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    Olivia Cognet

    Olivia Cognet

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born In Nice, French Riviera, and I grew up nourished by the very special light of the Cotes d’Azur, where nature and architecture mingles. I was also very touched by the brilliant masters from the school of Vallauris, from Picasso to Roger Capron; for me ceramics are a key element of architecture – nature – landscape.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    I have always been connected to my inner artist, almost in an autistic way.

    For me this is the only prism I can see life through… so I don’t think I really have a very first memory… everything was about Art since I was little.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    Always, this is the only thing I can do!

    I worked for 15 years in fashion before moving to ceramic-art. I also did a bit of illustrations; every time I see something I want to resketch it or reinvent a new object’s aesthetic. At the end of the day designing a shoe or a bench, is exactly the same work with different technics and skills.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    I worked at many other jobs when I was younger, and I did not feel exactly in my natural place. Design – art – creation are my sweet spot, the place I am supposed to be, there is no other option 😉

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    SKETCH – to me sketching is a system of thinking… I start by looking at global inspirations, new technics I never touched or materials, then I start on sketching my dream object … I sketch a lot until it gets right… when I think it is good, I will focus all my energy to make it happen, to realize it the way I envisioned it.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    I arrive early at the studio around 8:30, I check the team say hi!, a little coffee and then I start to take care of all kind of emergencies with my fresh morning brain… they can be anything! When this is done, we start to share works, we are 5 ladies working at the studio we need to be organized all together to make things happen and to have the production ready.

    I am not only an artist, I have to be an Entrepreneur and to keep my business healthy.

    If I want to make my pieces more creative and more monumental each days, I need to invest on my future vision and to bet on it.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    Ceramic is noble; you can do anything or everything with a piece of mud. We are very self-efficient in the industrial process of making life lasting object from scratch without damaging anything. I love that, meaning no boundaries for creativity, technic is the limit and you can always train yourself to be better and to improve your skills.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    My pieces are big, and hopefully they will get bigger and bigger!

    So, in ceramic because of the firing process you need to know your clay specificities, it reactions or tensions and frustrations… We break a lot and each time we do we learn something new. Being humble, persistent and resilient is the key.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    Don’t try to copy, experiment different materials and you will find your own language…

    I always say that this is while doing that you do.

    So roll up your sleeves and work work work work work !

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    IDK – Cool happy French girl from L.A – PARIS – VALLAURIS … lol

    11. What designers have influenced you ?

    I love architects in general, their point of view, making a volume that is so big and where you can live or do something and seeing that as an sculptural piece of art.

    Here are some names that influences me every day: Jacques Couelle, John Lautner, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Oscan Niemeyer, Eileen Gray …

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    I love this new movement of designers that are on the edge between Art and Design, all this movement is very special, and I hope it will continue to grow. Transversality is to me the best way to see things.

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Constantino Nivola

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    A dialog between Art, Nature and Architecture, Sensual, Brut, Sculptural

    15. Is there anything you would like to add ?

    Nice meeting you !

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Laugh and learn everyday 

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    Fear sucks, I don’t want to have any fears.

    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    Being negative

    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    Mother Nature

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    My leopard outfits in the studio

    7. What is your current state of mind?


    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?


    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?


    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    Is it Prosecco time?

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?


    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    Remove my double herniated disc injury.

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    It will come soon, but I don’t know yet.

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    The sea

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    In a place where the light is nice and the nature rich, and where this is not too cold

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    My son, eventhough he is not my possession

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

    Missing food

    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    My work

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?

    My enthusiastic energy

    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    What they are…

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Unfortunately I don’t read, I fall asleep all the time, I am such a hyperactive!

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Marcel Pagnol

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    I have no idea!

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    My entourage, my neighbors, my friends, interesting people, entrepreneurs.

    26. What are your favorite names?

    Jean-Michel, Mireille, as generic names to call anyone

    27. What is it that you most dislike?


    28. What is your greatest regret?

    That I forced on thet discs …lol

    29. How would you like to die?


    30. What is your motto?

    What does not kill you makes you strong.

    So, just do it.

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