Persistence is a strength for any artist

Sauvagere is an eclectic artist with strong beliefs

Interviews are one of our ways of getting to know the customer. This approach fits us well because it makes room for meaningful and profound dialogue, even though digitally. The way we pack it helps us reach a beautiful layer of depth, which gives us the impression that we are face-to-face, sipping from a cup of coffee while chatting.

I’ve been doing a bunch with our customers from all over the world. I learned from each of them, that’s for sure.

On the one hand, I had the privilege to dig deeper into a designer’s story who’s in love with branding or into the life of a company that promotes a DIY attitude more than its products. On the other one, I got the chance to understand how these people are using our WordPress themes to shape digital experiences.

Often, their feedback helped us improve our work. In both scenarios, I am thankful.

In the last couple of weeks, I started to reshape the way I build these conversations. I wanted to capture more value, but also I was eager to align these chats with who we are as a company. Therefore, I came back to our core values since they are a huge source of inspiration in everything we do at Pixelgrade.

By taking a closer look and debating with George, my teammate, I found a new gateway for putting together better interviews. I narrowed the universe and linked it to a specific value — excellence in this particular case. Moreover, I adjusted all the questions one main topic to make everything even cleaner and more authentic.

What follows is the first dialogue I run after the new guidelines, so be gentle. Let’s see how it goes.


Oana

Who’s the artist behind the scene?

Delphine

My name is Delphine Lefèvre but you can call me Sauvagère. I draw, I sculpt, I write and I live in Paris.

I studied a lot by reading art books, observing masterpieces in museums and foundations, then trying and experimenting!

Oana

Sauvagère is your nickname. Could you explain its roots?

Delphine

Ok! I didn’t have a typical childhood. I was born and brought up in an experimental home for maladjusted children in Normandy, France, until the age of 7.

My mother was the director of this “institute,” but I did not have any special privileges. When this project eventually came to an end, my mother decided to retreat to a more “traditional” family life with her husband. We moved to a house in the countryside, but the family life failed, and my mother went back to the city, leaving me behind!

I stayed in this house on my own from the age of 9 to 13 years old. The villagers would refer to me as Sauvagère, which in English translates to a wild child. How crazy is this? 

Oana

Where do you live and how do those places inspire you?

Delphine

Today, I live and work in Paris. I have this power to adapt to any place or situation, and I am predisposed to a heightened wonder. I find everything inspiring! Which is sometimes exhausting and troubling, but stimulating.

I became fully aware that I was an artist and not an advertiser.

The most important thing for me is to translate my impressions into an arrangement that balances in space or that balances space.

Oana

Where did you get the skills you have?

Delphine

At 14, I asked my mum for two things: the first one was to meet my real father, and the second one was to enter the National School of Fine Arts in Caen, Normandy. Back then, it was possible to join the art school at that age. Her answer was to send me to a religious boarding school, «les Franciscans» in Deauville.

At 18, I ran away and went to Paris to join a School of Communication.

As you can see, I am mostly a self-taught artist. I studied a lot by reading art books, observing masterpieces in museums and foundations, then trying and experimenting!

I also had great meetings with experienced artists who were attentive to my desire to learn and encouraged me in this direction. I’m full of gaps, but I intend to learn all my life!

Delphine Lefèvre at LA GALERIE DES SENS showcasing her work
Delphine Lefèvre at LA GALERIE DES SENS showcasing her work

Oana

Where does your holistic approach come from?

Delphine

As a child, my “normality” was not the norm. I have built bridges to observe and understand the world as a whole, often defiantly. I entered a dynamic of resilience, and I found landmarks in fantastic cosmos!

Very early on, I would draw to express my feelings with a real concern for aesthetics.

Each day was a lonely adventure in which I had to find the limits. Instinctively, I assembled “things” to create a balance that made the universe bearable.

I then understood that each human being could be a creator of his environment and, therefore, responsible for the tilt of the world. Today, my functioning is the same!

Oana

How was your collaboration with Adidas, Vaurnet, and Printemps?

Delphine

It was very exciting; “go fast and hit hard with strategy!” I thought: “it’s fantastic; there are financial means allowing me to create.” But quickly, I saw that this was an intellectual, spiritual, and artistic dead end for me.

Humanly artificial and artistically decisive, I became fully aware that I was an artist and not an advertiser.

Oana

What’s the work that you are most proud of?

