The Artistic matchmaker
France 14 Dec, 2016. Photos by Kayla Kauffman.
With a great passion for art and an understanding for building brands, Nathalie Geoffroy has pulled of commissions for companies such as Cartier, Chanel Couture and the luxury hotel chain Cheval Blanc. She is the founder of the agency N+CO in Paris, completely self-taught and she loves to not always follow the rules.
Nathalie Geoffroy is born and raised in Le Marais, in the heart of Paris. Her family has been located there since the 1930s. She believes that this artistic neighborhood, and her creative parents, have contributed to her joy and passion for art and beautiful things. Throughout her adult life, she has worked various jobs, such as with sales in web, photography and events and she has also lived in South America, where she took care of Amerindian children. She moved there in the 90s with her ex husband, who worked as a psychiatrist and did research on psychiatric disorders among tribal societies.
– It was a fantastic journey, I loved that life. If I could, I would have stayed and worked as an ethnologist and just observed the Amerindian people all day long, but instead I ended up at a communication agency there. A few years later, I came back to Paris with a completely different view on communication and with a curiosity to pursue that line of work, says Nathalie Geoffroy.
"I got inspired by my own artistic family."
The Parisian life and N+CO
Once back in Paris, Nathalie started working in an audiovisual production house as a client director, one thing led to another, and suddenly she had started a career in communications. She worked in that field for quite some years, but always felt she wanted to develop her artistic side and one day work more creatively and differently, and get off the beaten track. Her aspiration was realized in 2014, when she founded the agency N+CO, a project that she hoped and believed would give her more space within the art field. The business idea proved to be very successful. Nathalie receives different artists to her showroom, who work with paper for example, and matches them with the right company and the right assignment. One could call her an artistic matchmaker. The N stands for Nathalie, the agency is the CO and the plus sign symbolizes artists.
– I got inspired by my own artistic family. With N+CO I’m trying to create a kind of similar family, full of different talents, and with the same desire to enjoy projects and always go a little bit further with techniques, says Nathalie Geoffroy.
It all began when Nathalie met two paper artists at an exhibition in Paris, Isabelle and Maryse, both working with paper in different formats, Isabelle does papercutting books and Maryse makes paper sculptures. Nathalie got the idea of matching them with companies who needed help with different campaigns and assignments.
– Since I also have been working with fashion and design, I have a lot of connections in that industry, so it was natural for me to work with luxury brands. So every time I meet a new artist or talent, who wants to be apart of N+CO, I present his or her work for different brands through my newsletter or social media, says Nathalie Geoffroy.
Among Cartier, Chanel and paper
Many of Nathalie’s clients work a lot with paper as a first hand tool, a material that Nathalie also has a big love and passion for. One of her artists, Emilie, has, for example made an animated greeting card with a galloping horse, a technical and graphic prowess in paper, for the luxury hotel chain Cheval Blanc. For a commission by Chanel Coutures her artists used an illustration from the 1700th century, which later was cut out of paper with laser, to an invitation and press release. Furthermore, Nathalie’s artists Elsa, Saba and Isabelle made window display concepts in paper, for the luxury jewelry brand Cartier.
– I always try to feed my talents with new techniques, by inviting different paper manufactures that arrange workshops to inspire the artists and generate new ideas and approaches for them. Paper is a hard material to work with during longer projects, though, since the light and heat from lamps, for example, affect the colors and the glue. But since I really love the material so much, I always strive to give my artist the best opportunities to work with the finest paper possible, says Nathalie Geoffroy.
Goes her own way
Nathalie’s friends say she’s ‘rockin n’ rollin’ her way of being, living and working. She doesn’t believe in rules and always strives to find new ways to reinvent things. Nathalie created N+CO to break patterns and present artists in a different way than traditional agencies often do.
– I want my artists to be able to make a living from their art work, while I get an outlet for my creative side by helping them. My dream for the future is to be able to present whole creative teams to the clients, who can work together in longer projects. I’m almost there, but I also try to live here and now, a great lesson that I learned from the Amerindian people I met in South America. Try to be happy with what you’ve got right now, says Nathalie Geoffroy.