Elisabeth MESTDAGH

Founder | STUDIO M

Studio M specializes in art direction, graphic design and branding and offers a 360° approach to print, video, and creative consulting.Prior to founding her own studio, Elisabeth Mestdagh studied design and visual communication in Antwerp, Ghent and Berlin. She trained with Base Design, assisted Paul Boudens and spent a year at Baron & Baron in New York City where she worked on projects for clients such as Dior, Maison Margiela, Nars and The Metropolitan Museum. Elisabeth currently divides her time between Paris and Antwerp and works as art director for brands such as Dries Van Noten and Roger Vivier.

influences

questionnaire

1.       What was your very first job?
My first proper job in art direction and graphic design was at Baron & Baron in New York. I had the opportunity to work for one year at the company on campaigns for fashion houses such as Maison Margiela, Nars and Bottega Veneta. It was an amazing experience where I felt part of the B&B family since day one. They are the start of my career and I’m really grateful and proud to still collaborate with them!

2.       Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
Over the years my work at Studio M has changed a lot. When I founded the studio four years ago I did everything by myself which included designing, communicating with clients, negotiating, etc… Actually a mix of design and management. In the last year, I expanded my team to 3 to 4 people from time to time, which influenced my internal tasks. My role variated into becoming the creative director and supervising and delegating more of the work to my employees. I must say I prefer this way of working as I’m not losing myself in details and have more control over the overall result.

3.       How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Was there a train of events that brought you where you are today?
I was born in a very creative family. My father, Luk Mestdagh (°2014), was a really talented graphic designer and well-known for creating iconic logo and typography for Belgian companies. My mother, Anne Kurris, is also a respected graphic designer and worked for the Antwerp Six. Meanwhile, my brother, Quinten Mestdagh, is currently enrolled at Balenciaga Couture as a women’s wear designer. I feel I’m a symbiosis of my parents, and in a way, our families work is quite connected on a visual level. My family is fundamental to who I am today: they thaught me how to develop myself as a designer and supported me at every step along the way.

4.       In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
I think it’s really important as a designer to detach and take distance often enough from your artistic work. Taking a break, visiting exhibitions and new places over the world, meeting new and interesting people are the key to training your eye and keeping a fresh view on your projects. Besides that, we follow a lot of interesting brands and creatives. Besides that, we get inspired by older icons in the design field and love to search in vintage books.

5.       If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation rather than its recognition or industry "success," what would it be?
It’s hard to choose but our most loved project would be the SS21 campaign which we art directed for CAP. The campaign is a good example of a successful collaboration between friends which resulted in really strong images. Back then, CAP was a sock tricot brand, designed by Eduard Both - my best friend. It was shot by Michael Smits, also a close friend of ours. We elevated Michaël’s images of legs in dark water with floating flowers, by adding a 3D rendered layer of water on top of it, created by a former classmate and close collaborator Menno Tomballe. We were able to deliver an amazing result by putting all of our talents together.

6.       Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? Which of these disciplines are you most interested in seeing at CONNECTIONS? (ie photo, film, production, social, experiential, vr, cgi, animation etc)
We are mainly focused on branding and art direction, which mostly results in digital work, such as animations, 3D and web design. We want to focus more on 3D motion design and hope to expand our studio soon, so it would be great to discover more and new talent in this field!

 

