M/B.

We spoke to Marine de Bouchony and Camille de Laurens of M/B. about their journey to starting their own studio. They shared with us their advice for finding a job (show you care!), and how they think the design community can give back.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

We both studied graphic design, photography and art direction at L’ESAG in Paris, also known as Penninghen.

Camille: My first job was for “Maquette et mise en page”, a small agency which worked mainly for corporate design. Then I moved to a bigger agency, Young and Rubicam, as a junior art director. I travelled all around the world shooting campaigns with fashion teams. After a few years, I decided to take the camera and shoot the images myself. I enjoyed it so much that I quit the agency to start my own. One year after M/B. was born.

Marine: After 5 years of studies, I had the urge to travel and discover some new practices and perspectives. I started as an intern at Base in NYC. I met two great mentors there: Dimitri Jeurissen and Natasha Jen. Then I went back to Paris, to team up with friends to art direct some fashion magazines as a freelancer. I then moved to London to start as senior designer at the Victoria and Albert Museum for 4 years. I felt very lucky and happy there. I discovered how to take an idea from 2D to 3D, working very closely with interior architects, curators and artists. After this experience, I felt like I could run my own studio, and why not do so with my best friend?

How does the local culture of where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

French culture is certainly part of our work, but we get our inspiration from our travels. We believe movement is key. We just opened a new space in Marseille where light is beautiful.

Design work by M/B. The Design Kids interviews M/B. work-2

What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Draw things first, don’t start on the computer.

The first idea is often the best, but never stop there. Keep on searching until you are sure. It can always be upgraded.

When prospecting for clients, you have to meet one person per day.

Never take your prices down. You can do special discounts, but never more than 20%.

Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?

Alexine is our junior art director. We love her because she's got guts (knocked at the door to get the intern position first), she's a good designer, she knows how to keep the pressure down when clients are needy, she loves challenges and always does her best — but most of all she loves our jokes.

Sandra, our office manager, unfortunately left the office a month ago. We're looking for her replacement.

Every now and then we're looking for interns to get some fresh air in the studio, give us a hand with graphic design skills, and to feed us with great inspiration while we do our Mercredi/Brouillon. (We press pause for one hour on Wednesdays and show each other what we've noticed lately in the art world.)

Design work by M/B. The Design Kids interviews M/B. work-4
Design work by M/B. The Design Kids interviews M/B. work-4

Finding a job is tough, what makes the difference is to show your interest.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2019?

Show that you care and dare. Finding a job is tough, what makes the difference is to show your interest. Bespoke emails, phone calls, send a real letter! Alexine came directly with her suitcase to knock at the door when she heard we were looking for a new intern.

Sandra did the same a few years ago, she didn’t even work in art direction. She knocked at the door, said hi! I like your work, should we grab a coffee?

What do you think the design community could do more to give back?

Education must be the priority. We are planning to run workshops with illustrators and graphic designers to teach kids how to recycle your notebooks when finishing school each year and create a new one for the following year. That would be one way to give back. Producing photoshoots where plastic is banned could be another one.

Design work by M/B. The Design Kids interviews M/B. work-6
Design work by M/B. The Design Kids interviews M/B. work-6

Where to find M/B. online.

Website: wearemb.com

Instagram: @wearembgram

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