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Featured Moms

From art director in Paris to artist in NYC, the multifaceted career of Pauline Galiana

“As moms or dads at home, one foot out in the professional world (sometimes only one toe!), we develop a degree of self-discipline we are not aware we possess. Nobody is less forgiving than an upset child.”

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Pauline Galiana is a French-born artist, graphic and jewelry designer, and organizer who, having moved from Paris to New York, found the light brilliant and has stayed. She pursued her Master of Fine Arts at ESAG in Paris, and has an Art Business Certificate From Christie’s Education in NY. In the US, Galiana has most recently exhibited with the New York Public Library/Midtown, Aureus Contemporary Gallery Basel/Providence, Asymmetrik Gallery New York, Muriel Guépin Gallery, New York and this Summer realized a 8-meter mural in a corporate office in Monaco. Previously, her work has exhibited in shows ranging from West 57th Street’s Baron Boisanté to Ramis Barquet Gallery, Red Hook’s Kentler Drawing Center, Brooklyn, and is included in institutional collections such as that of UBS, NYU and private collections in New York, Washington, Houston, Paris, Riyadh, London and Sydney.

Pauline has over 25 years of experience as a senior art director and graphic designer. After her masters, Pauline worked in Paris agencies focused on corporate identities and exhibit design for clients such as the Louvre, La Villette, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, L’Odéon, Le Cargo and many other theaters, cultural centers and, private corporations. Pauline was a partner at LM Communiquer 1987-89, and partner at ThérèseTroïka until she moved to New York in 1994, where she practices design and fine arts side by side. Recently, Pauline developed Arte Snack, an accessory line to benefit food banks in NYC.


This week we’re featuring Pauline Galiana, an artist/designer/mother with such as diverse set of skills we barely knew where to start! In her interview, Pauline explains what drives her art and design and keeps her inspired!

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It seems like you have so many diverse projects going on between your art, and design. What’s a day in your life look like? What projects are you currently working on ? What is your favorite one?

Each day is combination of creative and management activities. I’m a freelancer and I work on my space organization projects only when I have commissions. And when I don’t, I continually work on my art and personal design projects.
I have been working recently and fairly intensely on an art project, a series of color-coded label collages entitled “Fusion Mandalas” which is “bien entendu” a meditative journey within the ordinary. I usually play, in my art, on construction versus deconstruction, on repetition versus rhythm.

On the back burner, I always keep an eye on ArteSnack, which is a design concept applied to accessories such as T-shirts, pouches and pillows that I sell partially for the benefit of different New York City food banks.

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Can you tell us a little about your background? How did you get such a diverse set of skills?

I grew up with a father, a physicist at the CERN in Europe, who cherished books, art, volunteered for Unicef and enjoyed mushroom picking, among so many other things. It seemed at the time that there was no limitation on one’s focus of interests. I was a quiet child who expressed myself with drawings. It seemed natural to orient my career toward graphic design where I could combine making a living with my art skills and apply design in the not-for profit world.

Goache paintings

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How has your design work inspired your art (and vice versa)?

I see it as holistic medicine sees the human body; life flows within different systems. Although I never wanted my art to be driven by the art market, I kept art and design separated. I chose design as the bread winner. Some of my space organization and design clients are not aware that I’m an artist. Only later in life did I apply my art and design skills to the discipline of space organizing. It flows like Feng Shui!

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You also make some beautiful jewelry! Can you tell us a little about that?

I collect and marry disparate materials in high-spirited and one of a kind jewelry and objets d’art. In addition to my work with semi-precious materials, I find surprising uses for ordinary daily materials and found objects, shells and other cast-offs that when combined gain new life. Clients confide precious family souvenirs to me to create a new adornment or sculpture.

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Can you tell us a little about Arte Snack? What prompted you to start this? Can you explain to us the design aesthetic you have chosen for the brand?

The fact that one in five children in New York City relies on emergency food — this prompted the creation of this project. Arte Snack presents a line of 6 fruit sticker-designs inspired by the incredible variety of labels on fruit and vegetables. The mission is, with a whimsical twist, to raise awareness of and funds for the critical need for fresh produce for all the children around us here in the City. My goal is to donate 10% of the profit to food banks in New York City. For every $1 donated, for example, City Harvest reports that they provide 5 meals for people in need. That is a lot of impact!

The aesthetic is simply based on the otherwise annoying little fruit stickers. I’m impressed by how much information can fit in such a small surface. For the last 30 years, I have been collecting fruit stickers and using them in visual collage poems that I call “Kitchen Art”.

Not being a native English speaker, I have always been fascinated by how people, here in the States, use food words as nicknames for kids. I decided to improvise off this impetus and build a bridge to the idea of providing fresh produce for all kids.

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Kitchen Art
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Can you tell us a little about your space re-organization practice? How does this service differ from an interior designer?

I don’t touch the structure, I work the flow differently from Interior designers. I don’t touch the architectural structure of the space. I manage the space content and its flow depending on how people function in their work space or living quarters. In addition to this, and if needed, I’ll offer advice on decorative elements, furniture and so on.

I use my artistic intuition and talent to resolve organization puzzles or to help create a charming and original space, party setting, quickly and efficiently. Balancing the need for functionality with a sense of harmony, I create “de-stressed” environments, open up spaces, reveal their innate soul and bring back peace of mind and control to their users at home or at the office.

The main concern for people, especially in the city, is the lack of space. For each intervention I perform, my rule is to respect people’s taste and habits, and also to work with what they have. It is a bit more challenging than creating a harmonious space from scratch!

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You said your children are grown up now. What’s one thing you know now that you wish you had known then regarding your creative work and raising your children?

Hmm… does one ever stop growing? Well, I wish Mommikin existed then! And I wish that I could have been confident that my creative/professional/sane life would come back even stronger than before after having a toddler in my arms. As moms or dads at home, one foot out in the professional world (sometimes only one toe!), we develop a degree of self-discipline we are not aware we possess. Nobody is less forgiving than an upset child. It’s like a boot camp for days in the professional world; it’s like being a one-person orchestra.

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Do you have any tips for getting new work/clients?

What works the best in the field of Space Organization is word of mouth. Because the work is based on a fundamental respect for the privacy of how my clients function in their space, I can’t brag about most of my projects, and I can rarely show pictures. Otherwise, from what I perceive from opening my email box, I would say: “do not bombard your prospects with emails!”
All my email “campaigns” have been, in my view, largely a waste of energy. I believe in-person networking is the best approach — when you can — for freelancers. Doing volunteer work might be helpful but it is risky, at least in my own experience, because it sets some price standards that are hard to live by every day.
Facebook? Every time I try to promote ArteSnack on Facebook for example, I get more offers to buy someone else’s product or service!

Thank you Pauline for sharing your insight and beautiful work!


  • Categories: Fashion, Featured, Painter, Painting, Visual Arts

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