Hailing from France, Sarah Mafféïs' journey into the realm of creativity is as diverse and rich as the subjects she portrays. It all started with a background in industrial design, a field that nurtured her affinity for shapes, structures and aesthetic balance. However, her passion for illustration never waned.
Five years ago, Sarah made the move to Luxembourg to work as a furniture designer, all the while nurturing her love for drawing on the side. Two years ago, she decided to set up a shop and make prints of her drawings, slowly but steadily winning the hearts of diverse clients.
For Sarah, inspiration is like a stream that flows from her immediate surroundings. "I am highly attuned to the atmosphere around me," she says, "so I find constant inspiration in my living environment and the changing seasons." In summer, for instance, she's drawn to waves and shells; in winter, it's bare, leafless trees and cosy interiors that grab her attention. "It's a recurring cycle that fuels my creativity."
Another recurrent theme in Sarah's artwork is the depiction of food and drink. She finds solace and joy in capturing these moments – a Sunday brunch shared with friends, a coffee break or a family dinner. These scenes, infused with nostalgia and warmth, are coupled with Sarah's distinctive style that feels textural and partially translucent – bubbles, bottles, glasses and various table-top objects are stacked on top of each other in artworks reminiscent of a blissful collage. "Additionally, I have a passion for travel because it allows me to break free from my usual routine, gain fresh inspiration and explore diverse culinary delights."
Sarah's creative process is built on two pillars: spontaneity and meticulous craftsmanship. Inspiration often strikes when she least expects it, prompting her to jot down ideas in her trusty notebook. When the time comes to bring these ideas to life, she transfers them to her iPad, where she kicks off the composition, "which can be both challenging and exciting as I shape the concept into something tangible", she explains. Adding colour and texture is the part she most enjoys (and one she's clearly very good at) – "I try out different combinations until everything clicks. This is the stage where my initial idea truly comes to life."
Two recent favourites from Sarah's portfolio sum up her processes and ethos entirely. Seoul Coffee Time, for example, captures the essence of her trip to South Korea, immortalising the charm of quaint coffee shops and the blooming flora of the local environment. It's a piece that evokes fond memories, both for the artist and her audience. Walkman, on the other hand, is a testament to her craft. Devised as part of her Nostalgic Summer Challenge on Instagram, it encapsulates the spirit of childhood summer memories and showcases her dedication to daily drawing.
As for what lies ahead, Sarah's future is filled with plans for exciting new projects. She's currently immersed in crafting a 2024 calendar, where she gets to explore the physical aspects of her art, from materials to printing techniques. She's also penned a goal for herself: to venture into the world of crafting illustrated paper objects. Mobiles, lanterns, and decorative items are on her radar, which will assuredly bring another textural layer to her already enchanting illustrations.