jury

Heritage & Innovation Director | BALLY
Creative Director | BBDO BERLIN
Head of Digital Production & Partner | BBH LONDON
VP & Creative Production | SYNEOS HEALTH
Creative Director | BOX MEDIA
Founder & Creative Director | IGWE
ECD | BEHAEGHEL CREATIVE STUDIO
Senior Art Director | SEPHORA
Creative Director | COTY
Brand Creative Director | GET YOUR GUIDE
Creative Director | BAUME & MERCIER
Creative Director | McCANN
Head of Creative | ESCADA
Vice-President | BETC
Marketing Manager | ABSOLUT VODKA
Creative Director | JAMIE BRUNSKILL
Art Buyer - Creative Producer
Head of Visual Identity | GALERIES LAFAYETTE
Creative Content Director | ESTÉE LAUDER
Editor-at-Large & Creative Director | i-D ITALY
Senior Creative | ACNE
Head of Digital Marketing | ZENITH WATCHES
Creative Development | PIAGGIO
Global Creative Lead | CLARKS
Communications Director | CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN
Dir. of Communications
Creative Marketing Director | MAVODI
Art & Creative Director | CAROLINA DAHER
Executive Creative Director | HUGE INC.
Creative Director | BABEL
Senior Creative Art Buyer | HOGARTH WORLDWIDE
Marketing Director | TED BAKER
Head of Image & Creative | MAKE UP FOR EVER
Art Director | L'OCCITANE
Creative Content Prod. Mngr | SAMSUNG
Brand & Creative Director | & OTHER STORIES
Executive Creative Director | THJNK
Responsable Image & Art Director | CHANEL
Global Head of Image | AMI PARIS
Chief Creative Officer | INBRAX CHILE
Crea. Dir. | SOLAR INITIAVE / BEHIND THE ARC
Art Buyer | MIMI GRAY
Art Director | COTY LUXURY
Brand Strategy | VOLKSWAGEN
Art Director Image | STUDIO LH
Head of Creative | GRAFF DIAMONDS
Art Director Creative | FACEBOOK
Crea. Services & Experiential | VERSACE
Senior Art Director | PVH
Creative Lead | GOOGLE
Creative Specialist | LEGO
Marketing Director | WARNER MUSIC
Campaign Development | MERCEDES BENZ
Art Director | CARTIER
Art Director | PUBLICIS LUXE
Creative Director | UNILEVER
Owner | FASHION COMMS GMbH
Image Director | AZZEDINE ALAÏA
Executive Creative Director | OGILVY
Senior Creative | I-D & VICE+
Creative Lead | IKEA
Senior Art Director | NEW LOOK
Senior Producer & Content Project Manager | AKQA
Creative Director | PENTAGRAM
Creative Art Director | DLV BBDO
Art Director | CONDE NAST
Senior Producer Coordinator | LUXOTTICA
VP Marketing & Branding | VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE
Creative Director | ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST
Founder | STUDIO M
Communications Director | M6
Head of Photography & Illustration | ST LUKE'S
Chief Crea. Officer | WUNDERMAN THOMPSON
Senior Mgr, Creative Shoot & Production | ADIDAS
Head of Brand Content | ROSBEEF
Head of Creative | ELEMIS
Exec. Creative Director | SCHOLZ & FRIENDS
Founder | WHALE AMSTERDAM
Content Partnerships Manager | WETRANSFER
Director International Public Relations & Cultural Affairs | MONTBLANC
Creat. Dvpt Marketing Mngr | COCA-COLA
Global Brand Com. Director | PUPA MILANO
Communications Director | SHY ZEBRA
Content Manager Benelux | ROOSENSTEIN
Marketing & Communications Strategy Consultant
Creative & Brand Content Expert | CLUB MED
Creative Director | ROSAPARIS
Global Creative Strategist | SERVICEPLAN
Marketing Director | MONDELEZ
Art Director | ROSAPARK
Digital Marketing Lead | MCDONALD'S
Partner | SERVICEPLAN
Head of Product Marketing | PENHALIGON'S
Art Director | GOOGLE, ART & CULTURE
Creative Communications Dir. | TAG HEUER
VP Creation & Product | TAG HEUER - LVMH
Executive Crea. Director | PUBLICIS GROUPE
Marketing Creative Director | BOTTEGA VENETA
Founder | GLOW UP
Brand Strategy & Creative Marketing Consultant
Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI ZÜRICH
Freelance Global Brand Communications Manager | ADIDAS
Exec. Creative Director | SERVICEPLAN
Creative Director | AER SCENTS
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