Not too long ago, we fell for the Sputnik Lamps by Julie Lansom. Intrigued by the exquisite detail of the lamps and amazing colors and shapes they came in, we wanted to get to know the designer behind these beautiful creations. Julie studied journalism at school but followed her heart to create objects – which she loves doing. Read on as we get to know more about her and her favourite spots in Paris.
A short description of yourself and what you do.
I was born in the South of France and now live in Paris, I build objects and I take photos. I haven’t studied design or photography at school so my approach to both of them is very simple and intuitive. My dad is an Art dealer so I grew up in the middle of objects. I always had a thing for them and I always liked building things with my hands. I studied journalism at University though, maybe because I wanted to do something that matters. I have worked for some magazines, and I still do sometimes. But I guess it is quite logical that I’m back to making things. It kind of actually makes more sense when I look at my life.
Could you share with us 3 of your favourite spots in your city?
First of all, I really love my home, this is a little flat that I share with some friends where there is paint, yarn, lamps and cardboard boxes everywhere and it makes me feel well. This is exactly like in my head.
In Paris, I really like a little café called “Saint Gervais”, right next door. it has a really small terrace where I could spend hours and the atmosphere is just the Paris that I like. Otherwise, some of my friends from the South of France opened a really cool place in the 11th arrondissement, “Les Niçois”, where you can eat meditarranean food and play pétanque. This is a lovely spot to hang out.
Are there any design hangouts or places you can go to meet other creates where you live?
Probably a lot but I like to think that you can meet creative and interesting people everywhere. I don’t like the idea of going out to places where you’re going to meet people that you deem interesting because they are like you. What does that mean exactly? Some of the most creative people that I know have jobs that are not exactly “creative”. Creativity has a lot of different aspects. I hang out in very different places where I hope I’m going to meet very different people.
What is one important lesson you have learnt on your creative journey?
Do what you love to do and don’t take yourself too seriously. This is the only way to be happy.
Is there a piece of advice you would share with budding designers who are still in school or thinking of quiting their day job?
I’m not sure I can give them any advice. They probably know much more stuff about design than I do. They should just also do what they love to do!
Do you remember the moment you decided you wanted to do what you are doing now?
I guess I always wanted to do that but it took me a while to realize that this is exactly what was going to make me happy.
Where do you find inspiration? Perhaps a favourite blog or website?
My Sputnik lamps are inspired by a kind of lamp that has been made since the 1960s. It had this notch system but was made of bad materials, and had bad colors and sad shapes. I thought that I could do something with this idea and I started working on the Sputnik lamps. They are inspired by the retro-futuristic spirit of the first satellites sent into space, science fiction books, and more generally the graphical 1960s and 1970s aesthetics. But I try to make a very modern object by working on the shapes and colors.
Inspiration can be found anywhere though and I really believe that you are inspired everyday by everything that surrounds you and everyone you meet or just see. It can be nature, a film, the city, a dog, a book, a car, a feeling or a smell. You usually don’t even realize it when it’s happening, it’s almost subconscious. It is all a question of sensitivity.
Photography is also a great inspiration. I have a blog called “Straight out of camera” where I gather the works of young photographers around the world. We’re about to publish our first book (out in october 2014). I spend hours and hours every week digging through the websites of all those young photographers and this is very inspiring.
– Finish this sentence — “if we could, we would…”
It’s looking at the problem the wrong way! If you really want, you can.
First image taken by Amandine Paulandré. All other images taken by Julie Lansom.
.. Julie Lansom