Interview with Alycia Rainaud
A French digital artist and graphics designer.
Alycia Rainaud also known as Malavida has a passion for publishing and hybrid books, experiments with new technology, digital painting, programming and visual effects.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work
My work has always been influenced by publishing design, hybrid books, new technologies, psychology, digital art, visual effects, and experiments. I started studying graphic design more than seven years ago and finally graduated this past June by working on my thesis where I tried to link books to psyche.
In the meantime, I started to work as a digital artist more than two years ago, in 2016. Creating Malavida was a way for me to express myself through different media and daily creative work but in a more abstract level.
What set you off as a digital artist and graphic designer?
I guess that, as a lot of people, I was a bit wandering through life before all of this. I lacked a lot of things, but most of all, I lacked passion. Back in the day, I dropped high school just after a few months being there and I used to work as a hairdresser. Nothing particularly set me off as a graphic designer or an artist. I knew I was communicative and creative for sure, always interested in any kind of art, but I didn’t know how to use those skills.
I dropped my job at the salon, searched for creative courses, went back to high school and started studying graphic design. As cliché as it sounds, I found there what I was looking for. I found something I’m passionate about and something that completely changed my life.
How would you describe your approach to design?
Mostly experimental I guess, but somehow always related to feelings, psychology, mental health … Whenever I’m creating an artwork or making a book, that’s always something I’m trying to incorporate in my work. I assume that my approach is more about expressing or picturing life’s complexity through art and design.
Describe how you make your work? Is there a clear idea of how each work will look from the beginning?
Of course, it always depends on what I’m creating. I have more precise ideas of how my graphic design works will look than my artworks. When I’m creating a book, an album cover, a poster… I tend to have a precise idea or aesthetic that I picture in my head. Whereas for artworks, I tend to let myself go a bit more with the flow, starting with paint or photographs and then digitalise everything, playing with algorithms on processing, experimenting with colours on photoshop etc. Graphic design and digital art are a nice way of picturing both facets of my personality.
Was there another form of art that inspired you before you started using digital resources?
Sure, I’ve always been interested and inspired by art in general. I always remember going to all the museums when I was a child and being mesmerised. When I was younger I used to be really focused on dark analog photography but also a lot about abstract art in general. I guess that’s why my works try to bring both of them together.
Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?
It’s really hard to pick only one. I’m not sure that it’s about one single influence, because you need a lot of external influences to build a way of thinking that sounds like yours. In my opinion, you can’t depend on a single person or a single thing. You need them all to figure out your own way of thinking and being, even if it’s a constant motion thing that tends to evolve through years. But surely, if I had to pick one single influence, I would not choose an artist or a designer. So who? My dad probably. What? Psychology maybe.
Describe the trajectory of your career as a graphic designer and digital artist so far
I started studying and working as a graphic designer seven years ago. In the beginning, I chose to mostly work as a print designer because I’ve been immediately attracted about publishing design. I already used to love books and paper since I was a kid, so it sounded really legit and natural to me. There are not a lot of things that I like more than creating a book from scratch. Then, the more years passed the more I got attracted by digital resources and new ways of shaping books. In the meantime, the more I was playing with algorithms, programming softwares, and experimental techniques, the more I wanted to play with different media. I created Malavida and started working as a graphic designer at day and digital artist at night until the boundaries between them were blurred enough for two years. Since I graduated in June this year, I started working as a full-time freelance and here I am today.
What are you passionate about besides your work?
A lot of things I guess. I’m curious and passionate about so many things. From art to cinema, video games, literature, music, fashion, people, food, psychology … It’s really hard to count. There’s always something fascinating to see or do. Including nothing.
What advice do you have for other digital artists?
I don’t know if I could call them advice, these are mostly reminders I try to tell myself as a really involved and anxious person/artist.
It’s ok not to be ok. The fact that you’re productive is not going to determine your value. You don’t have to post/comment/answer every day. The things you’re making don't have to be perfect or meaningful. You’re allowed to make things for yourself and not think about how people are gonna respond to them. It’s ok not to share your techniques and secrets if you don’t want to. It’s ok to rest, it’s ok to do nothing. Be passionate.