Delphine

I am not proud of a job in particular, but I am proud of all the work I have done despite the pitfalls and vagaries of life. Persistence is a strength.

Oana

Could you name a few challenges that helped you grow?

Delphine

I agree with this. I didn’t have much success, but I did take on many challenges and got started. To be a child marginalized by adults in a society undergoing a sexual revolution after 1968 and to have made it a force was a challenge.

To fully assume being a female artist, mother, solitary, free, and independent in a misogynistic and patriarchal society is also an everyday challenge.

To fully assume being a female artist, mother, solitary, free, and independent in a misogynistic and patriarchal society is also an everyday challenge.

Oana

What are your routines that help you make your life better?

Delphine

I get up at 5:15 am and drink my coffee at 5:30 am that’s my routine! I draw, I sculpt, I study, I write, I sleep, I live in my studio.

My artist material mixes with collections of poems, philosophical and political essays of classical and contemporary literature, plants, my little chihuahua, and my rabbit!

I need to expose myself to the hustle and bustle of outdoor life, social life. I absorb it all, and then like a benevolent wolf, I take refuge in my workshop to regurgitate, then I have material, and sublimation can begin.

Oana

How do you feel about the universal adage of finding your passion, and you will no longer working a day in your life?

Delphine

This is a complex question, and I am not going to say yes or no! I found a way to express myself with passion through a universal mode of communication. It takes me a lot of work daily. Let’s say I had the strength to find myself, I gave myself this chance, and today I am happy. I hope to have answered!

Oana

How do you cope with the days when you feel that nothing works?

Delphine

I sleep! Because if I see it that way it’s a sign that I’m exhausted.

Being a creative and eclectic soul requires endurance but it is the only thought I have found to honour the chance to be on Earth!

Oana

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Delphine

All over! You have to wake up your senses, and the sensors transmit to the brain. So the work of “plastic writing” starts, sometimes with dazzling speed and euphoria, although sometimes slow and painful. It’s very exciting to experience these deliveries.

Oana

How do you mix all your skills and passions as an eclectic soul?

Delphine

I need to add another mission: companion for vulnerable people and protected by the State.  

My head is boiling, full of ideas, projects, and my hands need to be in contact with the elements, the material, the human, the living. It is to give life, to commune, to accompany, to love, recognize.

Being a creative and eclectic soul requires endurance, but it is the only thought I have found to honor the chance to be on earth!

Oana

Do you believe in excellence as a value?

Delphine

Yes, since I have chosen you to highlight my work online. It is important and reassuring for me to recognize this value in you. It was definitely a great decision coming together to chat today.

Oana

Could you share books to read, movies to watch, podcasts to listen, people to follow?

Delphine

Oooh there are plenty but if at the moment I take a photo of my bedside table there is: a book on the artist Cindy Sherman, the magnificent Bezimena by the illustrator Nina Bunjevac, a novel by Linn Ullmann and two poetry books, one by Michel Houellebecq and the other by Ingeborg Bachmann.

Right now I’m listening: Mac Miller, Erick Satie and literary podcasts from France Culture. And to clear my head I am a fan of Nordic detective series on Netflix!

Oooh there are plenty but if at the moment I take a photo of my bedside table there is: a book on the artist Cindy Sherman, the magnificent Bezimena by the illustrator Nina Bunjevac, a novel by Linn Ullmann and two poetry books, one by Michel Houellebecq and the other by Ingeborg Bachmann.

Right now I’m listening: Mac Miller, Erick Satie and literary podcasts from France Culture. And to clear my head I am a fan of Nordic detective series on Netflix!

Oana

In the end, how would you define yourself as an artist?

Delphine

You described me as a creative and eclectic soul. It suits me well. Thank you!


I hope this storytelling way of packing our interviews makes sense and brings more valuable input for you too. I would love to hear your thoughts about what you enjoyed and what made you yawn along the red thread, so don’t be shy and drop me a line at oana@pixelgrade.com. I reply to every e-mail I get, promise.

Meanwhile, I think it’s valuable for you to know that Delphine showcases some of her creative work on Sauvagère, a website made with Noah, our premium WordPress theme. You can take a look to get more context about both her beliefs and her illustrations, and even buy some if you resonate with her approach and want some bold art on your walls.

À bientôt!

Oana

Oana is a storyteller at Pixelgrade and community builder for creative industries. A true believer in the power of making the world a better place one story at a time.