Alice Wietzel, French Illustrator – Maker Profile
You know what’s rad? Makers connecting makers. Last year’s World Tour Artist, Sarah Alfarhan, introduced us to Alice Wietzel. We were sold the second we saw her work. We had to work with her for the 6th World Tour Gift!
Prints depicting bootylicious ladies, loungin’ poolside, day dreaming, struttin’ their stuff – of course we immediately fell for it! 80s pastel colors, bold yet simple lines… these ladies may be chillaxin’, but they’re obviously strong. No nonsense, no bullshit. They fit right in with the RAH posse.
We got a chance to chat with Alice about her life in Paris and her artwork.
RAH – Are you an illustrator by trade? Did you study it in school?
AW – I haven’t been calling myself an illustrator for long, even though I’ve always wanted to be one. I’m still at school in L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, and now it’s my last year, I finally felt I could get rid of the student status. My internship at Riso Presto also helped me gain confidence in my work.
RAH – We see that you’re currently living in Paris. Is that where you call home?
AW – I call Paris home, but I’ve been living there for ages! I’m planning to leave in some years, I don’t want to stay in the north of France eternally. I would like to get closer to nature and the ocean, I guess we’ll see.
RAH – Any recent projects you’re particularly proud of?
AW – Two months ago, Riso Presto and I released a book, called Solarium. Our collaboration was such a cool moment, I worked a lot and they were very supportive and helpful. They had fun (and pain haha) printing the book with almost five layers on each A3 page. It’s a beautiful object! It’s about women bathing in the sun without sunscreen or swimwear. The hours pass as you turn the pages of the book, and they get more and more sunburned. When the sun sets, they all get back to normal.
RAH – That sounds so rad! Have you created any other books?
AW – I’m also working on an other riso edition with a Spanish studio. It will be a book you can play with, about famous lovers! It’s going to be fun, and I’m really excited to send my work out of France!
A BIG bootyclappin’ thank you to Alice for chattin’ with us and creating limited-edition Risograph prints for the World Tour Gift. Check her answers to our Maker Profile questions – and scope her blog and online shop to see more of Alice’s work.
1 - First, the basics: pencil or pen, ruled sheets or grid?Pen, and an eraser! Ruled sheets, although I discovered Australian ruled sheets when I was sixteen and never stopped using it. (They’re different in France, because they have a complex ruling.) [RAH note – Seyes ruled! One of our faves.]
2 - What’s your favorite French food to grub on? French drink to sip?I mostly eat Asian food, but I’m crazy for the Coquilles St. Jacques my grandmother cooks for me. They’re golden, and her cream sauce is to die for. I sip white wine, Chardonnay or Sauvignon, but I never say no to a micro-brewed Parisian beer.
3 - Describe the Parisian art scene in 3 words.Lively, young and diverse.
4 - What’s the one thing everyone should experience in Paris?I’m going to sound really cheesy, but I think a sunset is the best. Some areas of Paris have crazy lights when the sun sets, and if you happen to be next to the Seine, the water reflects the rays beautifully. Of course, if you want to fully experience it, you’ll need to bring a blanket along, some saucisson and white wine.
5 - You have a jet fueled up and ready for your own personal World Tour. Where you headed?That would be so cool! I’d go to Japan first, to see Tokyo and the Japanese countryside. Then I’d go to Vietnam, to eat a real Phở in Saigon and walk around in the jungle. If have some fuel left by then, I would head towards Brazil, to see Rio and São Paulo and finally get to practice the Portuguese I’ve been learning in high school.
Print created for the RAD AND HUNGRY World Tour Gift
6 - We’re stoked to be adding a Risograph print to our collection of World Tour Gifts! The process has been around for awhile, but people have really been gaining interest in it the last two years or so. Why do you like Risograph prints? What’s your favorite thing about working with the Risograph medium?A Risograph is hidden in my school. I discovered the technique on Instagram, thanks to Clay Hickson's magnificent prints!
I love the grainy aspect of the layers, the various colors you can obtain by playing with inks and opacities. I think what also attracts me is the limitation posed by the inks; you can only work with specific colors and everyone has basically the same. It means you can either use them pure and enjoy a cool result, or experiment a lot to obtain a different result, try trichromy, random superpositions etc…
My favorite thing about working with the Risograph is when my digital file turns into a real print with unexpected differences, real fluo colors, etc.
I also love the smell of the ink, the noise of the machine. It can become like a pet, each one has its mood and its specificities.
Photo of Alice taken by Philippe Vaurès-Santamaria.