Interview with Anastassia Elias

Typically working in the mediums of painting and illustration, Paris-based artist Anastassia Elias recently started to create charming miniature worlds inside recycled toilet paper rolls. Her project entitled Rouleaux features diorama-like depictions of special moments. We wanted to know a bit more about her and her project and interviewed her this week.

Read our interview with the lovely Anastassia after the jump!

Why and when did you start making art?

I always loved to draw and create things using different techniques and my artistic activity looked like a hobby. In 2001, I decided to launch out into children’s illustration. In 2006 this decision brought the first benefits: I illustrated my first book Grand-mère arrose la lune of Jean Elias, Editions Motus.

How did you came up with the idea for your project Rouleaux?

I have fun to find what can I do with recuperated materials. And one day on May 2009 I looked at an empty roll and wondered if I can do something with it.

Can you tell us a bit more about your process?

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 shapes 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.

You are also a painter, illustrator and collage artist. What is your favorite medium to work in?

They are all my favourite. I tried the most of experiences with paper: papercuting, 3D collages, torn paper collages. So, probably my favorite medium is paper.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I am inspired by people around me, the anonymous. Ignore all of them allows me to invent the stories. The word ‘story’ is probably the key word of my work because I think my works tell stories. You can find the human figure in most of my works. Other artists inspire me too. They push me to expand my explorations.

You live and work in Paris. The city has been a magnet for many artists as well as art lovers. How much does Paris influence you in your work and could you imagine living/working somewhere else?

I haven’t always lived in Paris and I can easily imagine living anywhere else. Living in Paris allows me to see exhibitions, visiting museums. At the same time I discover a lot of artists on the Internet. So if I move somewhere where there are no museums or galleries, I will continue my explorations of the web.

What’s something that people often ask you about your art that you find unexpected or strange?

I don’t remember the strange questions that I was asked personally. Sometimes I read on the internet the comments about my paper rolls and on rare occasions I find this question: to what does it serve?

What excites you about art at the moment? And what frustrates you?

What excites me about art is that currently there is no more dominant artistic movement as was the case in previous centuries. It gives freedom to the artists, they can allow themselves everything or almost everything.

What are you currently working on? Any upcoming shows/projects?

Currently I am working on illustrations for a book of poetry. I make ink drawings. This work is almost finished. In a few days I’ll start working on a piece that will be exhibited outdoor in a square in Paris in September 2012. A hand made book project of poetry is one of my long term projects. It is a concertina fold book of 48 pages entirely made using collage technique. Ramblings is a temporary title of the book. Jean Elias is author of poems.

Thank you Anastassia!

By the way, you can buy prints of Anastassia’s works right here on ARTFLAKES. Check out her shop here.

All images © Anastassia Elias