Insights into the artistic mind behind Malavida, Alycia Rainaud.

Insights into the artistic mind behind Malavida, Alycia Rainaud.

We would love to hear more about you; please tell us a bit more about yourself!

Hello! I’m Alycia Rainaud.

I’m a twenty three year old french graphic designer and digital artist based in Paris, also known as Malavida. I was raised in the south of France and I’ve been studying design for seven years. I just recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Graphic Design with my thesis focussing on book shaping and psychology.

Generally speaking, I’m mainly influenced by and passionate about publishing design, hybrid books, new technologies, psychology, digital art, visual effects, experiments, music, and movies.

I started practicing digital art under the name of Malavida as a way of expressing feelings and life’s complexity through daily abstract creations.

What lead you to becoming a digital artist, have you always been a creator of sorts?

As long as I can remember I’ve always been pretty close to art and creative fields. For example, I remember going to several exhibitions as a child. I guess that my mind has always been attracted to and been stimulated by shapes and colors etc. It took me a certain amount of time to realize it and listen to myself enough so that I could know what I wanted to be.

Before starting my graphic design studies, I already found myself drawn to abstract art forms such as paintings, drippings and geometrical works…

Nothing, in particular, led me to becoming a digital artist. As with lots of things in life, it’s all about trusting your gut and making the right choices, at the right moment, in the right place.

Slowly but surely I guess that’s how everything fell into place... Oh yeah, and hard work of course!

Malavida 'Confusion'

Is there a story behind your artist name Malavida?

This is always the most ridiculous anecdote to share!

Basically, at the time, I was starting to dive into digital art because I felt the need to express myself and work around my feelings, mostly my anxiety and depression.

I’m very openminded when it comes to mental health and psychology. We always throw a lot of jokes at ourselves with some friends of mine, because of the fact that we’re open about our general issues. You know, it’s like a way of trying to accept things as they are and stay aware of what’s going on in our mind. So making jokes about it, sometimes, helps you to take it easier. That said, I wanted to share these artworks with others on the internet, but I wanted a different name.

I felt like I needed to create a persona, something able to represent one of the many sides of my personality, without being fully myself as Alycia Rainaud.

Then it all came from a sort of joke. I started browsing for short names that could make you think about the painful aspect of life in an ironic way. One day my friend came to me with this really french play on words saying you should call it J’ai mal à la vie which basically means my life hurts. Then it transformed in J’ai mal à la vida and quickly became Malavida, a Spanish sentence for Bad Life. And yeah, that’s about it!

What do people typically say about your work?

Most of the time, a lot of amazing things that I could not have ever imagined. All these people supporting my work are truly incredible, and I’m grateful for that.

Usually, I get a lot of comments about how vivid my color palette is, how trippy the effects are and how inspiring it can be. I also get a lot of messages about how my artworks convey certain feelings and emotions in a cosmic way, and this especially is so mesmerising to me.

It’s really beautiful to see how people understand my work and identity and how we’re able to share these feelings together. Oh yeah, and I get a lot of "how u do dis" as well.

Tell us a bit more about your creative process, do you have any routines or rituals that you follow?

Usually, when my schedule isn’t all over the place, I like to have a rush week where I paint a lot of canvases to get some bases for my artworks. Then, when I have enough of these, I start digitalizing the artworks and dive into post-production — which is my favorite part.

I like to turn the music up, go with the flow and think about what I want to express. Which feelings, which flaws, what sort of things I need to get out of my head … Basically, experiment around those bases with new colors and movements which I add in with photoshop and different algorithms.

Malavida 'Butterfly'

Can you explain how technology and programming play a role in the formulation of your work?

As said previously, my work is a mixture of tangible and digital work. I truly love painting, but there’s something more about putting that piece through a digital prism. It’s like opening yourself up to new possibilities you wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.

That’s probably why post-production is my favorite part of the process. There’s a lot of unexpected and random factors with programming and digital tools that can take your artwork to a next level. You can always be surprised about the effects of new combinations such as layering filters, adding more distortions, recoloring a painting … It’s an endless playground. 

What/who are your biggest influences as an artist?

Oh, lots of people! Since I’m really active on Instagram, I always discover new amazingly talented artists that inspire me to the next level. I could honestly quote so many of them, but since I started, I’ve always been devoted to the work of people like Felipe Pantone, Davy Evans, Alexy Préfontaine (Aeforia), Dorian Legret and the list goes on. So many talented people out there.

Malavida 'Blue Velvet'

If you could only listen to one record for the rest of your life what would it be?

Uh, this is the hardest question ever considering that we have so much access to music nowadays. I think I would say either Unknown Pleasures from Joy Division or Humbug from Arctic Monkeys.

Have you ever caught something on fire while you were cooking?

All the freaking time.

That’s probably why I only cook salad. Safe and easy children!

How do you deal with a creative block?

To be honest, I deal pretty badly with creative block. I mean, you can try to overcome this effect, but it’s still really hard to force the creative flow. Although that’s what I do, and I’m definitely not a good example. You can feel when there’s this battle between the fact that you want to, but you can’t. And because any creative practice is directly connected to your mind, both parts need to be healthy and recharged to work together. I’m not talking about procrastinating of course, but all I can suggest is that, if you feel like you can’t do anything, that nothing is coming to your mind or hands, then rest. Do something else, or do nothing. And it’s ok to be that way.

Usually, when I can’t create something, I’m try waiting for a couple of hours or for the next day. There’s a reason if the creative process isn’t popping and I feel like we need to process and accept it.

At least that’s the tips and tricks I try to apply.

What’s invisible but you wish people could see?

I’d say Auras. You know, that kind of electromagnetic energy field supposed to be surrounding us and determining us as an individual.

What is your main goals as a digital artist?

I’m not sure I could say that I have any goals because all of my work is focussed on expressing myself and sharing with others. However, the more I learn and grow, the more I want to try to raise emotional intelligence and mental health sensitivity. That’s definitely a major driving force for my work and I’m hoping to convey these aims to people.

Malavida 'Bad Habits'

What are you currently working on, what can we expect to see from you in the future?

Lots of cool things! I’m working on a big project with Desperados at the moment and I’m also gonna be part of the Lucas Beaufort Art Camp in July which is very exciting.

I have got a lot of limited edition prints and objects coming into my shop this year, as well as new artwork series and music covers. I’m definitely grateful for everything I get to do on this journey.

Do you have a motto or artistic philosophy that you live by?

This isn’t a real motto or something but, I try to believe that everything I do has a reason to be. I’m constantly reminding myself that, yes, I’m actually doing really great. It’s more about a self-confidence routine. It’s about being aware of all the hard work you do, that you are valuable and that you have to be grateful for everything you got from it. Even in the hard times.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like to thank everyone for their continuous and unconditional support. I’m so grateful for this journey, so grateful to be able to make a living out of my passion, as well as sharing and learning with amazing people every day. It’s all part of the process. See you soon on the internet or elsewhere 🖤