Meet Agathe Singer, a Parisian illustrator whose wonderful work graces our December issue.
Her colourful and non-naturalist flora and fauna are replete with birds, flowers, and other creatures. Experimental, inventive, and totally charming, we love her prints and have collaborated with her to create a special risograph print just for you!
Learn more about her in the interview below, and subscribe by November 30th to get her art on your walls.
Tell us about your piece for Papirmass (not pictured).
I wanted to make a portrait of a big cat, the king of an imaginary jungle. The tiger is very still like he is posing for the picture, and I painted the flowers as opulent decor surrounding him. Often, I imagine a new artwork for days before I begin. Because I don’t like to sketch, I solve problems of colour or composition in my head and then go straight to painting. With this process, I am often surprised by the final result.
Where do you paint?
I work out of the living-room in our Paris flat. It is wide and bright with a wooden floor and a large fireplace. It is a very cozy space to work. I share it with my husband who is also an artist. I have a big desk for my scanner, tablet, and computer, which I use to retouch my paintings. I paint at a small table placed in front of a window with a nice view onto a courtyard. This wooden table is my most beloved item in my studio; it has perfect drawers and foldable feet so I can carry it everywhere.
Do you have any rituals that help you work?
Though I’m usually quite messy, I need my working desk, colour tubes and paintbrushes to be very tidy. So before I get to work, I like to put everything into perfect order. Then I prepare myself some tea, turn on an audiobook, and I’m ready to paint.
What do you like to make artwork about?
My favourite themes are nature, plants, flowers, and animals. I think of my paintings as a personal garden I’m slowly growing, full of colours and imaginary flowers.
What would you change about your studio?
I would love my workspace to be bigger. Then, I could experiment with new techniques, like ceramics or screen-printing, and work with larger formats.
Tell us about a typical day.
I wake up too early because my eighteen-month-old baby is calling for her bottle of milk. Then, we all have breakfast. If it’s a daycare day, I paint and work until 6 pm, and include a little (big) break for a nap. After dinner, we take a family stroll to the park; then it’s bath-time and bed-time for the baby, and a little more work for me before going to bed.
What was the hardest part of starting your career?
Apart from leaving a full-time job to become a freelance illustrator, the greatest challenge at the start of my career was approaching companies, clients, and agents. I sent hundreds of emails but got very few replies. Sharing my portfolio was difficult because my work was such a part of me, and I wasn’t always confident with it. But in the end, everything has turned out for the best; I’ve since worked with great clients and collaborators.
What do you love about being an artist?
For me, it’s amazing that I get to work all the time, but it never feels like it’s work. Making art gives me a passion for living.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My girl! She’s much more special than any painting I could make.
What in the world do you find most mysterious?
The forest at night.
Agathe Singer is our December 2017 artist.
See more at agathesinger.com