#LivesOfArtists…With Valérie Belin

What time do you wake up?
I wake up at seven, as anybody else, to be up during “office hours,” as I work with others.

What do you eat for breakfast?
Continental breakfast, as in hotels!

Describe where you produce your work, and why you chose that space.
Mostly at home and online for business, and in my studio and photo lab. Sometimes on a specific site.

Do you have a particular daily routine that helps you work?
No, I don’t. I’m guided by my inspiration and projects, and by the need to work to carry them out.

Where do you go for your creative sparks?
Nowhere. I just look around me and I read books.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my next series. But I cannot say more, since my work is always “in progress,” and will be different from what I currently imagine.

What do you do when you need to reset your mind?
I need to read, look at something else, and listen to music.

Who was your most important mentor or inspiration?
It was my teachers when I was a student. Over time, I became my own mentor!

Who do you speak to when you need a second opinion or who gives the best feedback?
I sometimes seek the advice of my close friends. But their opinions are always contradictory. So, art is a solitary discipline.

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice is to do what you want to do (but you can’t always get what you want).

If you weren’t an artist what would you do?
I can’t imagine not being an artist. It’s too late!

How do you switch off from work in the evening?
I take the subway, or I walk in the streets. I also take pictures of nothing.

What book are you reading right now?
I read all of the books of one author, in chronological order. The one I’m reading right now is The Rotters’ Club by Jonathan Coe.

Who is the other artist working today that you most admire?
I don’t admire any particular artist because there are too many. But I’m interested in any meaningful work, from any discipline.

If you could have lunch with any artist from across time, who would it be and why?
I would be curious to meet Sandro Botticelli for a coffee.

What are you most proud of in your career?
To have succeeded in doing what I wanted to do, so far.

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