“As soon as a grandmother sees me doing it, I always have the right to a little reflection! At 28, Gauvain Manhattan rarely takes public transport without his needle and spools of thread. And this artist from Nantes fully assumes his original passion, which he masters at his fingertips. It must be said that the canvas, this creative hobby which consists of embroidering on an already printed canvas, has become a professional adventure. Four years ago, the young man, helped by his companion illustrator Marie Boiseau, launched his brand Canevas Fatal to bring this obsolete manual activity up to date.
At the beach this summer, you may also want to get started. Unless like Gauvain Manhattan before he set up his business, you are put off by the often very kitsch colors and patterns available on the market. “The world of hunting, small cats… All that did not correspond to the aesthetics of my generation, or even that of my mother, smiles the young man, who fell into it during his studies at the Beaux-Arts in ‘Angouleme. However, it is a very easy embroidery to take in hand with which it is possible to do many things. As we repeat the same gesture, without really having to think, it provokes a real mental escape. »
His paintings drawn by illustrators
The young entrepreneur then had the idea of having the canvases he would have liked to find printed, and in particular smaller formats for beginners. For the models, he decides to call on more or less known illustrators selected on social networks, whose style, colorful and figurative, can be declined in embroidery paintings. And to create rarity, Gauvain Manhattan chooses to produce its kits, which contain all the material (printed canvas, colored cotton threads, needle, etc.) in a limited edition of 100 copies each. “For the first, we had a stock shortage in one day, he recalls. The record was a year and a half ago: the model designed by Pénélope Bagieu left in three minutes! »
After 10,000 orders already honored and a community of 15,000 subscribers (mostly women between 20 and 40 years old) on Instagram, Gauvain Manhattan hopes to convince even more young people of his age that the canvas, like patchwork or crochet, deserves to come back to the front of the stage. If his sales only happen online via his website (between 30 and 45 euros), he intends this year to convince haberdasheries or decoration shops to market his products, in order to continue to weave his web.