We're extremely excited to introduce our new artist collaboration for 2021 with French contemporary artist, Lucas Beaufort.
Originally from the South of France Lucas has created an ever-evolving world of imaginary characters and mischievous monsters around him who help him build a positive outlook on the world and guide his daily decisions.
The Doughnut x Lucas Beaufort collection is built around some of our most popular silhouettes including Macaroon, Christopher, Colorado, Seattle and Macaroon Tiny.
One half of the collection features an all over pattern of Gus Gus, one of Lucas' signature characters. 50% bird, 50% human Gus Gus has his head in the clouds but his feet firmly on the ground! This is reflected in the many different positions you'll find Gus Gus in across the bags.
The other half of the collection features a more subtle approach, Lucas' bold use of colour and instantly recognisable pattern are the bags interior lining. But, in typical Gus Gus fashion, he's hiding in a couple of spots on the bags exterior!
As with our recent 'Reborn Series' these bags are made with a more sustainable future in mind. With Repreve fabrics made from recycled water bottles with 9-10 bottles going into each of the full-size backpacks. (for more information on the Reborn Series please check here).
Last September we were lucky enough to spend a day with French artist Lucas Beaufort at his home in Normandy where we discussed his surroundings, art, inspiration and of course, the new collection with Doughnut.
“Living in Normandy is the best." is more or less the first thing Lucas says to us before breaking out into full salesmanship of his adopted home.
“I’m from the South East of France but I decided to move because I wanted to experience something different and Normandy is really different. It’s just fields, fields, cows, animals. It’s wild. There’s nothing else except nature. After 35 years living in the South of France I think it’s what I needed. When you look around it’s mind blowing.”
“When I was living in the south I was using my skateboard all the time and here there is no way that you can skate because it’s not the typical ground, it’s very rough so I decided to buy a bicycle and I’m just enjoying a different way of moving from A to B.”
"When my friends come to visit here I promise to take them on ‘Safari du Normandie’. You won’t see a giraffe, you won’t see zebra but you will see the wildlife from around here. I know a route where you meet sheep, cows, little rabbits, donkeys."
Inspired by what we’re hearing we ask Lucas if we can experience the ‘Safari du Normandie’ for ourselves. Ever the gracious host he is of course happy to oblige. As well as sightings of the promised animals we ride through small villages and past farmers, all of whom seem like the type that would be happy to stop for a chat on this unusually warm September afternoon.
As we ride through the seemingly endless fields Lucas reflects on his history with nature, “It’s funny because when I was young I hated spending time around nature. But now I understand it better. The more I grow the more I understand the need to be outside the craziness of the city. But then, after 2 months of being here I really need to go to Hong Kong, Tokyo or LA and feel the craziness of the city again. There is a balance of nature/craziness.”
"When you move to another place you don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe you won’t find any inspiration. Just because you’re an artist it doesn’t mean that inspiration comes easy. Sometimes you take a white page and there’s nothing coming and that’s where you feel depressed. But now I feel very lucky because it’s always coming. There’s a wave inside me that I want to explore."
"Living here I love to say for three days I’m staying home, I’m going round on my bicycle, I don’t have to spend any money. I don’t have to see any advertising or bright lights in my head. That can be disturbing my mind and here it’s just the sound of wind and animals. Everything that can keep my mind clear and I can focus on my art."
"I definitely feel better living in the countryside. In Normandy the inspiration is big because it’s very different to living in a city.”
With our lungs full of fresh countryside air and tired legs we head back to Lucas' studio for some lunch and to spend some more time discussing his art and his signature character, Gus Gus.
"The reason why I love to paint a lot of people is because I live in the middle of nowhere. And I love people."
“Gus Gus is my character, my little bird mixed with the human. He has his feet on the ground but his mind is very free. Free as a bird. That’s why the Gus Gus is 50/50. That’s the meaning of Gus Gus. He loves to dance with people and when you look at Gus Gus you can say that it’s always the same but actually it’s not. It’s 100 different people in the Gus Gus costume."
“I love the idea that we could all be different people but in the same costume so you can’t tell the difference and criticise people.”
"My art is coming to me in my dreams because before I was creating I was having crazy nightmares. When I started to draw all my nightmares were gone."
"What I used to see in my dreams helped me be free and the inspiration for my collection with Doughnut came from my dreams.”
"I closed my eyes and I start picturing ideas. And then I realise that I’m in Hong Kong, at the beach with so many people but we’re dancing and it doesn’t matter because we’re respecting each other and living in harmony. All different but also the same. It’s like a huge party. In my dreams it’s possible but in reality maybe it’s different.”
"In my dreams the world is perfect, in reality I just try and make it a better place.”