Caroline Robert

Caroline Robert took an unusual route into graphic design: via mathematics. “I’m a former scientist,” she says. “I got my degree in mathematics but at that time I was really into photography so I decided to re-orient in graphic arts.”

All these influences can be seen in the work that she produces today, which ranges from illustration and graphic design to interactive websites and photography. In her spare time she is also prone to dabbling in intaglio engraving, a historic method of creating prints using copper or zinc.

Robert is now based in Canada but grew up in Lyon in France. After her switch from maths, she completed various graphic design courses, and along the way developed an interest in interactive design. This burgeoning curiosity led to her move from Lyon to Montreal in the final year of her graphic design diploma, where she worked at BonGolem, a company focused on creating innovative work across both digital and traditional media. Here she met Vincent 2 3 Morisset, one of the three founders of the company, alongside Pierre-Mathieu Fortin and Dominic Turmel.

Since moving permanently to Montreal in 2008, Robert has worked alongside Morisset on a number of projects, including the recent album artwork for Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. “He really is a visionary,” she says of Morisset. “Vincent starts with simple ideas and pushes them very far to create unique and special projects.” Robert is currently helping with Morisset’s latest project, an interactive piece he is creating for the National Film Board of Canada. “It is an interactive short film for computers that plays with narrative,” she says. “It’s really interesting because I have to create a character and give him life. I’m doing a bit of animation drawing. So I’m working a lot on paper even if this project will be displayed on a computer.”

Illustration and animation also play a major part in the charming interactive website that Robert created for The House of Fairy Tales, a project established in the UK by the artists Deborah Curtis and Gavin Turk which works with a team of creative people from various fields  to create workshops, events and education packs for children based on fairy tale narratives. Robert created the visual identity for the project, a flying hot-air-balloon-boat, and three game sites where visitors can play at swapping the heads of curious characters, pull a grumpy old man’s beard or burst colourful balloons. As befitting the fairy tale theme, various dark and surreal moments occur throughout the games, adding to the fun.

Robert is keen to continue working across both print and digital media in the future. “I have the chance to do both and I’m really happy in that balance,” she says. “As long as I can work with my hands at some point, the project can be print or web and I will be happy! The best is when I can push both in the same project.”

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