Atelier Vauvenargues : French heritage in posters

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Behind “Atelier Vauvenargues” we find Bertrand Roubaud. He lives in Paris and founded his creative studio in 2020. In life, his passions are maps, geography, art history and hiking.

OJL : Hello Bertrand
Bertrand : Hello.

OJL : Four quick questions before getting to the heart of the matter.
As you live in Paris, can you tell us what your favourite café is there? And what do you like to take there ?
Bertrand : “Le Brio” in Lamarck-Caulaincourt in the 18th arrondissement. A neighborhood bar how we all like. Which brings together all profiles and all generations in the area.

OJL : And what is your favourite park or place ?
Bertrand : The Square Carpeaux. It’s a magnificent kindergarten in the 18th arrondissement. It’s the dream playground for little ones. It is enhanced by the remarkable work of the gardeners.

OJL : Next, what was the last book you read? And the last song you listened to?

Bertrand : _About the book: “Let those who are far away return”, by Pierre Adrian from Gallimard. A declaration of love to family homes and the unwavering bonds they weave in our lives.
_About the song: “Man in the Long Black Coat” by Bob Dylan.

OJL : Finally, do you have a quote and/or proverb that you like?
Bertrand : “A Man is the person who stop himself” by Albert Camus. Human dignity contained in a formula…

OJL : Let’s talk a little about you now. How could you introduce yourself ?
Bertrand : After studying political science, I became a communicator. In a ministry, in an agency, then with an advertiser. After 10 years in the business, I wanted to create and shape a product that suits me.
Passionate about drawing since I was very young, but also about maps, geography, history and heritage, I undertook to put a little of all these passions into a project : that of drawing maps paying homage to the French heritage.
Maps that have two virtues: aesthetic and educational. The map, the starting point for major expeditions and a real invitation to travel, is also a brilliant way to celebrate heritage.

OJL : Who are the professionals who shaped you ? Who struck you down ? In a few names and why.
Bertrand : There are several:
_The naturalists of the 18th century, notably Audubon.
_The cartographers of the early 20th century, notably Vidal-Lablache.
_Vintage sign painter Tristan Gesret.
_The facade painters Toqué Frères.

OJL : How did you choose your pseudonym ?
Bertrand : Atelier Vauvenargues is named after a village located at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, very close to Aix-en-Provence, where I have my roots. Coincidence of life… It is also the name of the street in Paris where my workshop is located.

OJL : Let’s talk a little about your works now. What are you creating ?
Bertrand : Atelier Vauvenargues creates cartographic posters celebrating the beauty and richness of French heritage in all its forms (gastronomy, culture, landscapes, etc…). Why represent heritage on a map? Quite simply because the map is the best way to represent the diversity and extent of our heritage :
_Gastronomy : with menus made up of wine or cheese labels found at flea markets.
_The vineyards : with vintage wine lists, by region.
_Landscapes : with coastal maps inspired by old nautical charts.
_Monuments : with drawn maps listing all the monuments of a city (example: the map of the churches of Paris).

OJL : How can you define your style ?
Bertrand : Clean and vintage.
Clean because I want to be able to deliver useful informations : a card must be readable and clear.
And vintage to emphasize the timeless nature of our heritage.

OJL : What techniques do you use ?
Bertrand : My first poster, the map of the churches of Paris, was drawn in pencil then inked with Indian ink. Little by little, I swapped my pencils for a graphics tablet. The sensations are the same, but the advantages are incomparable : in a flash, you can add a colour, a typed title, erase an error… I print on premium 300g/m2 cream paper, which gives a superb character to my illustrations (smile).

OJL : You talk about pedagogy and it is true that your cards have a fairly extensive educational side. Do you plan to offer them to national education ?
Bertrand : That’s a good idea ! Maps have unfortunately disappeared from the walls of our children’s classrooms, even though they are the best way to understand history and geography.

OJL : Can we place you a personalized order ?
Bertrand : Yes, many customers want a tailor-made card that suits them.

OJL : Can we subscribe to your newsletter ? Because social networks are a bit saturated…
Bertrand : Not yet but it’s coming soon !

OJL : Do you have an anecdote about the creation of one of your products ? Or one of your sales ?
Bertrand : One map in particular allowed me to have a unique encounter: the map of French cathedrals (still under construction). I shared my draft with Henri d’Anselme. This is a young man who is currently on a tour of France’s cathedrals. And I wanted to congratulate him on his approach. However, a week later, Henri made the front page of all the newspapers because he had courageously stood up against the Annecy killer.

OJL : Last question. You definitely have friends who are doing amazing things ! If you want to promote them a little, now is the time !
Bertrand : I would like to cite two of them:
_The Good Plan. These are colleagues who do wonders with cartography and street names :
_And Fishlegs. This is a duo of fishermen and painter friends, who paint aquatic fauna brilliantly :

OJL : Bravo for what you do. May Our Lady protects you.
Bertrand : Thank you.

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