Adèle Favreau & Maxime Prou
Atelier Bingo are Adèle Favreau and Maxime Prou, two young graphic designers that one day decided to swap the Parisian chaos for the peacefulness of the French countryside. From their studio in a rehabilitated factory in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, Adèle and Max experiment with screen printing and other graphic techniques to create their colourful and abstract works.
Marie Lise-Prou visited their space to document a day in the life of this creative couple and discover more about their work process.
Photos by Marie-Lise Prou
How did you meet and why did you decide to start working together?
Maxime: We met in school during a design course in Nantes. Adèle and I were both looking for an accommodation at the time so we decided to share a flat with another friend. Our graphic worlds were very different but we had quite a lot of things in common on the other hand, especially in terms of our references, our inspiration sources and we also both felt passionate about ‘the image’. It’s quite naturally that we started to work hand in hand on different projects.
Why did you decide to relocate to the Vendée countryside? What do you like about working from there?
Adèle: After graduating, we moved to Paris. There were 5 of us living in a 20 square meter flat and we literally just owned a backpack each. And then, one year on Christmas Day, my uncle was telling me about his plan to renovate and turn an old factory located along the Bords de Sèvre into different apartments and workshops. He offered us to take the smallest of them, which was about 140sq meters, so we accepted without hesitation.
Maxime: The place we stay in is an old factory rehabilitated into apartments and work spaces. We’ve got a complete intimacy and we get to hang with other artists from totally different universes. It’s the countryside without the isolation/remoteness.
How has your work changed since you decided to move away from the city?
Maxime: Our style developed very quickly after settling in. Silkscreen painting influenced our work quite considerably and enabled us to align each other graphically. We use it as a creative process and not as a printing technique.
How do you balance your personal and commercial work?
Adèle: In my case, I’ve kept my clients based in Paris. With the Internet, I manage to work for them remotely. When we moved, I’d already been working as a freelancer for over 2 years so not much has changed. I manage my workload exactly the way I want to and I try my best to devote as much time as possible to silkscreen printing and to Atelier Bingo.
Maxime: As for myself, I used to work in an agency back in Paris, so I had to put my career of graphic designer on hold by going full time with Atelier Bingo.
You work with different media -are you more connected to any of them in particular?
Adèle: Paper is our favourite medium and will always be. We like to play with it, to touch it. There are so many different types of paper out there, we want to experiment as many as possible – we don’t think we could ever get tired of it. Throughout our time at uni, we were really interested in publishing and in the book industry in general. This common passion quickly fed into our projects.
Do you work on the same pieces together? Tell us about this process.
Maxime: We don’t really have a particular work process in place yet but our ‘creative world’ is very specific to the both of us. Without Adèle, the overall end result of every project would be a lot different and vice-versa. Long story short, we trust each other a lot.
Adèle: We don’t really have a “typical day”, it really much depends on our mood. Silkscreen printing involves a lot of very specific stages and we manage to share the workload pretty well: image composition, colouring, exposure to light, rinse, inking…
Why is colour so important in your work? How do you decide on your motifs and themes in your work?
Maxime: Colour is something very important to us. It’s a risk, a constant challenge. It brings a part of surprise to our work.
Adèle: As for fabric/material, we like them raw, whether as a picture or as a cut-out. We like to experiment with these, crop, re-arrange but always without any computer software!
What inspires you? Could you name a few of your favourite artists?
Maxime: It’s quite hard to talk about what inspires us. Everything and nothing at the same time. We do love the artists Tal-R and Linus Bill though, and going back to our love for print in general, we’d say the publishing houses Lubok, Nobrow and NSEW for the high quality of their publications and choice of papers.