Le Creative Sweatshop Interview
The Magic of Mathematics
Existing in its own world developed around fixed and dynamic works of volume, Le Creative Sweatshop is a creative studio based in Paris at the crossroads of fashion, design, contemporary art and architecture. Committed to originality and quality, the studio's hand-crafted work defines a unique identity seen through a number of collaborations and commissions as well as their own projects. Their style is bright and trippy, sometimes phallic, with just a hint of tongue-in-cheek playfulness and at times, perhaps a touch of underlying cynicism and/or satire. The artificial colours in which their still-life compositions are surrounded hark back to an earlier digital age yet the handmade nature of the pieces gives them a humble, precious and fragile stature. Intrigued by their Tumblr page "cinqfruits" which acts as a studio mood board, POST NEW decided to investigate further and fired off a round of questions for the minds behind Le Creative Sweatshop.
Jack Smylie: Who are you and what do you do?
Le Creative Sweatshop: We are Le Creative Sweatshop - a creative studio based in Paris, and we are devoted to creation in every kind of material.
JS: There is a lovely quote by mathematician Martin Gardner that greets visitors to your site: "There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry". How do you interpret this statement?
LCSS: This sentence is a motto, we must keep it in mind every time we work; composition, frames, space, everything is connected with geometry, even if we don't think about when we are doing it.
JS: On the same theme, what part does mathematics play in Le Creative Sweatshop's work?
LCSS: Mathematics is a kind of magic that leads us to great ideas. Mathematics is the start of our collaboration, paper work is the meeting between softwares, machines and hand made creation. A big role, it is a genuine approach because it brings us a new way of work; using everything that could help with our perpetual envy to develop new projects.
JS: You've got a rather defined style, (and I don't mean to dumb it down): Find/build interesting object; Place object in front of background; Shoot. It can be seen in your project cinqfruits. How do you manage to consistently keep this formula fresh and exciting?
LCSS: cinqfruits.tumblr.com is our sketchbook, a daily inspiration. We try everyday to discover new concepts, textures, objects that make people wonder themselves "how it is made ?" It's more about curiosity and making the audience astonished by materials and experimenting with abstract images. As continuity of our work, this blog is a part of experimentations, and was born from "trashes".
JS: Can you explain the underlying concept behind the aforementioned project?
LCSS: cinqfruits.tumblr.com was created last november, and was devoted to re-use some of the "trashes" left from our professional work. Re-appropriation and everyday moods on a daily basis, we tend to create atmospheres in which weird still-life and foodworks coexist.
JS: Is there a particular design movement that informs your work?
LCSS: Not a particular design but several taken from the internet, magazines, and everything we can see everywhere, And in general, multi artists that enrich their works with several shapes, patterns and textures / Sottsass / Dali-like imagery . We love rainbow web and Tumblr which is a big influence where you can find treasures.
JS: How do you choose which commercial projects to take on?
LCSS: Inspiring, Freedom of creation, VISIBILITY, brands that we tend to reach from the beginning of the studio, (as an achievement)
JS: As a multidisciplinary studio, is it possible to name a favorite medium to work in? Is there a particular medium you'd like to explore further?
LCSS: We cannot name a favorite medium but if we had to, we would say the last that we experiment with. There isn't a particular medium but a combination of many that we want to explore, like concrete and jelly in our series "Souvenirs". Images' wealth is due to various types of medium and a good mix of new ones.
JS: What are three things you can't live without?
LCSS: Time, friends and motivation.
JS: What do the next six months hold in store for Le Creative Sweatshop?
LCSS: LCSS' future is a kind of emulation, the group has grown, contributors and people around us are pushing us forward to keep up the hard work. (Exhibition, Product design, Hermès, Nissan Micra, 5 fruits, …) LCSS' ambition is to broaden its horizons towards interactivity within our creations. LCSS' future is not defined yet, but we have envy that drives us to do new things, and makes our blog grow.