French duo Zim & Zou (aka Lucie and Thibault) are championing 3D art and sculpture. Currently working on projects with Hermes and IBM, the pair are making a solid career out of crafts. ArtRebels talk to them about their favourite materials and upcoming collaborations.
We choose to work in volume rather than on computers because we really love to see the artwork grow to the end of the project. There are always differences between our first rough-drafts and the final image. By constructing the crafts step by step you have to deal with constraints of real materials such as paper. Creating real object is more tactile – we have a lot of fun doing this!
What’s been your favourite creation so far?
The Cabinet of Curiosities is our favorite project. As it was a personal project we had all the freedom we needed, so we tried to use material we had never previously experimented with before like glitter paper, framed paper, chinese paper. We had to find a technique to illustrate organic shapes like animals. They’re harder to design than geometric patterns.
You’ve collaborated with Hermès – what was that like?
We did a leather parrot for Hermès using leather offcuts from their workshops in Paris. It was so cool to work with this quality of leather. At first, we thought it wasn’t possible to do an entire bird using only leather. But finally while moving forward on the project, we found that leather gave much more possibilities than we expected.
Any more exciting collaborations in the future?
Of course! We’re working on another great project for Hermès at the moment. And we’re preparing something for IBM too! But I can’t say much more at the moment.
Your works are extremely intricate – how long does it take you from concept to completion?
It depends on the project. It can go from a couple of days to several weeks. The longest project was probably the Back to Basics because we had to stick as far as we could to the original designs of the vintage objects. As we don’t have all the real objects we sculpted in paper, we had to investigate to find every measure, side, etc… It took about a year (between clients and commissions) to complete the project.
Do you always work harmoniously together?
Yes, 50/50! We always work together on every part of the project in order to keep the level of detail and attention to the best we can.
If you weren’t doing what you are right now, what would you be up to?
If we were not doing this, Lucie would love to make architectural models and I would probably work in an agency.
Any secret talents up your sleeves?
Even if paper art is very time consuming, we have other hobbies. Lucie is a great cook, and I’m a frustrated musician.
Read more about the pair and their creations here.