Meet Claire Faÿ, An artist whose images come to life


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Claire Faÿ
© Claire Faÿ

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 31 March 2023

French entrepreneur and founder of the international bestseller, "Les Cahiers de Gribouillages pour Adultes", Claire Fay talks to us about her inspirations, female innovation and, above all, one of her most playful inventions: a creative colouring book for adults that turns into a cartoon.

Interview between pencil, paper and The digital landscape : What is a trait that defines you as an artist-graphic designer?

Freedom. I have always worked as a freelancer because I believe that creation does not correspond to any rule. When I started my company, I really wanted to be free to do what I wanted to do. I was not made to fit into a hierarchy. : What do you value as an entrepreneur ?

The human factor. Especially through my work as an author. My goal today is to propose fun projects that connect people.

Les Editions Animées
© Les Editions Animées What was your background before becoming a freelance graphic designer?

I first studied at the Fine Arts School in Prague. That's when I fell in love with graphic design as a profession. The Czech graphic design of the 60's inspired me a lot. In particular Bohumil Stepan,one of my favourite artists. I appreciate the fact that he can create strong ideas with very little means. It was in Prague that I made my first books. Butit's in 2006 that my work took off, thanks to the creation of the Cahiers de gribouillages pour adultes.

A coloring book that proves that creative hobbies are not exclusively for children. A stroke of luck, the concept became a best-seller and sold more than a million copies in France and around the world.

With the animated coloring book, the child records his voice, draws on paper, takes a selfie and even talks to his characters. The tablet is only a revelation of his personality. : What is Les Editions Animées? How did the idea come about?

It's basically the first coloring book that turns into a cartoon with the BlinkBook application. As for the creative process, I had this desire to put emotion back into digital, often considered cold. Then, 13 years after this editorial success and the omnipresence of new technologies, I wondered, how do I "re-anchor" manual colouring in the digital era? In 2015, the concept of Animated Editions was born. An e-tool that gives a real animated scenario to the manual colouring of the child and the parent. : a cartoon booklet, how does it work in practice ?

The child colors a drawing in the notebook, takes a picture of himself and then appears in his own cartoon. They can also record their voice and can even respond to the characters in their film, have their own name in the credits as "director", watch their cartoon in a language other than French (English, German, Chinese) and share the film in one click from the application on social networks. The tablet can also be connected to a television and/or a projector. The child is then the same size as his character ... and it's great! : What kind of illustration projects do you work on ?

We particularly like to give life to tales, to fables (of the Fountain for example), to artists (Picasso, Toulouse Lautrec, Léonard de Vinci). At our level, we also try to make them aware of literature with characters such as the Little Nicholas, the Little Prince or, quite simply, through educational science reports such as the famous cartoon Il était une fois la vie

Les Editions Animées
© Les Editions Animées : Is there a particular animated coloring book that you would like to tell us about?

I'm thinking of the Little Prince, of which I am very proud! On each page of the coloring book, there are several key chapters of the work, such as : The Little Prince and the flower or the Little Prince and the king*... are highlighted. With 30 seconds of animation per page, the project offers eight minutes of cartoons.

It should be noted that it can of course be colored by four hands (parent/child), especially when it is a book as universal as The Little Prince!

While colouring and playing, the child will also learn. It's full of common sense. : In general, what do you think about innovation for women?

As a woman entrepreneur in the publishing industry, I feel that in terms of recognition, there is still a long way to go. In our workshop in Paris, for example, we are four women and when it comes to working with printers, we feel that if we had been men, the exchanges could be much more fluid...

But I would like to add though that fortunately, this is changing. Women's innovation is gaining legitimacy and women are making strides. In my opinion, sensitivity and precision (among others) are becoming real added values. And social networks are great springboards for revealing this. Who inspires you today?

Everything inspires me. Especially the little things of everyday life! Whether it's outside, in the street or through the temporary exhibitions of Parisian museums. Everything is for the taking. I never miss looking at Instagram, which is for me an inexhaustible source of inspiration where I look for female and male illustrators. I'm thinking in particular of Aline Zalko, Emmanuelle Houdart and Jeanne Macaigne, talented artists that I spotted on this social network and with whom I ended up collaborating. : from a tourism standpoint, are there any special corners of France that you got to recharge your batteries ?

I think of Touraine, in the Loire Valley. I have spent many vacations there and it is always a pleasure to go back, to get away from a very urban city like Paris! There, the forest and the countryside invites you to truly slow down.

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