Defined as one of the priority sectors for the Luxembourg economy, the creative industry is doing well. Better still, it is exporting, and not only in the Greater Region. Graphic designer Irina Moons has been selected to participate in the Creative Expo Talent 100, which will take place in Taiwan between April 24th and 28th.
The Taiwan Cultural and Creative Design Expo, to give it its full name, has been organised by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture for nine years and aims to become one of the leading events in the region, particularly in the area of brand design and “licensing”.
A Luxembourg Hello Kitty?
“The Talent 100 is a kind of small competition within the Creative Expo and brings together 100 creators – 70 from Taiwan and 30 from the rest of the world – renowned for their work in the field of illustration: characters, comics and multimedia-digital creation,” explains Sophie Liao, senior advisor at the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office in Taipei.
“The aim of this project is to connect graphic designers capable of working on stylised characters with representatives from the economic sector in search of visual identities to promote products.”
A godsend for a graphic designer, who can, as a result, directly reach licensing professionals and have the chance to sell his or her creation worldwide in the form of a license, a bit like the now famous Hello Kitty character. The majority of the selected foreign artists come from Asia (Japan, Indonesia, Singapore).
In Europe, only three designers were selected: a Polish, a Belgian and a Luxembourger. Irina Moons, 29 years old, was selected for the Grand Duchy. “This is a great chance for me,” she says. “I have already had the opportunity to work with international clients in Paris and Berlin. However, I never expected to exhibit my work so far from home.”
Paris, Cusco and Taipei
After studying in France (in Lyon, then Paris), Irina Moons specialised in serigraphy, a process that allows each colour to be printed independently. She began her career in Cusco, Peru, during a six-month internship with the National Youth Service. She then returned to Luxembourg, where she found a workshop at 1535° Creative Hub, in Differdange.
She stayed there for a few years, then moved to Luxembourg City, where she had created a co-working studio a few months earlier, rue de Strasbourg, where she brought together several artists. ” Second premises, which will be able to accommodate workshops on serigraphy and an exhibition/sales area, will open in the Grund in early April,” she adds.
Taiwan was not on the young graphic designer’s list of priorities. The opportunity came from the Luxembourg Creative Industries Cluster of Luxinnovation.
“I was contacted by Sophie Liao, who asked me to propose Luxembourg designers for Talent 100,” says Marc Lis, the cluster manager.
“I distributed the information to the members of the cluster, and seven graphic designers expressed interest. I put them in direct contact with the organisers.”
For me, it is a perfect example of what a cluster can be used for.
Two Luxembourg artists attracted the interest of the Taiwanese jury in charge of the selection. However, it was Irina Moons who finally succeeded.
“I started producing illustrations for the exhibition, but I will also take along work that I have already done,” the graphic designer explains. “I am also getting organised from a logistical point of view. Marc Lis put me in touch with the Ducroire Office to get funding for the trip.”
“For me, this is a perfect example of what a cluster can be used for,” notes Marc Lis.
“The development of Luxembourg talent abroad has been made possible by the collaboration at all levels of the various institutions.
Photo Credit @ Irina Moons