Get to Know Artist Alycia Rainaud
Alycia Rainaud (@maalavidaa) is a graphic designer based in Marseille. Her influences (and passions) include publishing design, hybrid books, new technologies, programming, digital art, and visual effects and experiments.
Interviewer Alexi Ueltzen (@alexi) is Ello's Social Media & Email Manager. She lives in Evergreen, CO with her husband, two dogs, and one hedgehog named Ditters who hates everything except for mealworms and tunnels.
Pssst: Enter now and you could win a print of @maalavidaa's piece "Stuck On The Puzzle." Just leave a comment on this post.
First off, tell us a little bit about how you got into digital art.
I started my graphic design course seven years earlier, but I’ve always been interested in art in general, especially abstract art. I like the way abstraction tries to give a contraction of realness or emphasize its cracks instead of trying to describe the visible appearances of the outside world. I was always looking for incorporating some glitchy/flowy textures on my design works, and I felt like they would maybe work well on themselves as canvas or objects. That is basically how I started my digital art account.
You say “hybrid books” are one of your passions. What exactly are hybrid books?
The main idea of the book shape as we know it is represented by the word "Codex": a book cover with sheets assembled on the inside. In my opinion, hybrid books are consequently trying to take distances from the conventional book shape that is sometimes too reductive. That way, hybrid books can be a good way to enhance contents and user experience by shaping books in alternative ways: sometimes by making them interactive (manipulation, electronic books …), sometimes with pages unsealed from the cover, sometimes augmented … It’s all about surpassing text/image ratio to focus on background/shape ratio. The best examples I can give are either the Volumique Editions project or Alberto Hernandez Hybrid Novel on The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
What inspired you to create the name/persona “Maalavida”?
Malavida, literally « Bad Life », is a persona trying to express itself through art. I’m a bit trying to hide behind this name that allows me to exorcise demons and hard feelings through abstraction, without ever really saying it properly. Malavida is a way to be aware of life’s complexity, and that sometimes, something beautiful can come out of it.
Some of your work features incredible textures. Do you re-create textures you see in the world, or do you design them yourself within the program?
As said previously, I’m really inspired by feelings and emotions, and abstract textures are in my opinion, a chance to express life and world’s realness in a non-figurative way. That’s why I’m trying to create my own mind inspired abstract textures directly from my own creative process.
You recently collaborated with another Ello’er we love, @clqqng. How did that come about?
That is one of the main reason I’m so amazed by Ello at the moment. I discover @clqqng (Matt Beck) work thanks to his Ello giveaway. I completely fell in love with the way he’s working on colors, shapes, and movements. I almost immediately sent a DM his way to tell him that I loved his job and that it could be awesome to create a piece together. He sent back the compliments, we talked a bit and I instantly started working on a texture that we could incorporate on a kind of 3D scene that he’s really into at the moment. It turned out so good and Matt is a really nice person to work with.
Where do you see your art going? What would you like to try next?
I feel like I wanna try to create more animation loops and learn more about 3D scenes. I also wanna try to make things more real and tangible, maybe by working with new materials to print my designs on such as glass or engraved wood; create some urban wallpaper to get a street art vibe; publish an archive book of my artworks … So many ideas and so little time.
What is your creative process like?
For my digital art designs, I’m mainly starting by painting on a large canvas. I’ll digitalize the texture, and start to enhance it with some post-production effects like playing with it on processing via some algorithms to get a flowier effect or movement; then I’ll get back on my editing software to add and change some colors for a better iridescent/holographic look. I’m just trying to lay down some feelings on it, and it’s quite a long and tough process.
Who are some of your favorite artists on Ello?
Since I’m quite new on Ello, I’m discovering new awesome artists every day and I could quote a lot of them. I have to say that Davy Evan's (@davyevans) work, process, and colors are absolutely mind-blowing. I also love 3D artists universe such as NickJayKdesign (@nickjaykdesign) or Fizah & Ando (as @machineast). Dorian Legret (@dorianlegret) is also one of the first digital artists I discovered when I started Malavida and that really inspired me and pushed me up.
How can digital artists make their work stand out in today’s creative environment?
It seems that digital artists are really taking part of socials media and art platform to get noticed. I feel like we have to provide and post new artwork pieces quite often (just like the 365 days art challenge for example) to get more feedback and visibility. We may have to sometimes follow actual trends and always re-invent our work, make our identity evolve. We have to always propose something that is really eye-catching, because you want the viewer to stop scrolling down and stand by your work, in a world where technology and algorithms make us act faster and where we’re missing things.
What are you doing while you’re creating gorgeous artwork?
As my titles can show it, I’m always listening to my favorite inspiration playlist, from Arctic Monkeys to Interpol or Joy Division … As I’m really bad at giving titles to pieces because they’re so many feelings going on: songs do it for me. I guess, just as so many people, music is a huge part and inspiration of my life. Sometimes it’s easier to let people say words for you.
You can follow Alycia on Ello, Instagram, Facebook, and Behance.
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