ is a magical new collection from the highly talented French designer. This unique collection comprises 8 designs and features graceful animals set against a star-studded galaxy. The beautifully fun cards are finished with debossed lines. ‘Fossile’ is a unique collection of cards, with 7 brand-new, gorgeous designs added for 2021. Each card is individually die-stamped using vibrant inks onto a soft tactile cotton mixed board and finished with detailed debossed lines. The Fossile cards are further enhanced by a brightly coloured tip-in and the envelopes are a work of art in themselves. ‘Merveilleuse’ is a highly original collection in which the detail of each design, the subject matter, and the use of colour all combine to make these cards truly original. The beautiful cards bring together nature and colour in wonderful compositions. They are finished with special inks, embossed lines and some hot foiling.
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