Workaholic // Camille Vignaud
Camille Vignaud is a designer and artist who launched her own agency in 2011, within just a few short years of leaving university. Her desire then was to bring more of her personal artistry to graphic design, and it’s an ambition she certainly attains. Her dream-like aesthetic now gets filtered through books, websites, and entire brand identities through La Chambre Graphique, working both for major firms and with individual artists (her recent book project with Miso, Olivia Thébaut and Janneke Luursema was a swift sell out) from her Paris studio.
Camille seems like your classic french girl: charmante and with an undeniable sense of enduring style. Yet both her publishing projects, as La Chambre Editions, and her increasing commitment to her personal work show she’s no stereotype: it’s for individualism, she says, that her design is valued, and for her the most important thing is to retain a fundamental sincerity. Her work ethic is undeniable, approaching books like small works of sculpture and drawing on a wealth of art history for inspiration. Below are her thoughts on her crucial questions, and the ideas currently making her tick:
Who are you and what do you do.
I am an art director, artist and booklover! From my Studio La Chambre Graphique, I work with many clients on a range of exciting projects. I have also created La Chambre Editions, from which I publish beautiful books with equally beautiful artists.
After this, I have my personal work… which is often still confidential! This is what I take the most time with; after my family, it’s the most important thing to me.
What made you turn to this direction? Was this always your dream job?
I wanted to be artist when I finished school, but I since realised that being an artist is not a job, it’s in you. I guess I am an artist because I am always creating, I don’t know when it was something I actually decided.
Sometimes I think my choices are not really choices – just the result of the route life took me on. I think that what we live through opens our eyes. When I was younger, my father always took me to the Louvre, and then it made me want to be an archaeologist; I also lived in a house full of books. Those things still have filtered through to me now – I still love books and I love making objects. Even if I make a website, I think of it like a book – it has to fit together.
I don’t necessarily want to know what the future holds, I like it when life surprises me. All I can say about my job is that I have the chance to connect with some great people, and that makes me so happy.
Tell us about your workspace:
I work from home, though I now employ other graphic designers in the studio. I have lots of projects these days and I cannot do it all alone.
I think the work space is very important. I have a big wall in front me where I pin all the pictures I love and it keeps me aware of what inspires me and focused on what I’m thinking about. I also need to have a tidy space to do a good job!
How do you define the style of your work?
I guess people have said my work is sensitive and minimal, and in this regard I do believe less has always been more. But truthfully it can be hard to work around simplicity – you have to be inventive, working the spaces of pages, those words and those images in the gap. But I do love looking at the emptiness, it’s in this blankness that things light up and take meaning.
How much of the week is work, how much is play?
Full time play!!
You work a lot for other brands, but are clearly a person who is creative in your own right. Is it ever necessary to put aside your own tastes to serve the client?
When my clients come to me for an identity or a book, I always give them my vision. I used to be focused on just what was asked of me, but now I know it’s also my taste that’s wanted and I make more use of the capacity to choose. I always love working with my clients, it’s an exchange between us, and it allows me to go further in my work. I think it’s necessary to question one’s style, and I do that all the time.
What has been the most exciting thing you have done with your work, and what is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in?
I enjoy all the projects I do! I think you’ve got to live day to day.
Do you have any creative inspirations?
For me it’s important to know art history when you work in a creative domain, it’s the basis for all the images we see. I like to think of us all as inked in time. The creations we make now will be the image of our society, and it’s looking to the past that gives us a sense of that: it’s talking about people at a given moment.
For a really short list of my most inspired people : I love Georges Perec, Man Ray, Patti Smith, Stephen Shore. But I would need pages to give you all the names.
What’s something someone may not know about you?
I go to bed really early, but all my friends know that about me so I guess it’s not a big secret anymore!
See more at http://lachambregraphique.com
With special thanks to Inside Closet & Michel Giesbrecht (@mbrecht)