Interview with Anastassia Elias

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On October 16, 2012
Last modified:January 3, 2013

Summary:

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am 36 years old (1976 year of birth). I made philology and journalism studies. I live in Paris, France. I am a full-time artist and illustrator. Mainly I make paper collages and paintings.

 

I illustrated children books published in France.

2006 – « Grand-mère arrose la lune » of Jean Elias, Editions Motus

2007 – « Les yeux d’Yseut » of François David, Editions Du Rocher

2012 – « Georges Brassens avec à la lèvre un doux chant » of François David, Edition À dos d’âne

 

I participated in the books :

2010 – « Illustration-Play 2 », Editions Victionary, Hong Kong

2011 – « Papercraft », Editions Gestalten, Germany

2012 – «Paper Works », Gingko Press and Sandu Publishing

2012 – « DIY », Artpower, Hong Kong, http://www.anastassia-elias.com/livres

 

Also I participate in the exhibitions of paintings. More about my exhibitions here and my site here.

 

Why did you choose paper and cardboard to express?

The paper work are a part of my work, I also paint and draw. Concerning the paper work, there are about ten years I discovered a children’s book illustrated with collages. This discovery inspired me and I imagined a children’s story with paper cut illustrations. Since then I tried some experiences with paper : papercuting, 3D collages, torn paper collages… I have a few tens of kilograms of paper of all colors. This material is easy to find, inexpensive that can be also free. I work it with scissors, cutter or manually by tearing it. Paper artwork is fragile, especially if it’s a sculpture. But this fragility adds to the charm of the paper. Also different types of paper provide interesting textures.

 

Tell us more about the rolls project.

I have fun to find what can I do with recuperated materials. And one day I looked at an empty roll and wondered if I can do something with it. The imagery of this work comes from looking people around me on the everyday life. Every day we take the same road to go working, we make the same gestures to prepare a morning coffee. All these small events of everyday go unnoticed. But it is they who make a life. So I wanted to put these neglected events on a pedestal and to show that everyday life is not boring. I use manicure scissors and cutter to cut the small paper shapes. I select the paper of the same color as the roll. It gives the illusion that the paper figures make part of the roll. I use tweezers to manipulate the paper shapes. Because I only use the paper of the same color, during the conception I make sure that the items don’t encroach on each other and that they best capture the light.

 

 

Apart from creating, what do you do?

Creating is my full time occupation.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My sources of inspiration are very varied : Fine Arts museums, websites of contemporary artists, cinema, photography… I am also inspired by people around me.

What does your work mean to you?

I think my works tell stories. I try to show the beauty of simple things and the everyday life. However it is not much sentimental, sometimes it’s ironic and mocking. Sometimes there are no stories in my works, I do them by simple aesthetic pleasure. But when a human figure appears, the story begins.

Who or what has been most influential in your work?

I am motivated by exploration and discovery. And it starts with the observation of other artists. They make me want to try a technique but in my own way.

When did you know you were an artist?

In the years 2000-2001 I realized that I wanted to devote myself to the creation.

How would you describe your creative process?

I made a number of experiments in various techniques. I just tried some, and deepened the others. Each new creation is a beginning, an exploration or a new experience. This is what I like in creation: exploration and invention. Anyway I’m currently sensitive to that. Concretely in the work I don’t do a lot of sketches. I compose my artwork mentally. I make a sketch to finalize the reflection, to see if the idea works.

Your favorite piece of work that gave you satisfaction?

I have a few. Among the paper rolls my favorite piece is “Miners

Among the collages, I am satisfied with the project “ABC of Professions

Among the paintings, now my favorite painting is “Laundry day

 

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Images and their titles: The titles of the artworks :

 

Africa

Boxing

Cowboys

Far North. Owl

Far North. Reindeer

Far North

Laboratory

Miners

Rain

Zoo

Giraffes

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