Marie Gautheron / adopteunmec.com

Can you present yourself in a few words?

Marie Gautheron, class of 2008 at Brassart Tours, Artistic Director at adopteunmec.com in Paris.

Can you describe your career path

After completing my studies at Brassart, I went to Paris for a one year specialization course in web to master integration and development so that I could speak the same language as the technical team. At that time, the internet was developing rapidly and I wanted to specialize in webdesign. Apprenticeship allowed me to work in the field at Winaretta, in a small team of 6 or 7 people.

At the beginning of the project, I did a little bit of everything: design, photos, newsletters, emailings, integration, display campaigns… it was really complete. Knowing how and why PHP worked allowed me to work closely with the developers. I received little coaching and quickly became autonomous. I stayed with Winaretta for a year and a half.

The lack of budget and wiggle room made me want to go further. I also wanted to try different types of media, to test a large print campaign, to do television…

I began working for adopteunmec.com (which can be translated as adoptaman.com) who was looking for a designer. We started at 5 or 6 people and now have a team of over fifty people.

Where are you today?

My missions at adopteunmec.com are very diverse. From the beginning I took part in their communication. Today, I’m in charge of their Art Direction, the site’s webdesign, their display, print, television, and events campaigns… I basically do everything that a communication agency would, but it’s done internally! It requires a large range of skills used in the profession.  What’s so interesting is that we produce everything ourselves: getting your hands wet means trying different fields, and it’s great!

Adopteunmec.com is currently available in 9 countries and allows us to develop our international image. We are constantly forced to adapt our communication to the local population.

Our events also helped to get things moving; we created a boutique with men in the window in record timing.. only 3 weeks! Thanks to our boutique, we had 1500 hits from around the world!

The evolution of my mission was both instructive and motivating.

Management and training, which I find fulfilling, take up a significant part of my time.

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

Events planning is really something I enjoy. Working in a rush, hearing back from people who appreciate your work, being in touch with the public. For example, we did a BHV treasure hunt where 40 young women searched throughout the store to find Lucienne, a star from the Petit Journal. This project was successful and fascinating to put in place.

I also like to transmit my knowledge. I wouldn’t be opposed to teaching…

How do you see a graphic designer’s work?

For me, it’s really important for a Graphic Artist or an Artistic Director to be extremely aware of current trends and at the heart of the news. You must be knowledgeable about what is happening graphically and always be on the lookout. As far as marketing goes, even though I wasn’t specifically trained for it, it’s one of the fields we have to prepare ourselves for in order to better understand our target audience. You have to be interested in peopl

What did Brassart do for you?

It taught me how to be rigorous. I’m very picky about details! Thanks to Brassart, I have an eye for detail. I learned how to fit all of the elements, how to line them up and I can really be a perfectionist on these points. It’s a quality, even if it can be an annoying one.. but I also learned how to do some amazing shading with a paint roller! (laughs)

I’m from a family of artists ( forgers, painters, editors…)and I learned Photoshop and Illustrator young. Brassart taught me how to methodically link all of the creating software together. Learning about the different graphic movements also helped me enrich my visual culture, to open my horizons and to make it my career.

What do you remember best about your time at Brassart?

It was cool! A great atmosphere. My class was really nice. We had some good laughs. I had a great time. When I look back on my work from that period, it still makes me smile. It was also a stressful period but it really got us ready for sleepless nights, allnighters.. we started them at Brassart and continued in our workplaces!

In Foundation Year, I had Bernard DEYRIES* as a teacher… if that’s not classy, what is?

* Creator of Ulysse 31, Les Mystérieuse Cités d’Or, Inspecteur Gadget…

Have you kept in touch with other alumni from your class ?

Yes, I’ve stayed close with Marie COTTU, and also with Manon GRUAZ who was in Foundation Year with me. She’s currently in Quebec. Bénédicte BONNINGUE, who was a year ahead of me, is also one of my friends; after her trip in Italy she’s now back in France. I’ve also managed to stay in touch with Julien BODARD.

What advice do you have for our students?

Loads! Don’t neglect any of the subjects in school. Every one is there for a reason, even if it doesn’t feel that way when you’re a student. Everything is really important. The student’s job is to figure out why. Why do we learn to create a logo on a grid? Why is the choice of typography and its positioning so important? Why is it necessary to study different compositions to train one’s eye? What is the point of Art History? Why study colors? All of this information will be useful in everyday life.. except, perhaps, how to do shading with a paint roller.

Technology, for instance, is essential. It’s one of the most useful classes in the professional world. I’ve hung on to my reflexes from techno classes and applied them to the graphic chain (tricks, Photoshop, print…).

Respecting deadlines and delays during your studies is a great way to get ready for the working world. And I’ll say it again, school is much easier in comparison to the workplace…

To be the best, you have to in the know for all graphic movements, all techniques, and marking….. Keeping an eye on documents (publicity, cultural documents, moods on Pinterest, Instagram, Dribble…) and a good mood-board are the keys to success. Nothing is handed to you on a plate.

What are your criteria for hiring a young, creative colleague?

Curiosity and culture are very important criteria. I would like that the person I meet has their own universe; that they are passionate and motivated. I feel that someone who keeps busy and is engaged outside of the workplace is an interesting profile. I don’t particularly care for submissive profiles.

They have to be in touch with the world! I like to know what graphic culture websites they visit on a daily basis. Do they go to certain types of concerts, or expos for little known photographers and artists? Are they geeks? What interests them? I like people who are engaging: I have a hard time with those who say they like all kinds of music, who spend time on Facebook, or who watch Secret Story. We are lucky to have a privileged career full of curiosity and culture, and you have it live up to that reputation.

A student straight out of art school who only presents scholarly works is so much less interesting than a student who includes their own personal work into their book.