#NoBrief: Inès Pagniez

The #NoBrief series gives a look into our illustrators, animators, lettering and type artists’ minds – focusing on their self-initiated practice and the motivations behind it. This time, sculptor Inès Pagniez joins us to discuss her latest work exploring the grosser side of owning a pet 🐈

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Inès Pagniez is a French sculptor specialising in plasticine. Her work is characterful, playful and beautifully depicts the everyday mannerisms and nuances of human expression. Having graduated from French animation school Supinfocom, Ines arrived in London in 2012 and worked as a 3D animator for many years. Ever-appreciating the charming imperfection and accessibility of plasticine, she decided to move away from computer-based work and start using her hands to create. With her work, Inès strives to create work that makes people think, talk, debate, and see things differently.

See her full portfolio here.

The inspiration behind most of Inès's self-initiated projects revolves around real world experiences and observations. The same is true for her latest stop motion vignette 'TV Night', which externalises her thoughts about her pet: "my cat is constantly sick at the moment, so I thought it would be so gross if he licked me on the face!"

She started right away with an animatic, making sure the timing worked and that it was funny, before designing the characters and scenes, building everything and animating.

The film took her 3 weeks to make in total, but as a working mum of two was made around other projects, sick cats, and babies crawling around!

Ines's work has a beautiful tactile nature, which helps to drive the storytelling. Originally trained in digital animation, she enjoys the craft and handmade process of stop motion because "there isn't a CTRL + Z touch. And that's good, it makes me think ahead more."

Her personal work often explores themes from real life. She keeps a note of things that make her smile or if she hears a good play on words, in case one day she can use the ideas as inspiration for her next piece.

Earlier this year, Inès became a mother for the second time and, riding the waves that come with it, she set to work channelling her frustration and curiosity into making a series of vignettes that found fun in the relatable experience of postpartum - from body changes and brain fog to low energy.

See 'Mum's Life™' here.

"At first it was just a little side project to get my hands back at work but I realised I loved working on something to reflect what I was experiencing at that moment. There are so many things I didn't know about pregnancies and postpartum, I knew the body would change but not this much, the hormone roller coaster, the sleep deprivation that thankfully is temporary, the weird butt cramps after giving birth. Having a baby is an amazing experience and definitely a big source of inspiration" - Inès

Reflecting on the best part of being your own client, as well as being able to come up with an idea and just go with the flow, she said "there are no limits. I can go as deep in a joke as I want." And she does! Much of her self-initiated work has a humorous angle. Whether it's Seinfeld's Kramer as a festive turkey, or the quirky details of a postpartum body, Inès enjoys the confidence she gains through self-initiated projects, adding "I always explore more, creatively, technically."