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This month’s cover is done by a French designer Katya Bonnenfant whose designs are cute and powerful. Searching for “strange” things or ideas, she creates music, animation, videos, and more in a vigorous way.

Making of for Sketch

Could you introduce yourself?

I am a french graphic designer, 30 years old, I live in Germany (because of my boy friend!… He is German) or in the mountain… I came from the south of France, from the mountain “Pyrenees”, I love mountain and strong nature, it give me a lot of idea… I have studied graphic design in Paris, in “Ecole Nationale Superieure Estienne”, finished in 1995, and also art, in the “Ecole Nationale Superieure des beaux-arts” in Paris, till 1998. I can say I was bored in the graphic work, making logos, print or poster… So I study also art, and then make a lot of sound and video, till I discover the web : then I came back to graphic work, because then all things cam move, you can add sound, animations, and you have a “time line” that mean you are able to create little stories about anythings… yes, that what I love in Flash : the time line “inside” the graphic design, a time line, like in video or sound, in witch you can also create many little other time lines… And this little clip can have also little clip inside… and so own, like Russian dolls… that’s great… I hope you understand….

I was also working in “the Pavillon” pedagogic unity of the Palais de Tokyo. I was ther to help studient in sound, web, video things.

The animation “fresh”

What is your recent activity field?

I am web designer, this is the visible part of my work, but I am also a kind of artist, making some strange video clip for my own music, and things like that. I am not very good in programing, or in “web master”, I am not really in the very new high technology for web, but I love to do my own cooking to find solution… the visual part interest me more that the programing…

Just now I am doing a new site for for sure it will be great fun, hehe. They asked me to change completly the site… it was very exciting to work with the idea of Paris for strangers: I make a lot of hidden animations with all the parisian symbol: the effel tower, of course, but also the “tour de France”, etc. I hope that some people will search them… because maybe people who are going to this pages just want an hotel in Paris! But it will be surprising. It will be online in one mounth.

Palais de Tokyo

Could you introduce your sites you have done before (or recently)?

Palais de Tokyo in ParisIt’s the first big site I made. I have not so much thing to say about… It was the idea to make a low tech moving grey and white boxes… Anyway, now, there are going to change the site. I don’t know who will do the new…

The fine art school of Valence
The director of the school wanted someting without navigtion tool, a site where you can be lost, with some strange superimposing and mixing things, this is a reflection of what you can find in every art school: this strange mix between all the studients, the teachers… it was great for me, make a site without sense! It’s maybe a dream for a lot of graphic designer!… So every square open a new things, with a lot of surprises (I made also some of the surprise with the studients, in a workshop…), and when you have to much things open, you can push the “nettoyer” button (that mean “clear”) and you come back to the begining… You have also a text telling how many objects are open (“nombre d’objet ouvert”).

“Sketch” in London
You maybe know, “sketch” it’s a very strange and beautiful place in London… I want to make a kind of “sketch web”, a space in the web who is not only a pages speaking about the real space, but more an another little virtual space, with is own life, a reflection of the true “sketch”… so I create 5 character, for the 5 main rooms in “sketch”, and all this character make some strange things in the 5 little models I made to illustrate the 5 real spaces.

The fine art school of Valence

What is the most important thing do you think when you create websites?

To make strange things, and to enjoy (I am very difficult with myself! hehe). Well, I would like to think more about the efficiency… But I am not so good in this. I think all my work is not effective!

How do you get the inspiration?

It’s a difficult question!… Stories, life… I love when I receive from other people strange answer or strange behaviour… The diversity of reaction, it’s something fascinating…

Cover of my private CD : “sous l’eau” (under water)

Could you tell us about music you make?

I write a lot of stupid songs, very often for some people I know, from my little village in the mountain. And so after I make music for the song, and then video for the music!… I work with a lot of real instrument mixed in Protools, and I work with Reason… Music for me it’s something for every body, not only for “real musician”, it’s a popular communication, with a lot of feeling, every body should make music, it doesn’t matter if it’s good music or not, it’s someting witch belong to the humanity!

Are you spending your time at Ian Anderson on Akademie Schloss?

I hope yes! Hope I can meet him! He was the jury, and chose me! I love his work! But I began next september! So I can not say to much! Just that I am very very glad to be there, meeting other designers and working of my own project! Akademie Schloss Solitude it’s a wonderful place, residency programs, international and interdisciplinary, for many kind of artist (visual art, music, design, film…). I will be there one year, I began in Steptember… It’s a castle in the middle of the forest!… I imagine this area like “shining” but with kind ghost!

Trailer of Big Gore No, video

Please tell us about the concept of the cover design for this Shift eddition.

Well… make a little B&W science fiction, like Philip K Dick, with something else that pixel (even if I love pixel!). I like to show the different step of a movement… And the frog can jump if you touch it too much…

What would you like to challenge in the future?

To make a web site that people are not lost in!!!!!! And to be able to work more for… ME!!! Because every time, I don’t give the priority to my project, and it’s sad: why I can be so strong worker for a client, an not for myself!! And I would love, one, to make a video clip for a big commercial star, like Beyonce, for example, why not! hehe, I know,
just a stupid dream! But I am so often bored by video clip… especially in hip hop or R’nB! It’s maybe possible to make something better, no???

My next project it’s to make an animation film, with video, drawing mixed… it will be a musical (!) with a lot a stupid song, like usual… I love draw on the video…

Please leave a message to readers.

I was already twice in Japan. I even live there, in Tokyo, for 7 mounths… It was so great, I was so inspired by every thing… I hope one day I can do a book about this time in Japan: I made so strange drawing, there, and so strange photos! It was in 1998, and all the town look to belong to the “Kogal” (I know that now you don’t use anymore that name… it was 7 years ago!… And every where in the street, “Kogal” were saying about me : “kawaiiiiii!”… Actually not because I am beautiful (hehe) but because they think I look like Princess Diana! Anyway, I love this strange mix old and new in Japan, also in Design, and I love Japanese god and ghost stories!… So, thank you, readers, for your works and your great spirit!

Katya Bonnenfant

Text: Yurie Hatano

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