Mr Tadef is a French illustrator inspired and amazed by his native landscape: the Alps. From his memories and his experience in the heart of the mountains, he has shaped his project Pays Merveilleux [Marvellous Country]. It is a – not so imaginary – universe, highlighting the alpine winter, skiers and impressive snowy peaks. In this way, he pays tribute to the greatness of nature. By his stroke of a pen, he enhances the reliefs and makes sure the protagonists have fun on these mountain ranges whose possibilities seem endless. We’ve met the artist.
Hello! Which path led you to become a visual artist?
For me, since school, drawing is a mean of communication and a more creative way to interact. Then, I understood that it could be a border pass, a universal language, and a valuable tool to acquire keys of comprehension of the world and people.
Of course, Miyazaki, Jacques Tati, Irving Penn, Le Corbusier and Jacques Brel showed me that only a creator’s life was worth living. Daily, the Family – Friends – School triptych has been a valuable support.
How would you define your art?
I tell stories, that’s my job. My artistic signature? The answers are multiple as the viewers. I like to feed their curiosities, let them make their own story with their codes; they can grasp the keys of understanding and build a story that belongs only to them. It does not matter the discipline.
Pays Merveilleux is a country you draw and imagine to your whims and fancies. It immerses us into a wintery and snowy land. Can you tell us more? Why do mountains inspire you to create?
I lived and grew up on the snow slopes and thanks to them (and to my athletic experience) I travelled. They made me understand that we had to take a small step aside to tickle the unexpected and generate surprise to meet places and people. Then finally, we know each other well. I was surrounded by the mountains and those who live with it.
The Independent Republic of Pays Marveilleux is a territory of infinite expressions: the cold, the immensity, the situations, adrenaline and fulgurous outbursts. Classic, cliché, boldness and lipsticks. White spaces, blue skies, skis, ibexes, the horizon, carefreeness and little towns. It’s also the great explorations and the taste of lost years, the curves of sporting achievements and aesthetic challenges. From tourism of elegance to romanticism of actions, it is a constant movement. It’s a lot, but surely part of everything that drives me.
What would be your dream project?
Put me in touch with an aviation company, and I’ll tell you more!
What is your favourite drawing among those you did?
Surely the next illustration, the one I have not done yet.
What’s next for you?
I keep drawing the path on which I walk while aiming for the summits (it seems that they are never congested).
The Pays Merveilleux project is a laboratory and an observatory of alpine creations that allows me to climb, take the higher road and see further. It took me to London, Geneva, Paris and Courchevel. I will be present in the edition domain in 2019, and a big sculpture will soon see the day. I also pay attention to projects across the Atlantic. I am trusted and offered to conceive exciting projects, and I love it!
Follow Mr Tadef vibrant world on Instagram.